This is all the beginning came from…
After the Design Thing course is over, I still cannot believe how I did everything in this period. I did product design, arranged social media networking, designed business report and etc, It was my first time to do these things and in my opinion, I did a good job . However, comparing with other young enterprises, my group still did not do well. Therefore, I rethought again and again what happened wrong in this process?
At the beginning, in order to know what was the key point in this process, I want to use SWOT analysis to understand what is our strength and weakness
- Strength – unique idea, high quality
- Weakness – cost high, manufacturing price high,
- Opportunity – the tendency of self-travelling increase, many Europe countries do not have good public security
- Threat – the travel safe toolkit market is quite mature (too many competitors)
After the SWOT analysis, I convinced that we really did a innovative work but we failed in manufacturing and financial parts. Firstly, we wanted to sell 15 pounds, after that, we just tried to make the quality as good as possible and forgot to measure its cost. On the other hand, made in UK could say quality assurance, unfortunately , when we searched for tailors , some of them did a weak job (our first period products) and sometimes they even did not know how to make a hole for hooks. Many of them couldn’t give a affordable price and did not know some sewing skills,These experience made me considered that as a start-up business, we do not know the skills of manufacturing, “made in UK” might not be a good choice.
If we discuss about the competitive advantages of Bright Light, our price position was not clear, comparing with our competitors in outdoor activities market, we have the cost advantages, however, most of costumers from this segment are 40-60 years old, they need Safe Heaven to reduce their back pain and protect their valuables but they are not quite quick to accept the brand new concept products. On the other hand, backpackers are mostly young people but they prefer the budget price( as cheap as possible).
At the same time, there are also some external factors influencing our products. If we look at the SWOT, the travel market has numerous opportunities and the development of cheap flight in Europe could say really mature so that this environment are good for Bright Light. Nevertheless, the most of travel toolkits in this market (include us) do not have high tech skill, design skill and etc. Therefore, it is quite easy to be copied and hard to protect our intelligence property.
After the analysis, it seems like those threat and weakness problems are more than our benefits and opportunities. As Hansen(2007) pointed that companies cannot focus on one strength, it need to look at the whole process of innovation, moreover, it need to consider whether it is idea poor, conversion poor or diffusion poor. The biggest problem of us might be the diffusion poor, we only focused on trade fair markets and social medias. Trade fair could connect with people directly but hardly searching for our target segments. Social media’s problems as I mentioned in past article, if we don’t pay for google or Facebook, it would be hard for people to notice us.
If I still have time and opportunities to continue this project and business, I would keep our advantages (high quality and ideas) but the product manufacturing move to China or other developing countries might be a better solution for high cost and manufacturing price. In China, their sewing skills, machines and efficiency are also really nice and they are more willing to provide the budget price. After that, B2B strategy can increase the sales number and build stable cooperative relationship or we can build the connection with high street and hype outdoor selected shops, their customers are young people, outdoor lovers, care about design and can afford higher price. They are our ideal customer segment. Of course, we cannot miss the social media, we would still keep our social media strategy and make our own website for online order and introducing more details.
Anyway, I proud of Bright Light!!!
The innovation value chain(2007). Available at: http://knowledge.insead.edu/innovation/the-innovation-value-chain-2161 (Accessed: 27 March 2017)