This post is part of a series dedicated to highlighting small and medium-sized enterprises across the country employing technology in new and innovative ways.
Co-founders Nick Telford (left) and Michael Bracciale know a thing or two about staying fresh on the fly. The Tallahassee-based startup, Fly Mouthwash, has created a breath-freshening product that offers the portability of gum with the effectiveness of traditional mouthwash – users simply mix the product with an ounce of water to create a mouthwash enabling fresh breath on the go. The entrepreneurs, who met while students at Florida State University, have developed their company at an incubator called Domi Station, and recently won recognition from Tallahassee’s Chamber Entrepreneurial Forum. As you’ll read, Nick and Michael recognize the key role technology will play in taking their company to the next level.
Courtney Duffy (DisCo): What technology do you harness to create your product, the mouthwash itself?
Over the past year, we’ve spent a great deal of time working on the taste, feel, and flavors of Fly Mouthwash. Working closely with students, professors, and other entrepreneurs in Tallahassee, we’ve been able to continually improve upon our formula based off of our consumers’ feedback. We utilize several mobile apps to collect and store our feedback that we receive. Of course, much research has gone into determining the right ingredients for our product, a process that would’ve taken much longer without the internet. The scaling up process, which involves moving our operations to a larger manufacturer, utilizes a much greater deal of technology in the making of the mouthwash. The equipment used throughout our assembly line relies upon precise movements and timing, an impossible undertaking without the software and technology that these machines utilize. Any time that we are invited to a manufacturing plant, we jump on the opportunity because it is fascinating to see these pieces of equipment work together in unison.
DisCo: In what ways are you relying on technology to promote your company?
There has never been more opportunity than now to market and brand our company online. With paid social media advertising, we can pinpoint exactly who our target consumer is for that advertisement, and with the click of a button, our message can be delivered straight to their smart phone. We can then drive our social media traffic towards our website, with the end-goal being another satisfied Fly Mouthwash user. Without this competitive advantage, companies in the past had to spend millions of dollars on TV commercials and billboards, burning through marketing dollars just to get their name out there, with no real strategy behind their marketing efforts.