Limited-edition drops, viral Tiktok products, and 3-minute sellouts: A year of Thingdrop
It started like any other Tuesday morning, except it wasn’t– We were partnering with a new squeezable olive oil brand (yes, this one!) on their launch day to give our community the opportunity to test it at a heavy discount in exchange for their feedback. At 11:05am, five minutes after we dropped the code to purchase, I began receiving a flood of emails from Thingtesters saying that it wasn’t working. I quickly emailed the team only to find out the drop had already sold out.
We knew we were onto something.
Our Thingdrop program has been the most explosive and surprising thing that has happened to the Thingtesting community in the last year. What started as this crazy idea to offer limited products to our community at single-digit prices has become one of our most talked about features among brands and users alike.
Since Thingdrop went live onsite on April 13, 2022, we have dropped a new product every single Friday, completing thousands of orders, dropping everything from artist collaboration diapers to AI customized candles to pocket sized cocktail mixes.
In celebration of year one of our official Thingdrop program, I checked in with four of our most memorable brands to see where they're at since their buzzy drops. I wouldn’t have believed you a year ago if you told me that today Thingdrop would be sold out through the end of 2023, but we’re actively working on expanding the program to drop even more things 👀 (email [email protected] if you want to chat).
Dakota Green, Marty Bell, Lach Hall
Classic Spray sunscreen / April 13, 2022 / 2 hours 34 minutes Classic Whip Sunscreen / August 26, 2022 / 3 minutes 52 seconds
We’re always keen to hear what people think about our products, and Thingtesting’s loyal community of “Thingtesters” provide such valuable insight.
During the initial rounds of feedback, so many Thingtesters requested products with higher SPF from Vacation that we’ve actually recently launched three new products with SPF 50!
At the start of 2023, we expanded our core line to include SPF 50 in both our Classic Lotion and Classic Spray formats, and more recently, we introduced our Super Spritz SPF 50 and After Sun Gel. Super Spritz is our first daily face mist sunscreen that’s easy to use (and reuse) throughout the day, we call it “sunscreen for business.” The After Sun Gel is our upgrade to the historically sticky, artificially green, and generally unpleasant aloe gels of the past. This one works so well that it has completely replaced all my other body lotions. In between these moments, we have been working on fun limited-edition drops, like our recent collaboration with the iconic tennis brand Prince®. More to come!
Classic Whip was a blockbuster hit for us (it’s sold out 4x since launch), but creating a cosmetic iteration of a food product is no small feat – we knew we had to get it just right to accurately achieve the look and feel of whipped cream. That meant perfecting every single detail of the experience, from that satisfying “whooshing” noise when you dispense the product, to the star shaped mountain of foam that comes out of the tilt-valve actuator. To accomplish this, we teamed up with leaders across different industries. Scientists at Honeywell contributed their Earth-friendly Solstice® Propellant to achieve the right texture, the food manufacturing legends at Clayton Corporation (creators of Reddi-Wip) helped develop the first-of-its-kind packaging, and of course Dr. Elizabeth Hale, a Board Certified Dermatologist and SVP of the Skin Cancer Foundation, reviewed the efficacy of the sunscreen. It’s been a thrill to bring this product to market!
We’re lining up one of our biggest launches to date. It’s another wildly nostalgic throwback, but with a sunscreen twist.
Jannine Rane, Anush Sachdeva, Kiran Singh
Test Kitchen: Project Lava made in collaboration with Pay Chen / July 29, 2022 / 3 minutes 11 seconds
We've built Zing's entire brand and innovation process around consumer feedback and iteration, so we are all about the Thingdrops! Thingdrop seemed like such a unique and accessible discovery program for consumers, and an amazing and structured awareness opportunity for brands — a win-win for everyone. Having participated in the program with Zing, I can confirm it was all those things and also a lot of fun!
We used feedback from our Project Lava Thingdrop and insights from our expert panel to: improve the texture of the product, and adjust spice and spicy levels in our product. The feedback also led to us swapping out our standard oil base for an amazing cold pressed virgin sunflower oil as the base instead. All in all — Thingdrop was instrumental in helping us fine-tune and pressure-test this new product to get it ready for launch.
