My first trade fair……

What all things we need to for the trade fair?  How can we design an unique stand design? What will be the  sales strategy?  How can we add value to the trade fair?

These all questions seems confusing and specially for a person like me who has no experience of displaying product/services at trade events. For me 24th Jan, 2019  was quite fascinating as well as  challenging because  this was for the first time where I along with my team ‘Omni’ had to display and sell our designed product to the students of Kingston University on  in our business school atrium trade fair. This was challenging for us as no one from our team had any previous experience of trade fairs except the visits we made as a normal visitor at various trade events.

Well, based on my experience after the completion of our trade fair I must say that you have to prepare a lot in order to display you and your products at trade events. 

For this trade fair, we displayed a MVP for our product in the form of booklets and templates which included activities encouraging personal connections. To be honest, I feel didn’t do well enough despite of winning best sales pitch award for the trade fair.

There were certain areas which needed a lot of improvements. We eventually ended by messing up our value proposition till the end of the trade fair.

One of the common mistake we all tend to make is that we directly jump on  value proposition when it comes to selling of our product (Rackham, 1998). In addition,  various studies have found that despite of designing products that fulfills the needs of the customer, various businesses find it difficult to sell their products because sometimes customers have not formulated their problems which are solved by the product  although they are facing the problems in their day to day lives (Castleberry & Tanner, 2011). However, at this point of time it becomes very crucial for businesses to communicate their value proposition in such a way that makes conversation interesting allowing to  emphasize the needs and wants of the customers using open and closed probes, unlike usual sales pitch which are boring and start with highlighting the features and benefits of the product.  We committed the same mistake and directly started highlighting our value propositions.

Secondly, we noticed that despite of designing a product which was a unique solution for very crucial issue known as “Loneliness” ,  we found it challenging to communicate our message to the customers because most of them were not ready to accept the fact  of feeling lonely at times openly . Hence, this challenged our existing marketing strategy and were forced to think different ways of promoting our product in such a way that  can encourage the flow of the customers towards us without negatively highlighting the problem we were solving.

Nevertheless, despite of making fair amount of mistakes in this trade fair, this experience proved to be  quite fruitful to us as it provided us with valuable insights which were not only helpful for our start-up but can be crucial at various stages of my career.

Hopefully, we will figure out the challenges till the next trade fair which is at Eden Street by the end of February and will come up with a finished product soon.

 

 

References:

  1. Castleberry, S.B. and Tanner, J.F., 2011. Selling: building partnerships. McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
  2. Rackham, N. and DeVincentis, J., 1998. Rethinking the sales force: Refining selling to create and capture customer value. Pennsylvania, NY: McGraw-Hill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Body-storming…..

Body-storming is a part of set of toll which we use for our Design Thinking and Start-up module. Well you might have heard about Brainstorming on number of occasions but body-storming might be the thing which you haven’t heard of before.

Body-storming is a simple technique which is generally used by the designers and in order to develop a creative idea. It includes imagination of product if it would have existed, later to act like it exists in a place where it is designed to use.

It involves a cyclic process involving involves preliminary research, solution design, testing (more research), tweaking the design and then testing again until the design specifications are finalized.

The most important thing of this exercise is that it gives the opportunity to designers to see the problems or things from the user’s perspective which can ultimately help them in designing an efficient solution to the problem.

Apart from identifying  the views and perspective of the  user it also has contributes in various ways such as:

  • Builds Empathy

Physical experience and observation which is a part of this exercise helps in building an empathy towards the user or customer which can positively influence your solutions.

  • Reflection

The process gives the opportunity to reflect to the the main problem and can also help in designing efficient solutions.

  • Build Relationships

It also helps in connecting designers with users or customers which is must in any sort of business operation.

  • Physical experience.

Gives the designers an opportunity to  not only observe but experience the users’s challenges, behavior, trigger, resolutions etc.

 

Hence, as discussed above it is an interesting tool which can be used to understand the behavior and problems of the customers through physical experience and also contributes to various business activities.

Hope you enjoy it and see you soon!!!!!!!!!!

Lean Canvas model

What is a Lean Canvas model?? Have you heard of something like that?

This is the first question which I asked to my group mate Dishant when I heard about it for the first time in our Design Thinking for start-up lecture.

Before getting into the discussion regarding the lean canvas model I would like to ask you what is the difference between a business plan and a business model?

Well, business plan is the list of actions you need to do in order to make a business operation more efficient and successful. Whereas, business model is a blueprint of the source of your revenue. In short it describes the way through which the business can earn revenues and profits.

Coming back to Lean canvas model,  it was originally invented by Alexander Osterwalder in the year 2008. The lean canvas model is one- size -fit all model which covers 9 different categories which are necessary for all kind of businesses.

Blank(2013) states that lean canvas model is can change everything in the business and can help you to identify the factors which can make your business activities more efficient and fruitful.

Various categories of lean canvas business model are:

  • Customer segments

Identifying who is your actual customer. For whom you are developing a product or service. This is no doubt one of the most important category in the model and also in real life business operations.

  • Problems.

Identify the problem is the basic thing because it will help to understand your customer more efficiently and will help you in creating various business ideas.

  • Solution

It includes the way through which you are solving the problems you have identified.

  • Unique value proposition

It refers to the value the business is adding to the problem. It should justify that why the customer should use your product/service.

  • Channels

It refers to the channels through which you will see your product/service in the market.

  • Revenue Streams

It includes the sources of the revenue. How will the business generate money??

  • Cost Structure.

It refers to the cost which is necessary to maintain the success of the business.

  • Unfair advantage.

It refers to the unfair advantage which would rise due to your business activities or operations.

  • Key activities

It includes list of activities you need to do in order to make your business more successful.

 

How to use it?

Please refer to the link below which tells how to efficiently use the lean canvas model with suitable examples:

 

Hope this is useful and see you again!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Educational trip to Berlin!!!!!!!

Recently we went to our educational trip which was sponsored by Kingston University(London) along with Berlin School of the Law and Economics(Berlin) in the month of Oct 2018.

The duration of the tour was 5 days which was a great learning experience for students like us who want to become entrepreneurs. The tour was designed in such a way that one can learn a lot about the things which are related to the journey of  various start-ups in different sectors.

The most important reason which made the tour more interesting was the actual visits of the start-ups. We were taken to the offices of various successful as well as developing startups in order to see and experience how does the start-ups operates. Another interesting part of this visit were the interview with the founders and managers of the start-ups which gave us the opportunity to ask questions regarding various things such as their challenges, operations, back story, how did they generate the ideas etc.

Start-ups which were included in the visit were:

  • Delivery Hero(Food delivery/takeaway service)
  • Siemens(Innovative Product and Instruments)
  • Saint Elmos (Innovative Marketing through 3-D technology)
  • Blacklane (Premium Taxi services).

Apart from learning it also gave us the opportunity to develop a friendly relation with the students of Berlin School of Economics and Law and expand your network accordingly.

Lastly, it was a very good learning experience overall and a fair opportunity to find the people with similar interest and spend time with them in order to understand them more efficiently.

 

 

Re(framing)…..

“Innovative business needs  innovative idea and for generation of innovative idea your need a highly creative brain which is generally god gifted.”

These are the lines which I used to hear when I talked about a career in innovation and Entrepreneurship to my friends and family.

I also personally felt that you need to be creative always and should think out of the box to develop a innovative idea before I started my Masters in Innovation and Entrepreneurship course at Kingston this September. But I am thankful enough to my Design Thinking for start-ups module where I learned that for a generation of an idea you don’t  have to think out of the box specifically, innovative business ideas can also be generated through Re-framing the problems.

Three months after I started learning the module which began in September, 2018 i certainly feel that for developing an innovative business you don’d need to identify the problem instead for creating an idea. And the process of Re-framing the problems which involves evaluation of the problems from different perspectives and understanding the actual cause of the problem eventually gives rise to an super innovative idea.

There are various ways through which one Re-frame the problems and generate a creative idea:

  • Depend on the words what and why always. Think what is the problem? What things are causing the problems etc. What are the ways through which you can solve the problem differently.
  • Think about all the positive and negative cause of your proposed solution.
  • Establish legitimacy.
  • Have open discussion. Invite outsiders for their valuable comments
  • Write down the feedback and views of the people.
  • Always think for the alternatives causes of the problem and develop your solutions accordingly.
  • Consider various categories of the problem such as attitude problem,physical problem, expectation problem etc.

 

Hence, it is necessary to Re-frame a problem because it not only helps in developing innovative ideas but also helps in identifying the actual problems of the people in day their day to day lives.

 

Useful links:

  1. https://hbr.org/2017/01/are-you-solving-the-right-problems
  2. https://www.gordianbusiness.com.au/blog/2017/11/2/3-ways-to-re frame-your-problem-for-a-successful-solution.

Identifying the right customers!!!!

Customers are no doubt one of the top most priority of any business organisation irrespective of their size or region.

Mahatma Gandhi who is popularly known as Father of the Nation(India) stated that:

“A customer is the most important visitor in our work premises. He is not dependent on us but we are dependent on them”.

Ever since I was young around 10-12 years old and started visiting my father’s office, the word which I heard the most was “Customer”.  My father always told me that if customers satisfaction is your top priority then you succeed in any sort of business.

I am a business graduate and right now pursuing my masters in entrepreneurship. Ever since through my entire college journey I have always been taught about various things related to customers.

We often think that if our customers are happy with our product/service we are performing well in the business. I certainly agree that it is must of every business but I still believe that Identification of the right customer is more important when it comes to success of any organisation.

There are various valid reasons to support my argument when I say that Identification of customer is the most important thing in business. The most crucial things it contributes to the business is it not only tells you that who are your real customers but also helps you in understanding your customer needs and behavior. It gives you a clear picture of the things which interest the most to your customers and identifies the potential factors which can influence the buying behavior of your customers.

Various ways through which business can identify it’s customers are:

  1. Screening & Evaluation of the existing data.
  2. Mapping your customer process.
  3. Talk with your stakeholders.
  4. Be serious when it comes to feedback from customers.
  5. Analyzing cause and effect relationship.
  6. Think from customers perspective.
  7. Evaluate your rivals/competitors.

 

Hence, identification of customer is no doubt the most crucial factor contributing to the success of the organisation as it will eventually help you to understand your customer which will eventually lead to more customer satisfaction.

 

Useful links:

 

 

Future Starts here!!!!!!

Future starts here!!!!!! This was the first thing which I saw when I entered the gate of the Victoria and Albert Museum on 9th Oct, 2018. It is obvious that everyone is excited and curious when it comes to anything in relation to future . Well, I cannot assure it on behalf of everyone but I would definitely like to state that my excitement and curiosity jumped to next level as soon as i saw these words on the mirrors of the coffee shop just inside the museum.

It seems confusing to me as well when I write the above few lines. To clear the confusion I am taking about the my first visit to an exhibition named “Future Starts Here” at Victoria and Albert museum.

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I am pretty much sure that this was first and one of my most memorable visit since I joined Kingston in Sep, 2018. There were other reasons as feel when I talk about my excitement regarding this trip. First and primary reason was the exhibition which was regarding the innovation of the future. Secondly, it mas my first visit which was part of my course and lastly i was very excited as our classmates who were certainly my new friends were going outside for the first time since we meet and had decide to explore central London post exhibition.

Certainly, after we all meet at the decided entry spot it was time to enter the exhibition and level of my excitement and curiosity was continuously increasing. I was totally in disguise as soon as I entered the hall of the exhibition. I would specifically describe my first felling which was an entry into a world which was new and unusual as well. It seemed that I was in the world of imaginations and dreams.

As soon as started seeing the various products/services displayed inside the museum the level of surprise also kept on increasing. For the first time in my life i was experiencing and seeing the things which I had not even imagined of using it in my dreams.

There were a lot of things which was interesting but I would specifically like to describe about one particular thing which I liked the most.

It was none other than an service which was named as:

  • Self organised emergency service

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It is an exceptional service which can be operated through a mobile application and offers a help to people who are in emergency situation and want to contact their family, friends and relatives without involving the police. This service can be very useful in today’s world where anyone is often a victim of police brutality and racial discrimination.

Lastly, I would like to conclude by stating that it was a very good and fruitful learning experience and of course I had a great fun in and after the exhibition as i learned about various future trends and concepts and enjoyed with the friends later as well.