Sometimes it’s the simplest of ideas that makes for a successful business. Among those presenting at here at the DEMO 09 conference in Palm Desert, Calif. to which this applies is Coveroo. If you’re the type of person who likes to put stickers on your notebook or tout your favorite band with a ringtone, then you’re probably in the target market for Coveroo. The startup offers laser-engraved covers for some 70 models of wireless phones and MP3 players. These aren’t new covers for the device, but replacement covers. For $19.95 they’ll engrave the design you choose — it could be a cartoon character like Garfield or the “Live Long And Prosper” hand sign from Star Trek, or something you choose yourself. Coveroo engraves the design on a cover for your phone or device that replaces the original. It works with most Blackberry models, the iPod touch, and several other phones.
I tried it out myself, and figured that in the process I’d try to score a few points with my boss, Executive Editor John Byrne, as you can see in the video.
Consider Coveroo’s business model frivolous if you wish, but remember how successful personalizing the cell phone can be. It was in the late 1990s that Nokia discovered how much people — especially younger consumers — loved being able to choose the color of the faceplate on their phone and were willing to spend several dollars on a few cents worth of colored plastic. This simple feature went a long way to helping Nokia establish its enormous lead in the wireless handset market.