Value of the User Base: Part 2 (Square, Groupon, RentTheRunway)


Eugene Leychenko
4 min readApr 13, 2016

This is another company that has a great reason for you to input your credit card and checking account into their system. Since they do have your credit cards, they can roll out any new product which creates an ease in buying a good or service, and you would be seamlessly enrolled. In addition, if you and your friend have your bank information connected to Square, you can easily send money to each other, through the system.

On the business side, there is even more value. Businesses that use Square as a POS, are mined for data about their business. Square can offer loans and based on their transactional history. They understand how solvent the business is — and their likelihood of getting their money back. In addition, Square can roll out any other complementary services on their POS platform that would help a business owner run their business, such as accounting or inventory control.


Groupon has the emails, credit cards, and buying habits of more than 54 million customers. With this they can roll out any products and have an engaged user base. In addition, they can sell generic goods of popular items because they have the data on what people buy as well as the margins on those product.


Companies like Plated, target affluent millennials in urban areas. By having their address (physical and email), and credit card numbers, they can roll out other products that are related. Let’s say they noticed that a lot people really liked the Hoisin duck meal, but the overall feedback was that it has too much sodium, Plated could get into manufacturing a low sodium Hoisin sauce. They can also roll out a prepared food delivery arm, since it’s in their vertical.


With the credit cards, and travel patterns of their users, Airbnb can create the most optimal hospitality experience.

Rent the Runway

Rent the Runway’s user base is a young, trend setting, female that has the propensity to spend money on fashion. By building out their community, Rent the Runway can extend its offering to accessories as well as get into the apparel business if it chooses you. It has a huge list of targeted females that love to dress up. And most importantly, it has their credit cards on file.


The value of a userbase is not immediately obvious. As a company builds more value into it’s product to greater benefit it’s user, it will see a user reciprocate in this value exchange with a desired action. For example, if an activity tracker wanted to collect the weight of a user, building out a feature which calculates how many calories have been burned daily, would encourage the user to take such an action.


  • What piece of information would you want to collect from your users?
  • Are you afraid to ask because it may be rude?
  • What value can you create for your user if you do collect that piece of information?
  • What value should you create for your user to get this piece of information?

Experience with past Citadines Group clients

We had a client that was a realtor. He wanted to build a way to automate his business. When we dug into his process, we realized that most of his business comes from referrals/word of mouth. We needed a way for him to gently remind people that he was a great realtor without coming off as pushy or annoying. So what we did was build a database of all his past clients. This database included their names, address, and birthdays. Then we created an automated system where on every single holiday and birthday, his past clients would receive a physical greeting card in the mail from him. This gentle nudge of “Happy Birthday” and “oh, by the way, I still sell houses”, was the perfect way for him to triple his business over the next 2 years.

If you liked the overall message of this post, feel free to get in touch with us. We do speaking engagements —



Eugene Leychenko

Writing about business strategy and well executed development. Running (web & mobile development from NYC/LA)