I'd Tat ThatEdit
Our team created stickers for laptops that are primarily made using a window cling material. The window cling material allows the sticker to be easily removed and replaced elsewhere without leaving behind any residue. Because the sticker is clear, it primarily used for Mac and other light colored laptops. Check out our team blog on weebly: http://idtatthat.weebly.com/index.html
We began developing all of our designs in Adobe Photoshop. If there was a picture image that we wanted to use, like a photograph for example, we imported it, used the stamp filter and then filled in colors accordingly. We spent a significant amount of time researching materials and were able to find a window cling material that worked on our first try. Our first mvp was Marilyn Monroe printed in black. For our second, we added two designs: Abby Road and "Got 99 problems but an "apple logo" ain't one". The third MVP was again additional designs adding "College of Business" as well as glasses/mustache. After these designs we found that the stickers were not water proof and that the ink actually smeared off the sticker. Thus, our fourth MVP entailed using a laquer spray. On our fourth design we added color stickers. For our fifth MVP we tried using a white matte sticker material. By using this material we thought we would be able to market to users of Dell and other computers that are black. Unfortunatly, this failed. Our final MVP ended up being on the cling material, using lacquer and color ink, with designs that were a paw print (around the Mac apple) and a fruit bowl (with the apple in the bowl).
Our Business ModelEdit
The assumptions we were most wrong about was in our key partners and customer segements. We ended up only working with Staples because SMAD bailed out on designs. We also found that Staples was the only affordable place and we could not produce stickers at Fedex for a low enough price. In our customer segements we had hoped that we would be able to target Dell and other PC users. We were unable to find a viable white material and thus could only market to MAC users. Our revenue stream changed slightly. We decided to price stickers at $3-5 and scraped the idea of 2 for $8. We also did not pursue online sales because face to face was much more effective.
Words of AdviceEdit
1) Start making your MVP as soon as possible and perform every sort of test you can think of. We had what we thought was our final MVP after a few weeks. We found right when we were about to sell that just a tiny bit of water caused the entire sticker to smear. Had we thought of that, we could have fixed that weeks before.
2) Dr.Wales is not kidding when he says to start selling early. It becomes incredibly stressful when you realize you only have 5 weeks to sell $750 worth of product.
3) When doing your customer discovery interviews, find people who are not close friends. Even if your friend says they will be honest, their feedback can be much more restricted than random strangers.
4) "When making your blog look at the rest of the class blogs and find the best one.. then make yours better" - Dr. Wales.
5) Start making your video at least a week before it is due so you have plent of time to edit. We suggest using iMovie. It has a lot of cool effects and is user-friendly.
6) As a whole, do not be afraif to fail. Our MVPs failed at least four times before we found one that people would actually purchase and that we would be proud to sell.
7) Use Staples for any supplies you could possibly buy there.. and given the option, buy Staples brand. I cannot stress enough how friendly and helpful they have been throughout our semester.
- What Innovative Insights did your team have?
The first innovation we had was in the material that we used. Most stickers are made on an adhesive material. They are often hard to remove and leave behind residue when you finally get them off. We used a window cling material that was easily removable and did not leave residue. Customers were often excited about the fact that they could remove the sticker if they wanted to without any stress. We found in our interviews that those who did not have stickers already would only purchase stickers if they were easily removable.
The second innovation was in our design. All of our designs were created by our team. We developed them in photoshop and any orginal images we used were altered. Due to this, we had designs that you could not buy anywhere else.
- Describe the Early Adopters of your product.
We found that our early adopters had several characteristics. First, they were often not college of business students. We found that most COB students had PCs and we were unable to market to them. Second, people who most commonly wanted to purchase stickers early often had multiple stickers already on their laptops. They tended to like the smaller designs for sake of space on their laptop. These customers were commonly located on the quad or in the libraries, particularly Carrier. We sold a few at ECL but found that less people were interested in stickers there. First adopters They were commonly not concerned with the price of the sticker and were willing to pay up to $10 despite our cost being between $3-5.
- What was the Critical Success Fulcrum of your model?
Our sticker designs were critical to our success. If we ultimately had designs that people were not interested in, we would not have sold a single sticker. To overcome this we spent a countless amount of hours brainstorming and working on designs ourselves. We also asked every customer discovery interviewee what designs they would be interested in seeing. Hearing our customer’s ideas was extremely helpful and ultimately led to us creating designs people were truly interested in.
It also was important for us to manage our costs. Our stickers were sold at a very low price so had we not kept a large margin, we would have had very limited profits. At one point we had considered having our stickers professionally printed but found that we would have to charge a higher price and customers were not willing to spend more than $5 in most cases.
- What resources did you use?
Staples was a huge help in our project. We designed stickers and had to experiment with multiple materials. Staples helped us find the exact material we needed every time. We decided to go with staples brand materials because of their 100% satisfaction guarantee. They let us return/exchange products with no questions asked. This ultimately had a huge effect on keeping our costs down. We highly recommend Staples for anyone needing office materials for their project.
If you wish to use the same material we used Staples brand "Clear Window Decal" bar code: 7 1810309649 2. In order to print on this material you must have an ink jet printer so you will be unable to use any public printers (the majority are laser jet). You cannot buy this online, you must buy it in store.
While we talked to places such as FedEx Kinkos, Campbell Copy Center and Moxie, we ultimatly decided to continue making stickers on our own to control our costs.
- What failures did you experience?
Our biggest failures was in the design of our product. We struggled to find the right material and once we did, struggled more. Our first problem was we did not know we could only use ink jet printers. This meant we had to incur the cost of ink and couldn't use public printers. We also found our product was not water proof and that the ink smeared right off the sticker with any contact of water. We found a solution using a lacquer spray, but then found that you have to wait hours for the product to fully dry or it will stick to everything. We were unable to find material to make white stickers and were only able to product clear ones. This severely limited the market we were able to serve. The last failure we experienced was receiving designs. We had met with several SMAD students at the beginning of the semester to help us create cool designs. While everyone seemed gung-ho about that idea, we did not receive a single design submission all semester.
The biggest thing we suggest to the next round of entrepreneurs is to not become to stressed out. We failed multiple times before we finally had a successful product. We tried many materials and ultimately had to create our designs ourselves. While this severely limited the idea we originally started out with, we were able to ultimately create a successful product that sold.
- How many customer discovery interviews did you have?
This slide show includes all of the designs that we either had considered selling or sold.