Who said Innovation was hard work?

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So as part of my course I got the chance to take part in a university-based competition where students from different university enter a business idea to either win £250 or £1000. Team Memoby failed to win any of the prizes but that’s ok because I understand where we went wrong, I’ll talk about that in my last post. That main thing I got out of the whole experience was that everyone has a skill that is useful, everyone has the optional to do great things but it all boils down to confidence, self-belief and determination. I believe that its not just products or services that can be innovative but also people and there process of work. This theory was very clear in the final presentation of the Bright Idea competition where we had the most amazing guest Shed Simove, let me just tell you that this guy is innovation in a nut shell.

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Shed Simove

Let me give some back ground information for those of you that don’t know who Shed Simove is. Shed is a 42-year-old British performer, entrepreneur, author and producer that has taken the world by storm with his innovative, fun and experimental gadgets that leave you laughing and asking questions. His focus for the last 3 years has been to create books and novelty products. The list below shows some of the things Shed has work on that have helped him reach his current status of success.

 

2001 – posed as a 16 year old schoolboy for a documentary on Channel 4

2006- Worked for Celebrity Big Brother 5

2007- legally changed his name by deed poll to GOD

2008- Launched is own currency name The Ego

2011- wrote a novelty book, ‘ What every man thinks about apart from sex’

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I believe that Shed really proved that people could also be innovative. I describe innovation as a process, you think different, act different and produce something different. To be innovative could both be complicated but very simple, you have to take risks, because risk allow for greater rewards. However in saying that taking risk could also give you a huge loss, me personally, I welcome a loss if it means one day ill get a big reward, you have to go through a lot of crap before you find the piece of gold.

Tips on how to help the innovation process

  1. Look beyond the clouds to see the sun– sometimes things are not what they seen. You have to be willing to look beyond what you eyes will show you. With the right mind you can change anything.
  2. Questions are you’re friend – As long as you have questions, ask them. Questions are the best way to learn, you wont know unless you ask. Also questions can lead to some great connections.
  3. Soak it up like a sponge – No matter how old, educated or important you are, learning new things will always make you better. There is always someone out there that could teach you something new, be will to soak it up and lean.
  4. Grow like a strong tree- as time moves and trends come and go you have to be willing to change with the time and develop.
  5. Who said you can’t- You can do anything you set your mind to. If you always listen to the negative things people say you will probably fail. Keep pushing and keep trying, its all in good time.

 

 

Simove, S. (2014) Shed Simove the ideas man, Available at: http://shedsimove.com/(Accessed: 12th April 2014).

How the Memoby Box was created (Part 3)

This is the last section in a 3-part blog that looks at the product, design thinking and how we created the product. I will explain in detail how the memoby box came to life and the different skills we used to create a brand.

 Get the box

When my team and I started working on designing our product we seemed to complicate things a lot by finding the hardest and longest way to produce results. We started looking for different manufactures that would build the box we had designed, the aim was to use word and plastic but as time went on we found it would be very expensive because not only would you have to pay for the creation of the box you would also have to think about the raw materials. We would not make a profit because the coz for of product for each unit would be high. This is also where we used design thinking, instead of building a box we decided to by an already built plain box , which would save time and a lot of money. In total my team and I spent a third on buying a the boxes pre made, than if we would of made them ourselves. This means we can allocate the rest of the funds to designing the product.

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Change the box

To save money as we went to a bulk buying art Supply Company and brought all our material like paint, gloss and other things. We then transformed the boxes by sanding, painting an glossing. After doing a lot of research we decided that we wanted our products to have a homemade feel, that was a big part of our other all brand. Using the sixth rule from Eight Rules for Creating Great White Papers we found that “Graphics and the look are content too.” Sometimes the way the product looks it more important than what it does because the look is the first thing that is noticed so it can tell an interesting story.

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Customizes the box

Our university has a great arts and craft department that we felt we could use from the beginning. Early on we set up meeting and began to build connections with the staff in that department. In return they not only gave us unlimited access to the machines that 3D printer an scanner but they also help us regularly when we used the machines. Our main focus was to use the machine to scan the memoby logo but also scan customized writing and images for each customer, which in the end cost us nothing because of our connection.

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Throughout my classes the main theme that my teacher spoke about was based around being different. There are many different ways to do things but it’s about taking the skills you already have and using them in an unconventional manor. One skill can have a thousand uses but if you don’t try then you’ll never know. When creating your masterpiece use all resources and connections available, anything that is free or discounted can help.

 

 

ID Employee (2005) Eight Rules for Creating Great White Papers, Available at:http://www.idemployee.id.tue.nl/g.w.m.rauterberg/lecturenotes/Eight-Rules-for-Writing-Great-White-Papers.pdf (Accessed: 19th of April 2014).

 

How do we design it? (part 2)

The process of designing the Memoby Box

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The image below shows the first design of the original Memoby box. As you can see there are many different features and also bits of technology that we decided did not fit the Memoby ethos. This was at the point where we not only focused on design thinking, criteria to create the box and also the type of message Memoby wanted to deliver.

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Design thinking and how I’ve used it.

I define design thinking as a process where critical and creative thinking are combined to create a new thought pattern. It’s a process that allows the users to organize information gathered and use that information in unique ways. This was the main process my team and me used when we started thinking about what we wanted for our product. We tried to fit square into circle by looking at the square in different ways.

My design process for the Memoby box

When designing the Memoby box my team and I focused on three main areas that allowed us to create a good product. The list below shows the areas of interest and the questions we asked our self’s, because we felt that if we could answer each question we could not only see the positive results but also see what we need to work on.

  • Context

What is the main issue we are tying to fix and how does aspects of culture; area, age and social class affect what the product will be.

  • Impact

How can we adapt not only the product but also how we present it to the different areas stated in the context section? How do we maximize the impact of how people view the brand?

  • Craft

How is the product improved after research to meet the needs of what the consumers? What is the process we take to make these improvements?

 

How would you create a great product? I believe that design thinking is a process that should be implemented into everyday life, it would allow people to become more create and approach life in a different way.

Blog Fest, Uni life and so much more

 

Hi guys, would you believe that this is my first post of 2014, time literally ran away from me and I’ve been chasing it since December 2013. This years has already been so busy that it’s left me in a continuous state of ‘work mode’ but never the less my excitement for not only finishing but also seeing the combination of all my hard work is pushing me to continue through this final step. It is now April and all my taught classes have ended then in September I hand in my last ever piece of work, it’s hard to believe that I’ve been doing this for a whole year.

I’m so ready to move on to the next part of my life and see new experiences come by. Also in the words of my famous strategy teacher “once you have a masters, you’re pretty much a master of the universe” I completely believe that 100%

My first week back in to the Mace Design a Business class was so interesting and intriguing because it offered insight into how other people saw me as a blogger and a serious writer. I was entered into a competition called Blog Fest 2014, where a group of other bloggers read each other’s posts and voted for the best Blogger and best blog post. Would you believe that I came fourth out of 35 for best blogger and had one post that was a top favourite? This one session really showed me how to continuously grow and be better than what I previously was. From the comments of the other bloggers I learnt that I am unique, as a writer I have a voice that is very different which helps me stand out. This is an important skill to have when starting a business because when it comes to marketing, having a unique way to present the service or product can truly elevate who and how people approach the business.

This Is very true for the Memoby product, we deliberately wrote in a style that is both light hearted and fun but also very thought provoking. We focused on using two different styles of writing, expository writing and descriptive writing.

Expository writing is used to help effectively explain what the Memoby product is quickly and accurately. It wasn’t a place for us to give our personal opinion on the product, but rather give facts and statistics about not just the product but also the research we did to produce the product.

Descriptive writing is used as a form to be more creative and opinionated within the Memoby brand. This was by far the best way for us to truly allow consumers to understand what our product is about. We created stories and used words that allowed the imagination to become very creative.

 Hub Pages (2014) Four Different Types of Writing Styles: Expository, Descriptive, Persuasive and Narrative, Available at: http://hunbbel-meer.hubpages.com/hub/Four-Types-of-Writing (Accessed: 11th April 2014).

 

Remember when writing you always want to leave a great or lets just say important impression. The product might be amazing but if you can’t make people love the products based on how you present it in terms of your writing skills then they wont fair well in the long run.

 

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Branding, Branding and more Branding :)

Branding is the Boss!

After a product has been produced, branding to me is the most important aspect to get right. If branding is perfect then marketing and sells will be a lot easier because the customers will come to you. My group Memoby has just stated the branding stage with the design of our logo.

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Whilst designing the logo and starting other processes we uses the system below to help us accurately develop the idea.

 

  • Brand is everything that creates an experience for the customer
  • DNA is the unique message of the business that is communicated in the brand
  • Identity is usually the visual part of the brand: logo, colours, layout, adverts, design

Source from Dr. Corrine Beaumont, Kingston University

 

It’s clear from the system below that my team has started looking at the identity of our product. Memoby is a combination of Memory and baby; we wanted our product name to be something that people would automatically associate with baby products. We also wanted to be a combination of the two main aspects of our product. We picked the style of writing including the smiley face and color because the round and smooth edges resemble the round edges of a bouncing baby. We felt as a team that after a while it would be a common association.

 While in class we looked at different companies that really created a strong branding theme without directly making it obvious. The new Virgin Atlantic Safety video is possible the most perfect use of branding based on the original company and the service they offer.

Please take a look at this link, and feel free to leave comments: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hbib-A6NpW8&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL1F0154B2D3972B62 

 

Memoby’s Next Step for Branding

The next step for Memoby Is to create a brand and image that we wish to be know by because that will also help us attract a certain type of customer. We will focus on ways of how to connect marketing and branding together, which will just support the strength of the product. When marketing we will use STP: Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning but stay tuned because marketing will be discussed in another blog.

