The Best View Comes After the Hardest Climb:

Zen Buddy’s Journey So Far

image shows Zen Buddy's logo

No good deed...

Dr. Yvonne Yates and her husband Paul are the co-founders of Zen Buddy app, a new wellness app aimed to help people coping with mental ill health both between therapy and as part of corporate wellness programs. Their user-friendly, self-help tool also helps users adopt mindfulness and meditation techniques through guided meditation/treatment programs and courses. 

Photo of Paul and Yvonne Yates from Zen Buddy outside on a walk

After decades of working in the field of psychology, I was getting repeated requests from clients wishing to practice the exercises taught in sessions in their own time, in addition to what I was delivering in therapy. explains Yvonne.

With only so many hours in the day wanted somewhere where my clients could get easy access to a library of online self-help materials. And so, the idea for Zen Buddy App was developed. But not all was smooth sailing. 

We had been working with another agency for around a year to develop and market the app,’ explains Paul, but the project had hit a few problems and we felt that the relationship we had with the agency was no longer working. Progress was slow and communication with the developers had become strained, but we had invested tens of thousands of pounds of our own money. 

A problem shared is a problem halved.

We first met Nichola from Launch NW around September 2019 after she was recommended to us by one of the tutors on an innovation  program we had enrolled on run by Manchester Metropolitan University. I gave Nichola a brief outline of what we wanted in terms of marketing the app for downloads. So, after much discussion, it was decided we would move the hosting of the appcut our losses with the current agency and use Launch NW moving forward to manage our social media and paid ads. 

If only it was that straightforward. Cutting a very very long story short, we pretty much had to start from scratch. It was devastating. 

A blessing in disguise.

At this point we couldn’t even communicate with the original developers of the app. However, we were fully aware, had we not made the move when we did, it could have been a lot worse. In hindsight, it was a blessing in disguise because we now have the app we envisioned and a marketing strategy to boot, thanks to having the right teams behind us.’ 

Good things come to those who wait.

When we first met Yvonne and Paul their passion and commitment for the project shone through from day one. Knowing that they had invested so much of their time and money into a project which hadn’t turned out as planned, was difficult to hear. Although we were initially hired to run their social media, it was clear resources needed to be allocated elsewhere, laying the groundwork needed to achieve their dream. 

Part of our method at Launch NW is to evaluate where organisations that work with us are on their marketing journey. When we first met Yvonne and Paul it was clear they didn’t yet have a product to market. Based on the audience they wished to target, the branding didn’t hit the mark and the app in its current state was not fit for purpose.  

Whilst the app and existing website were being moved to new developers, we set about updating the branding and marketing materials Yvonne and Paul could use when they attended the Health and Wellbeing at Work event at the Birmingham NEC. This included a new skin for their expo stand, business cards, and corporate brochure. Being an event veteran, Nichola joined the team on one of the event days to support the promotion of the app, whilst Jo supported back home at Launch NW HQ on social.  

Zen Buddy at Birmingham NEC

After the event, the hard work began. Nichola took on the temporary role of project manager on the design and development of the website and app, both managing the digital team as well as Yvonne and Pauls expectations, troubleshooting any issues along the way. 

Once the website and app were nearing launch, we helped the Zen Buddy team develop business objectives and created an ongoing marketing strategy to help achieve them.  

Light at the end of the tunnel.

Since October 2019 Nichola and Jo have been instrumental in getting this project to where it is today. They’ve been brilliant. Has it happened as quickly as we’d have liked? No, but now we feel we have put down the right foundations to make this a success. 

Nichola introduced us to new app developers and helped us with the development process. She has been heavily involved with Zen Buddy taking on the full Project Management role in the beginning, to get us through these uncertain times 

Launch NW has helped us redesign both our app and website which went live on the 15th March 2021 and we’re now preparing to launch to the USA. 

‘If you’re looking for a marketing company who cares about their clients, look no further than Launch North West.’ 

Zen Buddy has been through some tough times and Launch NW continues to support the team. 

Thank you Nichola & Jo!  

Zen Buddy Team 

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