The Relief

Since the beginning of our Design-Thinking classes we have been going through different stages of a lean startup. First, we started learning about the lean canvas and different business models, then we looked at how to make a minimum viable product and the process that leads to it, then we had the lecture with Simon Hulme on Financing our startup. We were supposed to develop our ideas and move one step further, parallel to each design thinking lecture. To be honest, as Univeau, at times we felt behind, because our ideation process was taking longer than we had expected. We sometimes reassured ourselves by talking to other teams, however coming up with many ideas and not deciding on one, was starting to worry us, until today.

Today our group Univeau came out of the class feeling relieved. We now actually have an idea that we believe will work! We have talked to our mentors Irene and Fernando, and we have explained our idea to Alice and Richard who actually also think it would work. Because our focus topic today was the Value Proposition, we filled in the canvas for our product. The more we filled it in, a better idea we had about our product.

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Apart from this in-class activity, we presented our task for today, in front of class. Our task for today was to prepare a value proposition canvas of a product or service. We chose a product by the cosmetics brand Lush, a solid shampoo which looks like a soap called: Waves. The product can be seen below: 

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This was our Value Proposition Canvas for the product:

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Apparently, what we lacked in this canvas was the main factor that distinguished Lush from other brands the most, the interaction between the customer and the employee in a Lush shop. Christie had worked in Lush so she knew that the customer experience Lush provided was a significant part of the brand. Their differentiating characteristic wasn’t that they were doing a solid product or a really beautiful shaped soap with a nice essence. It was the experience customers had inside a Lush shop, a friendly environment employees provided where they would engage with shop visitors. So Lush isn’t just a shop, it is an experience. Therefore, we had actually missed the most central element of a value proposition.

Apart from these learnings 3 things became much more clear: ‘The difference between a top to bottom approach and a bottom to top approach’, ‘the meaning of the Fears part’ and ‘what Substitutes included’ in a Value Proposition Canvas.

In terms of the support we are getting, I am really happy to have Richard as one of our professors. Also Alice is really helpful and supportive! Of course Janja is incredible as she is very responsive and putting a lot of effort into helping us and always being there for us, which means a lot. And not to forget our mentors, Fernando, Irene and Josue, who are sharing their experiences and recommendations with us that are very valuable!

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I’m looking forward to the journey that awaits us and to the next steps we will be taking like  prototyping and actually having products to sell. I am also aware that even though deciding on a product is the first step, the following steps like the research we do, financing, and preparing for the pitch are as immensely important. I’ll be updating you with the upcoming news and on the experiences we will be having in the following weeks! Until then, hasta luego!

 

R.

 

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