We launched Project Lava in November 2022 as Pay Chen's Sacha-ish Savoury Chili Condiment. Since it launched, Sacha-ish has been getting rave reviews, has been on TV (several times!), and the Food Network even called it Canada's "it" condiment! It will also be one of the pantry shortcuts we launch into retail stores soon.
It is so awesome that our Hakka-ish Chili Crisp was a part of the launch of six new Chili's Crew formulations (MAC's #1 lipstick shade in the world!). Full credit to the wonderful team at MAC Canada for reaching out to us and working with us to make this such a thoughtful partnership. I'm so proud that our brand, products, focus on partnerships, and year-round work on celebrating third-culture flavours resonates enough that folks across industries think of Zing for collaborations like this! What a dream-come-true to partner with such an iconic brand like MAC.
Zing is gearing up to roll out to national retailers and grocery stores across Canada like Whole Foods over the coming weeks and months. We are so proud that our work celebrating the third-culture flavours that's are so core to Toronto's culinary identity (Toronto is our home base) is seeing such excitement and appeal in the mainstream — in some cases we're the first to bring these flavours to mass market, and often, the only products of our kind in Canadian grocery stores! So proud and grateful to our community and partners for helping us get here! You can expect that we will continue to use our growing platform to celebrate diverse culinary stories and the chefs and creators that bring these flavours to life.
Lisa Guerrera, Emmy Ketcham
Avant Guard / April 21, 2022 / 12 minutes 26 seconds
I loved Thingtesting before as a user and it seemed like a great opportunity to make the most of our brand launch and get our product out there.
Both that people already wanted more colors and that they thought the mask was scary/weird (in a good way lol) that's more of a feature, not a bug, but loved that everyone latched onto that experimental vibe so quick.
A lot! We updated the packaging for Avant Guard with a fresh look. We launched our first serum in November... it's called Super Saturated, a 30% glycerin serum that's gotten really popular on TikTok. We're currently sold out for the second time but we'll be back in stock towards the end of May and we just might have a Thingdrop planned for that.
I love how much our community leans into the weirdness of the product. Beauty products are typically positioned to be shown in a "pretty" light, but ultimately, this isn't a "pretty" product by design! You look silly wearing it no matter what color it is so why not lean in? We love how much the mask brings out people's weird side... like people love throwing a weird pic of them wearing Avant Guard in a photodump. Some other stand outs: people posting their partner's reactions trying to scare them while wearing it. Apparently a lot of people's 12 yr old little brothers love the mask?? And of course, a ton of references to Shrek, Jim Carrey's The Mask, Jason, Squidward, aliens etc.
We're continuing to build out our family of unexpected skin essentials! In fact the next one is dropping April 19th. It's our experimental take on a cult classic skincare practice.
@thingtesting Testing the silicone face mask from Experiment 🧖🏻♀️ #siliconefacemask #facemask#skincareroutine #reusablefacemask #sustainableskincare #thingtesting #reviews #tiktokmademebuyit #TalkingTree ♬ original sound - Thingtesting
Alistair Matthews, Michael Hunter
Mini Puzzles in collaboration with illustrator, Angela Kirkwood / November 25, 2022 / 1 hour 17 seconds
It just so happened that our launch day coincided with our Thingdrop back in October 2021. We saw it an opportunity to drum up some excitement around our launch and give people who might not normally purchase a puzzle the opportunity to try us out at a steep discount. It was super exciting to see our offer sell out completely in the first hour.
The feedback has been so positive for us it’s incredible. People seem to notice all of the little details in our packaging and the quality of our puzzles which is so rewarding. We’ve gotten some good suggestions on collaborating with more small artists and ways to use less plastic waste which we appreciate.
Since then we have been hard at work on our Spring/Summer releases. It’s a revolving door of puzzle designing and marketing campaigns and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
The most rewarding part is the community of like-minded puzzle pals we’ve been able to acquire. I don’t think we’ll ever get sick of seeing people post about puzzle they did at home or on vacation. Creating something and then sending it out into the world to be digested is scary but we are so humbled and overjoyed by the reactions we receive. We truly have the best customers. How did we get so lucky?!
More puzzles! More collaborations! We have so many fun tricks up our sleeves we wish we had endless time and resources to make them all a reality.