Case Study

Stars4U was first imagined by Investor Brands founder, Simon Brown, when he realised the cumulative cost, financially and environmentally, of the many greetings cards he bought every month. There were around 834 million physical greetings cards purchased in 2020. We’d bet nearly every one of them was thrown away within a week. Simply put, the greetings and gift card markets are outdated, environmentally unfriendly, and ripe for disruption.


The concept

Simon’s glimmer of inspiration became the catalyst for a radical, exciting, and future-focussed venture that puts everyday people face to face with their heroes and doesn’t cost the planet anything. The initial spark, and the encouragement provided by the success of start-ups like Cameo, pushed Investor Brands to find a way of shaking up the traditional, stuffy greetings and gift card markets to create something new.

Unlike Cameo, though, Stars4U is at a price point that won’t be out of reach for everyday consumers. Like Cameo, Stars4U allows businesses to easily engage with an untapped revenue stream and build up brand equity value. Investor Brands wanted to create something totally digital and endlessly scalable, that consumers will love beyond any boring greetings card cliché. It’s a solid concept. But, to succeed, Investor Brands needed to force Stars4U into the ever-fickle minds of Gen Z and Millennial consumers and keep within the restrictions of technological, and financial, possibility.

The partnership

With the initial concept sketched, we were brought on board to clarify the proposition and translate it into a usable, unique, and return-generating piece of gear.

We’re experts in finding the perfect tech solution to take an idea from concept to success. We collaborate closely with every client to make sure we’re always keeping in line with their vision whilst simultaneously pushing it to be the best it can be.

When you work with us, you get more than a standard tech partnership. We’re big picture thinkers. Business strategists with a mischievous streak. Technologically savvy entrepreneurs who can see beyond the traditional. We took Simon’s proposition outline and transformed it into a visually-focussed design. We meticulously mapped the tech requirements for the product to create an architecturally complex piece of software that perfectly balanced affordability with scalability.

All our work was made possible by Investor Brands’ extensive, thoughtful user research. They spoke to hundreds of customers who provided the perfect feedback. With this info to hand we could effectively work through all the different challenges the app design might present and tackle them before they became problems.

The challenge

Our primary concern for the app was ensuring our behind-the-scenes software could handle the sheer mass of users Investor Brands is going to experience. Before they strike out alone, Investor Brands has made the wise choice to collaborate for their beta testing stage with a partner who already has between four and eight million consumers to hand. Boiled down, this meant making the app affordable enough to get the proposition through investor funding, but robust enough to withstand an enormous surge of users.

"The experience of our Appy team across brilliant business strategy, tech development, and high-return digital disruption makes us great at what we do. When we get to work alongside the razor-sharp corporate acumen of clients like Investor Brands, we can’t help but create something that’s guaranteed to succeed."



Product Manager


Design & Development







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