Twin Cities entrepreneur seeks a uneeq marketing approach

Touchfire keyboard cases for Apple iPad tablets are among a still-modest selection of products on the Uneeq tech-retail site, a Minneapolis effort that is
Touchfire keyboard cases for Apple iPad tablets are among a still-modest selection of products on the Uneeq tech-retail site, a Minneapolis effort that is debuting this week. (Touchfire)
Michael Wray, who has run Minneapolis-based Mariner Software for more than a decade, is now also responsible for the Uneeq site.
Michael Wray
Does the Internet need another tech-retail site with gadgets and software for sale? Michael Wray thinks so — provided such a site is unique.

The Minneapolis man this week is launching Uneeq, a tech-retail site he hopes eventually will impress geekier consumers with an interest in offbeat gizmos and software at often steep discounts.

It’s early days for Uneeq, however. The site still doesn’t have much of an inventory. Its initial marquee offering is a Macintosh-software “bundle” with eight titles for a combined cost of about $30, which would usually sell for $228 or so.

Other software options include a pair of Smile Software apps for the Macintosh, PDFPen and TextExpander. Hardware offerings include an assortment of Touchfire-branded keyboard cases for Apple iPad tablets, along with an emergency flashlight and several device-charging products.
That’s pretty much it.

Wray, a veteran Apple-software retailer, said he is not concerned about eventually getting Uneeq’s product selection fleshed out.

Wray said he ran into a not-unexpected problem: Convincing the makers of tech products to ally themselves with a site that didn’t yet exist. Now that Uneeq is live on the Web, he is confident that he’ll have more vendors soon.

Wray’s reputation will surely help. He’s been operating Minneapolis-based Mariner Software for more than a decade, and the company itself goes back a quarter-century. Wray’s role at Mariner continues, but he said he hungered to start something new.

To that end, he has entirely “bootstrapped” the Uneeq venture himself, in a collaboration with his Mariner Software business partner Dusty Fields. So far, he hasn’t needed venture capital or angel investors.

“I was able to call in some favors from friends and associates” for marketing, business-strategy and technical assistance, he said. “No money, though. Starting a company doesn’t necessarily need to be an expensive venture, if you know what you are doing.”

For Wray, Uneeq “has been an itch that needed scratching, to launch something other than a software company.” Wray anticipates the company will become largely a tech-gadget purveyor with an Apple-centric, young-adult male clientele.

At the same time, Uneeq is following the time-honored tradition of offering software bundles — sets of complementary apps sold together at sharp discounts, often with hugely successful results.
The Mac-software bundle now on Uneeq’s home page is a sign of what is likely to come, Wray said.

Full Article

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: