Ever wonder how custom products get conceive of and made? This blog tells the stories of my customers who Monetize with Merchandise.
It works backwards from our identifying the need for the product and traces back to its raw materials and labor.
An Online Education giant called me to order a 10,000 hooded sweatshirts to give to their distance learning students who may be in intensive study with the institution for years, yet never meet any of their teachers, visit a campus or enjoy any other college social traditions. Students were neglecting their studies, administrators felt, because the student experience was limited to what he experiences with his computer. They needed something to remind the student he’s in school. The college hoodies were a big hit.
I knew that the for profit vocational schools are penalized when a student quits before getting a degree and can’t get a J O B to pay back his Government Student Loan. Realizing the schools are willing to MONETIZE WITH MERCHANDIZE, I suggested other items you’d see in a typical college bookstore.
Soon the school was ordering about the same variety of school merchandise you’d see in the typical college bookstore and sold it online – right next to the curriculum schedules – at a profit. This led them to their lucrative business making even more money. Being a service oriented merchandise agency, we realized the schools had a problem which may contribute to people dropping out. Speculating that many of their students struggle to listen to the audio portion of the lessons, we suggested supplying them with branded earbuds. We started showing them a variety of branded headphones and earbuds with logo and waited for a reaction. They said the branded headphones looked cool – and had a high perceived value, but were bulkier and a lot more expensive than plain stereo earbuds.
The problem with the ear buds though, is that they tangle and that there is really no place to imprint the earbuds. Our solution was to offer branded retractable earbuds with logo. Each earbud has two one inch surfaces, allowing for the school imprint on one side and an inspirational motto on the other side. They loved the idea and they loved the earbuds but when they tried them in a field test at a Starbucks (many of their students’ ‘classroom’) they were found to be about a foot short. Determined to get this client a ‘home run’ product, I set out to design an extra long cord retractable earbud that I could supply to them and others in that business.
My next blog will detail what goes on in real world supply chains, set in action when my clients MONETIZE WITH MERCHANDIZE