Which are you most pessimistic about
Stave Puzzle attracts me with perfect match of the target market – rich fine people who “relish the opportunity to Penn great quantities of money and time on aggravation” – and the product technology and features – tiny hand-made mahogany pieces, full of creatively shaped, gorgeous and expensive looking.
It differs from an average puzzle – it has its own technology, it requires creativity, quick wit and takes lots of time. The package is also special and exclusive – each puzzle is initiated, dated and packed in a handsome box with a handwritten clue inside.
It feels special, it looks special – a piecework! The best PR of a luxurious good is the customers, and Stave Puzzle does it perfectly. Such Ames as Gates, Bush, King and Queen Elizabeth II speak for themselves. Right positioning at the right target market together with a right pricing policy and outstanding product features look very promising and I would definitely stake on the commercial success of this product. As for Polytonal, there was only one mistake made in the very beginning but corrected quickly and without dramatic losses – “ring market choice.
It was so logical to approach England first since this country is motherland of equestrian sport, but the inventor apparently started from America “here nobody was interested in his product. In other respects, I find Polytonal very successful and interesting: it makes sports safe and comfortable; it is easier to maintain because it requires less manpower and equipment and fewer materials; it holds up in the harsher weather (also much more important factor for England with TTS wet climate than for the US); it is more favorable than a conventional dirt track and all in all lowers vet bills.
It also gets strong PR from the most competent people – trainers and horse owners. Basing on this good start, Polytonal became able to expand and to perform at the American market, and it was already another story. And I do not see any obstacles for Polygraphs further successful expansion. Question 2: Which are you most pessimistic about? Why? Answer: Speaking about the products I’m most pessimistic about I’d mention BP Slices first; I hardly believe in a commercial success of a collapsible biking wheel, too.
But in both cases I see the ways for improvement. I will explain my point in succession and start from BP Slices. Basically, there are many good examples of market success of the ideas built up on people’s total laziness assumption: remote control, fast-food, automatic dishwasher and washing machine, baby diapers, automatic gear remission… They all came up at the right time and were able to improve people’s lives by a) saving time and b) doing things better than their time-consuming predecessors.
I do not think that BP Slices can be described in the same terms. First, t is time-saving, convenient and does not require knife usage. But is it such a big lea to spend 20 more seconds and to make a normal sandwich, to put a unite into a sink and to wash it later with all the dishes? I doubt that. Second, the slices look very thin – and many peanut butter lovers claim that they prefer a good thick sandwich. And third, for many people it is important to have their peanut butter crunchy, with peanuts in it – and the slices are very smooth and creamy.
The producers are Nonworking on it as it is written in the case, but I have looked through some food forums and realized that there is still no crunchy BP Slices (and I can hardly imagine it). There are more concerns Vive come up with when analyzing the product. It looks rather unnatural, different from regular BP in cans. So does it taste the same if it looks different? Peanut butter is quite symbolic food, in my opinion, and it is specially important to keep the taste and flavor the same.
Moreover, it is individually “rapped in plastic, thus it is a huge package wasting and causes many environmental concerns.
But there are advantages of BP Slices too. It is indeed very convenient for airplane passengers, school canteens, camping tourists and really superlunary people who are ready to give up some features of peanut butter for 20 seconds of their time. It will never get dry in the can and you will never be challenged to take it out from there; it does not require any dishes and the price is comparable o the average peanut butter.
So taking these facts into account, I would say the product might have some success in case of right targeting and right supply chain performance. If the producers trade with school cafeterias, air catering companies and wending machines owners, for instance, it might be a good alternative to a peanut butter when you really cannot get a normal one.
But I do not think that selling t in the supermarkets for home use can make lots of sense.
As for the collapsible “heel, it seems to be a brilliant idea with absolutely wrong targeting. The inventor of he wheel aims it at “couriers or commuters” and it costs $2 000 – $6 000; he is planning to approach BMW, Audio and Porches with their bike divisions to cooperate Ninth. But I have never seen a courier riding $2 000+ Audio bike. As for commuters, there are folding bikes for much cheaper price; there is some space in public transport to put even non-folding bike there; there are car roof trunks for bikes, too. He inventor says people can slung his collapsible bike over the shoulder; but a) it’s quite heavy, it is still a bike, and b) if it rains it becomes too dirty to touch it with ands, to fold it and to put in a special bag.
I think it is much better to reposition this brilliant innovative collapsible wheel for the wheelchairs. It is really a challenge for disable people to store and to transport their wheelchair (in a car or in an airplane or in a train), and this difficulty arises first of all due to the wheel size.
If it is collapsible it saves lots of space, time and nerves spent; being sold in this market it can not only obtain higher margins, but also improve disable people’s lives and make an Important societal impact! Question 3: What are the common factors that extinguish products that are likely to succeed from those that are likely to fail? Answer: Basing on what Vive learned from the case study and during the course, I can say that there are indeed common factors for both successful and failure products. O succeed in the market, the products should: Come at the right time to the right place in order to minimize product diffusion time; Solve real problems and satisfy real needs (take BP Slices case – it was not such a big problem which the product was aimed to solve); Target right markets with right product offer (take collapsible wheel SE it was aimed to biking industry instead to much more appropriate wheelchairs industry); Set prices and technologies correspondingly to the market niche (luxurious puzzles costs a lot, but there is Queen Elizabeth among its customers; but if you remember Special K case, it was too expensive though was sold at the mass-market); e strengthened with a good PR and media support (good reviews from competent people from the industry); Consider adoption barriers carefully (BP case: does it look natural, does it taste the same and other concerns that may appear; Polytonal “false tart” at the American market; collapsible wheel for a bike which might be too heavy, too dirty or unnecessary at all). Obviously, when these factors are not considered carefully, failure chances increase. What more can we learn from the cases of BP Slices and collapsible wheel? Which mistakes make one product offer look less promising than another?
An inventor wants a problem to exist and does not conduct market analysis carefully, relying on opinion of a few friends/relatives and projecting this non-representative data to all potential consumers; An inventor is too narrow- indeed and sees only one way of his product usage, missing the opportunities of many others with much higher potential (collapsible wheel); An inventor sets up too high price for his product (collapsible wheel case) while targeting it to mass-market buyers; An inventor does not distinguish his sales strategy and does not consider pros and contras of different trade channels (BP Slices case); An inventor forgets about key features the new product must have in order to be accepted by the market BP Slices case).
Question 4: If you were looking to invest, which product do you find cost attractive? Answer: As you can conclude from my answers, each of these products has its chances for market success. Some are already good enough; some require strategic improvements and/or repositioning. Let’s consider all four of them. BP Slices can be successful in case of right supply chain management (trading with school cafeterias, air catering companies, wending machines etc. ), but I do not think it could bring high margins.
Collapsible wheel might be life-changing innovation for disable wheelchairs owners, but it will rather become an expensive than a mass- arrest product.
Jigsaw Puzzles do not raise any questions or doubts for me, but I have my personal concerns with investment in luxurious goods, because they do not promise high sales figures – it is piecework. But the Polytonal idea seems really attractive for me. It’s a big money business; it has a luxurious royal image; it takes lots of investments but gives a chance of high payback too. The idea itself has a great potential and is already expanding abroad to conquer US market. Due to these two factors I would chose Polytonal project for my own investments.