From Entertainment Entrepreneur to developing MILK App, Meet Courtney “Coko” Eason
You can never have enough apps, especially if they make your life easier. Courtney “Coko” Eason found a gap in today’s reward market with MILK app. Brands are constantly trying to figure out how to create better customer experiences and ultimately if you are the customer you want every perk possible. Learn how Coko came up with the idea to develop an app like this and where we should expect from MILK in the near future.
MILK is a really interesting concept. What inspired the creation for a rewards app like this?
Before the creation of MILK, I was a music and entertainment entrepreneur who specialized in hosting live events, concerts and music showcases. I noticed over the years that it was becoming more and more difficult to connect and engage with my audience due to the interruption of cell phones. If people weren’t texting, they were scrolling through Facebook. If they weren’t scrolling they were taking selfies. And if they weren’t taking selfies they were recording the entire performance.
I soon realized how the world has stopped living in the moment. We let Memories, Intimacy, Life and Knowledge pass us by due to having our faces stuck to a screen at all times. It bothered me so much that I started to notice it everywhere: at dinner tables, in movie theaters, at church, in class and especially in cars. My frustration one day turned into innovation and the MILK App was born.
The app market is huge. How do you create a valuable product like this and get it in front of your target audience?
When you think about apps, they usually are known to help make something easy, help you find your way, help you to update your friends and family, help you to become creative or help you to have fun. There’s not many that help you break a serious habit, help you become more considerate, more safe, more aware and more connected…and on top of that…reward you. In order to be disruptive or to make noise in the app market, I decided to offer value in an extremely unique way. In a way that makes my target audience stop and say “Wow, I do need to put my phone down every now and then.” The epiphany that they have draws them in…and the rewards that the app offers keeps them engaged and active.
What’s next for MILK?
MILK will be first launching in movie theaters. We will be hosting a movie theater tour in the Southeast region where MILK Ambassadors will pass out swag, inform customers of the app and collect emails for further updates. Those users who decide to “MILK THE MOMENT” during their movie could be randomly surprised with free concessions, movie tickets, gift cards and even fun nightlife events in their local area.
Is this your first app based business?
Yes it’s my first. Since music and entertainment is my expertise, I would have never fathomed that I would be developing an app but I’m a witness that the things you work on in the past can inspire you in a totally different way down the road. This is exactly what happened to me. My events led me to thinking of a way to make the experience better for those in the audience.
What’s the hardest part about being an entrepreneur?
The hardest thing for me is how entrepreneurship has you on a constant emotional roller coaster. One day you are on top of the world, money flowing in, deals being signed, moves being made and within hours your world can flip upside down! I’m thankful for the mountain top moments but I’m more grateful for the times in the valley. It’s where I tend to work the hardest and create my most amazing ideas. Being an entrepreneur is not for the weak. You must persevere through the hard times, remain optimistic and never give up.
What’s one piece of advice you would give an aspiring entrepreneur looking to build a business around an app?
My biggest piece of advice would be to search for a unique problem that needs to be solved and try to solve it with as many value propositions as possible. The uniqueness will help you stand out from the rest of the apps in the market and the numerous value propositions will always lead you to better ideas while developing your app. Take for instance a fashion app. The core concept may be a mobile application that helps you find the type of style that you’re looking for in local boutiques. Well if you stop there, you’re missing out on connecting people with their own personal stylist, having users purchase clothes directly from the app or letting people send outfit ideas to friends and clients. Never stop thinking of ways that you can add value to your application. You may not use them all or need them all but it’s better to have a ton than one.
How do you manage your day-to-day and stay organized while growing your business?
I’ll admit that in the past my days were crazy busy and super hectic. I felt like I was working non-stop but it was always on numerous things at the same time which ended up feeling counterproductive. Now I have a daily business journal where I block out times that I will work on one specific project with no interruptions. Each project comes with 3 tasks and 3 goals that I must complete and reach before moving on to the next. I make sure that I exercise, eat right, pray and speak positive affirmations over my life all throughout the day.
Want the MILK app in your life? Visit the official MILK app website and sign-up to start getting rewards.