 

“The keys to brand success are self-definition, transparency, authenticity and accountability.” Simon Mainwaring

Know your Market – Market Research

Market research can be described as desire to obtain information based around the product or service you are trying to offer. It’s the effort to gather information that best helps assess the market and type of consumers you are delivering this product/service to. Market research is also important because you are able to get out into the public and really ask the public what they want and what type of product/service they would put there money to. It’s a way of seeing you competitor and allowing yourself to learn the different ways they are successful

 

As a team, we found that market research would be such am important area for us because it could actually help us determine whether going a long with a product we created was still the right thing to do. Before settling on the Memoby time capsule design we looked at writing an interactive children’s book by creating an experience before the kids went to bed. So we decided to do market research in both books and boxes, below shows the system we used to obtain information.

 Market Research System

We first began by going into the market and seeing the different products offered in theses areas. We were surprised to find that there was such a high level of interactive books on offer.

 

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A book where the parent plays the puppet hand and shows the emotions of the snow snowman. Very interactive with the ability for the child to physically touch and feel the snowman.

 

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A book where the pages are moving like a Television screen. Allows the child to physically see the action.

 

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By far one of the best children’s books i’ve ever seen. This was a pop up book with music and character sounds.

Everything we thought had not been done, had been and to a great standard. We decided as a group that doing a book we not no a good idea because we couldn’t find a need that hadn’t already been met or a style that was new and innovative. After that we decided to do research into the different types of boxes that was similar to the capsule box we wanted to develop.

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Below are the other ways we did market research to best understand our product. 

  • Talk to the employees for the shops we visited
  • Talk to customers that may use the product
  • Go on websites and read different reviews
  • Look at the overall history of the market and its current success rate.
  • Look at the different products that could be similar to what we are developing.
  • Look at different ways to make our product better
  • Carry out online surveys and questionnaires

Some of the questions we asked were:

  • What different things do you consider when buying a product?
  • What things do you like and dislike about the products? currently on the market right now?
  • After seeing our idea, what would you make better?
  • What would you pay for our product?

 Market research is not something that can be done in just one day, it’s a process that should take time and take many different forms and directions. I think market research is an area that can really help create a strong product, its the customers buying the product so knowing what they want can only help help your product be a real success.

 

“It is not possible to make a realistic test of the effectiveness of a commercial in a laboratory situation in advance of real-life exposure. Until this simple but uncomfortable truth is grasped much advertising research will go on being sterile and unproductive.” Alan Hedges 

The Journey to Find the Perfect Idea

In my last blog the last thing I said was that “ its normally those who fail in the beginning that succeed in the end.” That’s exactly what me and my team found when we started the journey of running a startup. We had a total of 100 different product ideas that just didn’t seem to be what we were looking for. On two occasions we thought we had the most perfect idea but after more research and countless amounts of issues we found that we was starting to fell less inspired more drained. With some encouragement from our lecture we was reminded that we was on track to having a great idea but we was on a track that helped us learn while we developed our own idea.

The Ideas Before the Idea

The first development was an idea that came to the group after I explained that when my father pasted away he recorded two thousand hours of messages to see me through my childhood. I explained that the recordings where amazing but I always wished I had something to hold while listening to my dad tell me stories. All I wanted to do is hug him but I couldn’t do that so the next best thing was to hold some sort of toy.

  Copy write   Property of Kingston University – Team Memoby

 

  1.   Our first creation was L BEARL

L BEARIs a stuffed bear that has the ability to record and store 30 second recording. The need was to help young children deal with their emotions and sensitive information that may be hard to deal with.

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 2.    Creation Two HAT BAG/BAG HAT

Hat Bag is an idea that is more relaxed and easy going, the need or meaning was not so emotional or issue based. The idea was a hat that could easier transform into a bag. When the idea was originally developed everyone in the group was excited because we thought it was something unique and different that could be used in multiple countries. However as time went on we found that people saw the product as a bit of a joke, the need was not serious enough and that meant that people couldn’t see a real product but rather they saw something that could be sold in a fun shop.

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By this time we was feeling a little deflated but decided not to give up or stop trying. We decided to bring our different abilities and skills together to see what skills we could bring to the product. We came to the conclusion we are  such a unique group because we as a group hold skills in pretty much all the areas that help to make a successful start up. We also came to the decision that we wanted our product to be focused on meaning. The product we created had to have some emotional meaning that helped improve or change peoples lives n a positive way.

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Our product, Memoby box is box for pregnant parents that would like to keep memory for their child. Sometimes, it is so hard to keep every memory of a new life and it is quite messy, and memories can be lost if not collected. As a result, we created this time capsule box for parents who do not know where should they collect a lot of memory, they can use our capsule as a way of keeping many things such teeth, shoes including picture of baby or even recording the first time there baby walked or said there first word. 

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Memoby is the idea we decided to go with and i can honestly say that as a team we can happy with our product. We will work to the best of our ability to make it beautiful and what everyone wants. 

 

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill