After researching on the market, I realised that launching my product from a lavish point will not sell. Perhaps I can split the product into two tiers: affordable and luxury. As a strategy for my product, amid of the commercialisation of OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode), Brim Lamp shall be launched with LED as an affordable alternative. A suitable case study is Apple Watch with the release of sport watch edition and 18-karat gold edition. When flexible OLED is released later, existing customer (early adopters) are entitled to a discount for upgrades to encourage the adoption rate.
Product Development & Target Users
Further understanding the core necessity of light, I dug deeper into user behaviour and developed the design. Previously, the lamp arm can be detachable in 2 points to allow the cable within to be extended to a desired height or distance. I then added a feature to the ‘torch’ shade part, where a small amount of power is charged for emergency illumination in the case of power shortage. Now, if you face a sudden blackout, the feature allows the lamp to be the go-to as a torch instead of groping for one in the dark.
OLED Lamp Features: 1) Flexible positioning (ceiling, wall or floor) 2) Energy Efficient 3) Dimmable non-glare lighting to create different mood and brightness with both physical dimmer or control from mobile application 4) Color-tunable lighting for the best state of health and well-being 5) Flexible body and lighting panel for lighting at different direction and light coverage 6) Extendable parts for desirable height and distances 7) Programmable smart lighting for environmental responsive or timed illumination 8) Long lifespan up to 6 years, similar to LED
Current Stage of OLED Lamp
It is, undeniably, people always come first. Ultimately, it is about segmenting the market into smaller targets or targeting horizontally across a few market segments, and provide the best value to the target customers by differentiating and position ownself from the competitors. By looking inward at the company’s objectives and resources, the company then evaluates the most suitable and attractive market segment to target their resources on. (Kotler, Harris, Piercy & Armstrong, 2013) Companies with more resources can invest in satisfying multiple target segments. For instance, Campbell’s sells different variations of mushroom soup:- the original, wild mushroom, mushroom & herb, garlic and mushroom.
According to NanoMarkets’s Research , the residential lighting segment is unlikely to pick up anytime before 2020. Luxury and decorative segment will be leading the market, followed by office and automotive. In synonymous with the intention of establishing a luxury brand image, initial target market segemnt will be the hospitality, office sector and a small group of luxurious home owners before breaking into the mass residential market. Manufacturer like Philips, LG Chem and Konica Minolta is the ones I will look forward to work with in their respective countries. However, UDC from United States remains the world’s leading material supplier to the manufacturers. To expand to other countries, the strategy will be hiring an agent or distributor to sell and manufacture closely to the customers.
Looking beyond the facts and answer to why should I keep the luxury side of the product? Technology is considered as context-influence-luxury appreciation. The privilege to use the new technology is luxury per se. Looking at the latest Apple launch of their collection of luxury smart watches, analysts predicts the average number sold is 22.6 million in 2015.(2) By embracing the high cost of new technology, product have the contingency to be a luxury. Luxury products are the result of material and immaterial design. Material design for its tangible specfications beyond the standards; Immaterial design nurtures social interaction processes that define the degree of appreciation by communities of interest. Luxury is socially constructed through repeated interaction between people sharing similar interest and knowledge. The creation of knowledge about a product and its valuation are continuing processes in social communities. Once the product found its ground within the small community of interest, branding the product becomes a strategic opportunity to create value for customers and expand beyond the original community.
Luxury patterns are platforms for emergent luxury products. Adherence to established patterns first brings attention from core customers. If communities of interest begin to interact with the product, luxury begins to emerge. Based on existing patterns, new luxury can establish itself. Direct experience of the products by more members of the community, and complex interaction patterns among them, leads to appreciation of the product and recognition of it as luxury item. The creation of luxury brands and differentiation often follows when new luxury categories are already established. If brand strategies and marketing techniques are successful, the luxury brands becomes available easily. The risk is that the brands has to constantly innovate to avoid the products becoming mere standard or commodity. (Reinmoeller, 2002) What I want to say is people will go to great lengths to achieve their dream and desire despite any circumstances.
The product shall be sold in a few levels of pricing to satisfy the both affordable and luxury market segment. From afforable to high price – Package 1: Brim Lamp with non-flexible OLED panel ; Package 2: Brim Lamp with flexible OLED panel
Luxury can be a branding image of the product. Luxury in this case is lifestyle. This is new luxury. Affordable luxury. To compete with other lighting alternatives, the price of the technology has to be brought down to the most affordable level for people to adopt it. Being the world’s lading material manufacturing, UDC may afford to have thin margin and mass produce the product. Here’s how I think by applying Blue Ocean Strategy Canvas can work for Brim Lamp.
Above is a graph on the prcing of Brim Lamp among its OLED peers.
Operations, Logistics & Supply – Ultimate Value & User Experience
CEO Tony Hsieh has built Zappos as a culture of delivering happiness throughtout his organization. As claimed by him, happy customers starts from happy employees. He also shared that there is three types of happiness and really happiness is about being able to combine pleasure, passion, and purpose in one’s personal life. He thinks it is helpful and useful to actually think about all three in terms of how you can make customers happier, employees happier, and ultimately, investors happier.
In the context of marketing, there is three types of service marketing:- External Marketing (Company to Customers), Internal Marketing (Company to Employees) and Interactive Marketing (Employees to Customers). If core values and brand culture is consistent throughout all levels, the perceived value of the company by the consumers will be strong and postitive.
