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MingleBox – A story cum Case Study

MingleBox – A story cum Case Study
Few days back ‘MingleBox’ was in news to launch a portal for selling Online Admission Forms of various MBA colleges. The news made me even more interested to know more about mingle box, how it is evolved and what all expansion modes it can have.
It was interesting to dig info about Minglebox from marketing point of view. Because MingleBox can be a good case study as they changed their positioning and offerings several times to find a right path to leverage and engage the user group.
About MingleBox:
Minglebox was founded in year 2006 by Ms. Kavita Iyer an IIM A, IIT delhi (Gold Medalist ) Alumnus.  It was launched as a as campus and user network. The idea was to form a community of students and college going students, and to provide online education information.
Minglebox also got $7 Million funding from Sequoia, a Banglore based VC firm.
Product Strategy:
Initially MingleBox was a community of students; it was more often like a social networking site. In initial phase itself they faced the competition from increasing usage of other social networking sites like Orkut and Facebook. The user engagement model of Mingle box was Scrap/Chat/Poke and mails etc. whereas orkut and facebook had lot more to offer.
MingleBox decided to kill competition by fighting with it. They launched two Orkut apps – iPoke and Teen Patti.

  • Ipoke – interact with friends in Cricket style
  • Teen Patti – 3 card poker (Flash)
But soon minglebox realized that one cannot fight with Orkut by being another Orkut. He/She need Facebook to figh with Orkut or Twitter to fight with Facebook. They decided to give up the competition and focus on core area of the mingle box i.e. students.
Soon they come up with one more application of Streaming Music with the tagline of “Connecting people and music“to engage the users on portal.  MingleBox sourced its music from SoundBuzz, which was later acquired by Motorola.
To do the brand building MingleBox also sponsored online media partnership to various engineering and Business Schools. They also did streaming of various college events on the website.
But while being in the race of fighting with other social networking site, Minglebox realized that ‘Positioning’ of it is changing to ‘Fun place for college/school kids where they can play games, listen to music or watch some videos.
They decided to deploy a new strategy of moving towards a more serious education based company from a fun loving school kid’s community.
The Education web Space in India is probably the best growing field.
Till then MingleBox was fully depended on advertising and sponsorship from colleges. MingleBox had a descent user base of students across country. They moved in to provide value to the community by offering some serious educational services.
Few months back it was announced that CAT will be online. Minglebox quickly picked the trend and launched an e-CAT prep (online CAT preparation Kit).  Just few months after that they identified a ‘need’ in the market of solving problem in filling admission forms of the colleges. They launched online admission forms selling through their portal.
I guess it’s a really smart move, doing this Minglebox is successful in changing the positioning of it as a Value provider in education space. Apart from it, it’s a good source of revenue generation. The activities of user’s (MBA aspirants) also will increased on the portal.
I am curious to see the further new features from MingleBox.
Any further suggestions on new ways of Revenue generation for MingleBox???

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