WishWish in the news
December 30, 2011
Tweet Your Wish For First Night Virginia
November 5, 2011
Editorial in the Daily Progress about WishWish
November 4, 2011
WINA Interview with Joren and Simone van der Pluijm
November 3, 2011
Tricks of the Trade: Opening a business in a tough economy (video clip can be seen here)
October 26, 2011
WishWish on CBS 19’s Cville Plugged In
October 24, 2011
WishWish in the Daily Progress
October 13, 2011 08:44 AM
WishWish in Chamber Bits
October 11, 2011 08:44 AM
WVTF Public Radio/RADIO IQ – Rewarding Employees for Good Work.
Read more about the interview.
Office of Economic Development newsletter
Press Release 10/11/2011
CHARLOTTESVILLE COUPLE “WISHES” FOR SUCCESS WITH NEW MODEL FOR GIFT GIVING
WISHWISH LAUNCHES EXPERIENCE-BASED MODEL BASED ON TIME-HONORED PREMISE THAT THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE NOT THINGS
Online Portal Features Wide Range of Fun Things To Do in Charlottesville Aimed At Corporate and Business Clients As Well as Individual Gift Givers
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – October 11, 2011 – These days, more people than ever are realizing one of life’s most basic truths: The best things in life aren’t things. For one Charlottesville couple, this is more than a theory – it’s the basis of their entire business.
Joren and Simone van der Pluijm, Dutch nationals who moved to the Charlottesville area just last year, are the hearts and minds behind WishWish, a dynamic new company that offers both business and individual clients a chance to reward the people in their lives with fun things to do that create lasting memories rather than with fleeting possessions.
Today WishWish is focusing many of its efforts on business clients, particularly in an environment where rewarding positive performance is both more important and more difficult. “It comes down to the fact that fun things to do make people happy,” Joren said. “And happy workers are generally much more productive. So it’s really a win-win for all involved.”
The concept is simple. Clients are directed to visit the company’s online wish portal at www.wishwishusa.com , where they discover a wide array of local and regional experiences to choose from, ranging from winery tours to photography lessons to balloon rides and more, with “wishes” starting as low as $25. “There are so many incredible experiences to be had here,” Joren said. “Our goal is to package and enhance them in a way that makes them even more special. For instance, we can send you on hiking expeditions with local experts, treat you to a walking photography lesson on the Downtown Mall or at another picturesque location or any number of other options.”
Joren points out that WishWish is a great option for non-corporate clients as well. “Our message, and our service, really applies to everybody. Finding fun things to do makes everybody happy, and we have many clients who have greatly enjoyed sharing these things with friends and family, or even treating themselves to our offerings.”
WishWish began in 1997 in The Netherlands, where Joren and his brother successfully lauched the portal. They have been running it successfully for the last 14 years, and today work with a variety of major corporate clients including Shell, Microsoft, PricewaterhouseCoopers and many others.
Now, the company is making its first foray into the American market, and doing it from right here in Charlottesville. “We were really drawn by the energy here,” said Simone. “It is a small town with a big town feel and a place where we feel like people tend to value the things that truly matter in life.”
In addition to benefiting the people who live and work here, WishWish is dedicated to supporting Charlottesville’s local businesses. “Ours is a no-sell, no-fee model,” Joren said. “They only pay us when they have actually received customers through our site, and they are not obligated to stay with us for any length of time or for any number of transactions. “
The model also differs in important ways from the many discount-driven sites currently in the marketplace. “Our commission,” Joren said, “is only a fraction of what these Groupon-inspired, daily deal type of sites are currently charging.” Another way the company sets itself apart from the discount sites, he said, is by focusing on lasting memories over deep discounts. “At WishWish, it is not about finding the cheapest fun things to do, it is about finding the best ones. This is the reputation we have built with both our partners and our clients over the past 14 years, and we look forward to building and enhancing that reputation here in Charlottesville.”
This approach, Joren said, encourages an ongoing dialog that results in returning customers, and continuing success. “Our focus on quality translates to a better outcome for our partners because our people go out and talk about their experiences and encourage others to do the same things. It’s not a matter of a quick deal, but rather of a long term relationship. And isn’t that what every business wants these days?”