OLED panels are still in constant product development. To accelerate adoption rate, early adopters of the first batch sales are entitled to discount for the next lighting panel upgrade. As Brim Lamp is designed to be disintegrate easily by user, changing a dead OLED panel will be an ease rather than a foreign experience towards new technology. In favour of the recyclable properties of the whole lamp including the OLED panel, user can purchase new parts online with a discount if they agree to return the old parts to the manufacturer for recycling. Shall there be a sudden electricity electrocution that destroyed the light, the mobile app will immediately notify the manufacturer for a new part. New components will be delivered within an hour to their doorstep and the old parts shall be collected on the spot. This system controls over-production on the manufacturers’ end and over-consumption on the consumers’ side, which hopes to establish an ethical business model. The relationship will be more personal too, seemingly like a personal doctor for the product. If there is no problem with any parts, users will receive notifications on their mobile application* in regards to the maintenance of the product when the end of product lifespan is nearing.
*Mobile application allows e-commerce and direct inquires with the manufacturers as well, apart from interacting with the product. This model of operation essentially reduces the likeliness of consumers switching to other brands.
Multichannel Distribution Structure with B2C & B2B
B2C (Business to Consumer): By distributing through furniture retailers, the strategy is to have intensive distribution in maximising product exposure to the users. Users can purchase directly from the manufacturer or interacting with the product first at the retailers.
B2B (Business to Business): To distribute the product in different countries, agents like architect, developers, distributors become connectors to retailers or clients in the creative offices and micro housing sector.
Market Segment 1: Micro Apartment Dwellers
Market Segment 2: Creative Offices
Primary Target Location: New York, United States
Potential Expansion Location: South Korea, Japan, China, Netherland and Germany
Promotional Mix in Marketing, Selling & Control
Working with manufacturers that have established channel relationships is easier to use push strategy to induce their wholesale and retail partners to carry new products. On the other side, pull strategy by getting out there to prospect customers so they will request and buy the product from channel members. Pulling strategy can help in establishing the image of the brand; Pushing help to make the product readily accessible.
Personal Selling: To activate the brand and fully engage with the prospects, pop up booths will be installed in public squares, financial districts and high streets. The booths will showcase the product in use, inviting people to relax in and have the chance to interact with the product in person. The booths will separately be a cafe, a micro living space, a lobby space and a regular living space. Number of visitors will be noted for sales data comparison later. Contact details will be taken down for future promotional updates.
Direct Marketing: To connect with target customer via online articles, design magazine features, design exhibitions (young designers as potential consumer or agent), design trade fairs (agents and business owners) Data will be collected to analyse sale from each channel.
Guerilla Marketing: Hacking Ikea Campaign (A 24 hour Competition) – The lamps will be installed in multiple configurations at multiple settings across the IKEA showrooms. Targeting on IKEA visitors and consumers who search for high quality product range at IKEA, competition will be announced “secretly” across social media a day before, by newsletter invitation and at the pop up booth. Participants will have to find all the lamps, take pictures, collage them together and post it up to social media with the hash tag of ‘brimlamphackingikea’. Best pictures and the one who finds them all will walk away with a brand new OLED Brim Lamp. Video of the hacking attempt will be recorded and shared among social media. Through this campaign, the video is deemed to go viral and a successful way to educate the masses about the product too. Either able to collaborate with IKEA or not, we will find a way. 😉
Digital Marketing: Creating content by recording all campaigns and uploading onto YouTube to share among Facebook and Twitter. The rest is hoping that it will go viral.
Some key google search terms for SEO: Multifunctional Lighting, decorative lighting, luxury lighting, lighting for small space living, IKEA lamp, OLED lamp, LED lamp, urban living, micro living, micro studio, mood lighting, smart lighting, high quality interior lighting.
Social Media Pages (Facebook & Twitter) are built to receive customer’s feedback and respond professionally to it. Social media is also where content related to the community is shared, for instance, best tips on small space planning, best ikea hacks and how to start your own urban farm.
Mobile application to control the lamp will also serve as a forum to response to customers’ feedback as well as discussing with other lamp owners in making full use of the product. Social media will also then drives traffic to the website where customers will receive more information and purchase the product online.
Website provides product features, product specifications and details (for B2B especially), frequent asked questions, allows prospects to inquire for more informations and view their desire product finishes (color, chrome or brass finished) before they check out their carts. It is also where customers can sign up for email newsletter to receive the latest updates and future promotions. This is also customers will find out about the upgrade with exchange programme, in fostering a close relationship with manufacturer and ethical practice.
All channels’ responses, sale from E-commerce and brick-and-mortar will be measured in its effectiveness for the next strategic planning. Ratio of sales to inquires, time spent on the mobile app and website will be tracked as well.
1. Elmer-DeWitt, P. (March 2, 2015) How many Watches will Apple sell in 2015? A Fortune Survey. [Online] Available from: http://fortune.com/2015/03/02/how-many-watches-will-apple-sell-in-2015-a-fortune-survey/ [Accessed on 1st May 2015]
2. Reinmoeller, P. (2002) Emergence of Pleasure: Communities of Interest and New Luxury products. In Green, W. S,, Jordan, P. W. (2002) Pleasure With Products: Beyond Usability (pp.125-133). London: Taylor & Francis.
3. Drummond, G., Ashford, R. & Ensor, J. (2008) Strategic Marketing: Planning and Control. London: Butterworth- Heinemann.
4. Kotler, P., Harris, L., Piercy, N. & Armstrong, G. (2013) Principles of Marketing. Harlow: Pearson.
5. NanoMarkets. (May 13, 2014) OLED Lighting Markets 2014. [Online Report] Available from http://ntechresearch.com/market_reports/oled-lighting-markets-2014 [Accessed on 24th March 2015]