One of the most boring aspect of blogging for Top UK dating sites happens when you are to review a “new dating site” which turns out to look and work exactly like thousands of other online dating sites, without any distinguishing features and the complete absence of some new exciting innovation or the introduction of a fresh angle to online dating.
LoveStruck.com does not fall into the aforementioned category, it is really new, fresh, exciting and completely different from most dating sites. The difference hits you from the moment you arrive a their homepage with their plain style of writing and the brutally honest and amusing way you are encouraged to skive work to find love, which some of us actually do but will not admit to.
To find out why and how LoveStruck.com came up with this radically different approach to online dating, we put some questions to their managing directory Brett Harding. Brett’s answer to our questions follows:
TUKDS: How did LoveStruck come to be?
Brett Harding: Picture this: It’s 2006. We were single, bored of clubs and bars and decided to try Internet dating. We discovered pretty quickly that the main dating sites were like global used car yards of single people. The members seemed totally different to us, and normally miles – or even countries – apart. And when we arranged a date, there was normally no spark (you can’t test chemistry over the internet – yet), and three gruelling hours lay ahead. Unsuccessful dates are a major time and financial sacrifice for any busy single. There had to be a better way.
We spend 51.4 of our 168-hour weeks at or around work. Spending a vast proportion of our life in or around work makes it no coincidence that a third of all relationships begin in the workplace. Like-minded people, similar aspirations – put simply, birds of a feather flocking together. But office romances are often considered taboo. A case of ‘right idea, wrong office’, perhaps. That’s when we had our Lovestruck Epiphany™….
The solution was a site that introduced people who work near each other, to each other, for quick coffee, lunchtime or after-work dates. Imagine networking the 300,000 in the Square Mile, the 100,000 in Canary Wharf, the 9 million in Tokyo or the 13 million in Mumbai. In a nutshell, this type of 1-hour dating saves and optimises time, saves money and is arguably safer. It’s also less of a commitment. After all, it’s only lunch or a quick drink.
TUKDS: When did Love Struck first hit the net?
Brett Harding: August 2006.
TUKDS: There are thousands of dating sites online, why another one, why Love Struck?
Brett Harding: The USP that singles can search for others who work nearby equates to:
Proximity: With city-specific sites, potential dates are very close by. Members state that this makes the whole online dating experience feel less ‘virtual’. It also puts us in a perfect position to capitalise on mobile dating.
Immediacy: With ‘FreeForLunch’ and ‘FreeTonight’, Members can click a button on their profile to flash that they’re free that day. It’s immediate gratification: no waiting, no endless emails.
Quality: No unemployed. No nefarious types – a priceless filter that time-poor city singles continue to pay for.
TUKDS: How do you see online dating in general evolving and where do you see Love Struck in that evolution?
Brett Harding: Of course, mobile will play a huge part in the evolving dating landscape, and location-based dating will come to the fore. I believe that, with front-facing cameras, the first date will be conducted via real-time video, and then the daters decide whether the chemistry is there and agree to meet up or call it a day! This is not far away, as Apple has recently issued a patent for such a device on their iPhone!
TUKDS: Where is Love Struck based?
Brett Harding: Southwark, London.
TUKDS: You recently secure over a quarter of a million pounds funding, what aspect of your operation will you be spending it on?
Brett Harding: The majority will go on measurable marketing, and we don’t just mean Google. We’re testing tube ads, radio ads, banner ads, social media – the whole spectrum. The remainder is being invested into technology, especially mobile technology, as we feel that our location-aware USP is already half-way there.
TUKDS: Who are you site’s core audience?
Brett Harding:Time-poor single professionals of all ages, but the majority are 25-44.
TUKDS: You seem to specialise in matching city people only, what happens if a non city worker wants to join Love Struck?
Brett Harding: By the term ‘city’, we mean London, not the ‘Square Mile’. So if you have a job but work in the suburbs, then you’re more than welcome to join.
TUKDS: You don’t seem to charge for your services at the moment, how do you hope to give your investors return on their investment?
Brett Harding: We are testing different business models at the moment, but we employ a hybrid model for London where you pay to contact, but it’s free to reply. It sits between ‘freemium’ and the normal dating business model of both parties having to pay (a little unfair, and one that many members are not aware of). We plan to supplement the revenue with a variety of other revenue streams.
TUKDS: Anything else you with to tell our readers about Love Struck?
Brett Harding: We’re on a mission to improve the perception of online dating. Come and try it for yourself!
You can find out more about LoveStruck.com by visiting their website: lovestruck.com