Soda Says — School of the Digital Age: The Cure to Technophobia
Written by Shariah Green
Ever walk into a Best Buy or electronics store and get overwhelmed by the options? Does reading all the specs make your head spin?
Grace Gould believes technology doesn’t have to be complicated. So, she created a retail brand to shake up the tech industry called School of the Digital Age - Soda Says. They’re making tech how we all want it...useful, practical and most importantly cool! Soda Says is a UK based company that started off as an online store and most recently expanded to storefronts in North America. As you navigate through the site you come across clever devices that simply solve our everyday problems. There’s a tech design that meets the needs of a technophobe or technophile, as well as gifting options for every occasion that are reasonably priced!
What inspired the name for your company?
Soda stands for “School of Digital Age”. And, we really were thinking about the business as we want to be educational about tech, it’s all about having fun with tech and being playful with tech. So, School of the Digital Age sort of represents how we want to make technology accessible and fun. But then we said we’d go with SODA Says because it was more livelier.
Why was it important for you to make technology more accessible to women?
Well, it’s interesting. We didn’t launch the business planning to target women (specifically) at all. We just launched the business to have more fun with tech! I used to work at Apple retail and we were investing in these great fashion forward businesses, like Far Fetch, and I’d look at the tech again and just thinking why isn’t anyone doing more fun brand for tech? Why is tech just like Best Buy, which is kind of so boring. We just wanted to do something fun with tech. But, then we launched the business and the content just resonated more with women. 60% of our customers are women which is amazing for technology because traditionally marketers nestle ads in between men’s magazines. For some reason these publications aren’t targeting women and we just found that our content really did. But, in terms of the business, I definitely think a lot of my mom with a lot of decisions we make. Because my mom is a super savvy women, she’s super cool and shops at trendy stores and has a way better wardrobe than me. But when it comes to tech, she somehow just doesn’t connect with it. She’ll wave her phone at me like, “My Apple is broken”, and it helps me develop products that helps not just women, even men too. People who may think they’re ‘Technophobes”, but really they're not, it’s just that tech is a communication standing in the way.
It’s great that men and women are both attracted to the brand. What are some common responses or reviews that stand out most when Soda Says is mentioned that you’re most proud of?
Oh, yes! There’s so many. We have a lot who say that they’re both in awe and terrified of technology and they feel that we are sort of demystifying tech for them. Or, we have people who say “ I thought I was a ‘technophobe’ and then I came to your brand and realized that I’m not!” People love the fact that we have this playful tone of voice and that we’re very human focused. So, a lot of our technology products are about switching off from technology. We’re all about focusing on you as an individual and how we can make your life easier. So our tagline is “Useful is the New Cool.”
“Useful is the New Cool” is a great description because I was amazed at the type of products offered on your page, such as the Chipolo Classic. My biggest headache is misplacing my keys and this is a product that is perfectly designed to attach to your keychain and use like the “Find my iPhone tool”. The concept of the Chipolo is simple as it helps with finding your keys, laptop or bookbag if misplaced! But, what design are you most proud of from Soda Says?
Oh my gosh, that is such a good question! So, the one that I absolutely, absolutely love is the product called Dodow and it helps you go to sleep. But, it's a really simple device. It sits on your bedside table, you press it and it adds a blue light to the ceiling. When the light’s big you breathe in and when the light’s small you breathe out. And it's all about calming your breathing down to 6 breaths a minute, which is the optimal amount to fall asleep and that product is amazing! We have so many people who email us telling us “This product has changed my life.” It’s really really powerful, so we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Dodow.
What’s something that people can’t find on your website but is an interesting fact about the brand? And, what can we expect in the future.
Interesting question...I’ll have to think on that. I think one cool thing that a lot of people don’t know is that the business is ran by women. Which was not planned at all and we’re even hiring a new person in Product Development, which was not on purpose but it is pretty cool that we’re like a group of 5 women in a room. Which is pretty fun. But, in terms of products coming out, we’ve got some fun stuff launching like the portable charger that looks like an avocado and would be a fun Christmas gift.
One of the really nice things we have on our website is we tell people about the tech trends that are happening and has an amazing audience and pretty powerful to check out the content to understand the brand.
Grace and her team are the epitome of a Mogul mindset. It’s wonderful to see women ‘unintentionally’ taking over the tech industry and changing the norm.
Kids - Play Shifu - Shifu Orboot
Wellness - Bala Bangles & Bella Beat Urban Leaf
Visit www.sodasays.com and follow them on IG @soda.says for tech updates!