Everyone loves a good word-of-mouth referral but why does one business catch fire and get all the buzz, while others are left wondering why no one is talking about them? Airtable is a prime example. Let’s take a deeper look at how they were able to grow in the B2B SaaS, and project management tool market.
What is Airtable and what do they do?
Essentially Airtable is a database in the cloud with an easy to use user interface. There are many templates so you can store all sorts of information from recipes, to blog posts, to lists of influencers. Airtable competes with the likes of Trello, Asana, Google Sheets, and Quickbase. At its core, Airtable is a great way to organize relational information.
What people are saying about Airtable
Most people describe it as a spreadsheet on steroids. You can check out the many reviews on Airtable, but the consistent message is how flexible the product is for storing various types of data. Another key attribute is that Airtable does not force you into a specific workflow.
How Airtable got started
Airtable was founded in 2012 by Howie Liu. He wanted to create an alternative to a critical, yet overlooked tool, the spreadsheet. He wanted to reinvent the spreadsheet to work for people without them having to write and rely on code.
Liu decided that he wanted to create a new type of product completely. One that helped empower users and helped them create databases easily. This gained traction and people like Ashton Kutcher even decided to invest in Airtable. From there, others decided to invest, and Airtable took off.
How Airtable grows through word of mouth with Product
(See all of our word-of-mouth drivers.)
Every review and article out there is about the product and its multifaceted usage. An interesting point is Airtable lacks a clear single use case, which is against conventional product wisdom. Usually, a product that solves a specific pain point for a person makes a great case for Product to be the primary word of mouth driver.
We found that despite Airtable’s weakness, the variability in the product’s use cases is in fact the product’s greatest feature. Airtable fills that middling area where you need something to organize a process that exceeds the basics of a spreadsheet but a full-on solution either doesn’t exist or your usage doesn’t justify the cost.
With Airtable offering a generous freemium product, their secondary word of mouth driver is “Value”, where the end user can go very far without ever having to pay and can appreciate the most powerful value proposition; Airtable’s versatility.
Airtable’s word-of-mouth rating: 4/5 (In conversation)
(More on our rating system.)
It’s clear that “Product” and “Value” are enough to drive powerful word of mouth for Airtable. Overall they receive a 4/5 in our word of mouth scale, which equates to “You will tell friends about the product/business when it comes up in conversation.”
The knock on Airtable is that their product of many uses means the pain point is something different for everyone. This, in turn, makes it harder for a happy user to tell everyone they know, because their friends/colleagues just may not get it.