1 BABSON | STABILITY BAG PRODUCT DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT CLASS PROJECT
CONTEXT/CHALLENGE > For our Product Design and Development class, our sponsorcompany Essential Design, tasked us with creating a luggage solution for the disabledpopulation.IDEA/PROCESS > During our preliminary research, after many hours of observation andinterviews, we identified several pain points for travelers with disabilities. The one thatstood out most was how hard it was for people with arthritis and limited mobility to movearound airports. According to our calculations, this group composes approximately 11%of all leisure travelers in the U.S. and yields a market of about $300 million. Early on, afterintense brainstorming sessions, we started sketching and doing some rough prototypingfor possible solutions, which we then took to senior homes to uncover new insights andreveal improvement areas for our original designs. Our most challenging idea turned out tobe the most promising: create a carry-on that could double as a walker. The question was:can we add stability without adding too much weight or taking up too much space andstill comply with airline regulations?RESULTS > We built a carry-on bag with pop-up wheels and adjustable handles that metevery requirement we had, including an increase of less than 8% in weight. Additionally,we calculated our production costs (including a new bill of materials and manufacturingrequirements), estimated willingness to pay from informal interviews, and benchmarkedcompetitor’s products, to finally price it only $10 higher than comparable carry-on bags.With his, we were also able to reach our 20% profit mark.
2 PREVIA | PREVIA MAGAZINE CREATION OF A FREE, AD-SUPPORTED MAGAZINE AND PUBLISHING HOUSE.
CONTEXT > In 2002 I realized that everybody attending major sporting events in Chilespent 30 minutes to two hours waiting for the match to begin, with nothing to occupytheir time. At the same time, brands were eager to find new touch points with the youngadult male demographic.IDEA > The pre-match period presented an opportunity to deliver relevant and contextualcontent to reach this population. From our research this 90%+ Male audience highly valuedengaging information about the match they were about to see. Statistics, interviews andeditorial comments in short visually attractive articles mixed with tailored advertising,would prove extremely effective. One of our biggest challenges was to deliver freshinformation to thousands of people during a short period of time.RESULTS > For the first issue of PREVIA, the company I co-founded thereafter, we sold50% of available ad space, distributed 50,000 copies and made a small profit. By theend of year one, we where selling 100% of the available ad space and created someadditional branded sections resulting in almost 50% quarterly net income growth. Overtime we distributed more than half a million magazines. Eventually, we added new editorialproducts to our portfolio including licensing EL GRAFICO and GOLF DIGEST for Chile, andexpanded to adjacent businesses such as free outdoor movie events.
3 LECHE2 | MG ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN FOR THE RELAUNCH OF AN AUTO BRAND.
CONTEXT > SKBergé, one of the largest automotive holding company in Chile, wasplanning to relaunch British car brand MG. They approached Leche2, the AdvertisingAgency where I was CEO, to help them develop their marketing strategy andcorresponding advertising campaign. At the time, MG cars were made in China andperceived by Chileans as less glamorous and of inferior quality – a sizeable problem forcars targeting the affordable luxury market. We commissioned an ethnographic study andthe results led us to the realization that in general, people were more concerned with thedesign of the car, its features and the brand reputation, than manufacturing considerations.Still, when China was mentioned, interest in the car fell drastically.IDEA > We created a value proposition that completely disregarded where MG cars weremanufactured and instead appealed to what Chileans wanted. The brand essence had tocapture both the traditional irreverence of the British and the modernism of the Chinese.That is why we introduced an oxymoron as the tag line: “New Classic”. One of the biggestrisks we took was to advise our client that during the introduction stage we would notshowcase the cars. In terms of media channels we recommended targeted Out of Homelocations and strategic print advertising in selected magazines.RESULTS > The campaign was praised for its boldness and striking graphics.Reception from dealers and customers was exceptional, and sales outperformedexpectations by roughly 30% during the first year. In addition, neither the media nor thepublic focused on the origin of the car.
4 U. DE LOS ANDES | DIGITAL TOOLS ELECTIVE COURSE FOR BUSINESS STUDENTS
CONTEXT > While teaching New Business Creation – a fifth year undergraduate seminarcourse- I realized that business students had very limited knowledge of technology andemployers were increasingly expecting them to have this expertise. I approached the Deanof the Business School of Universidad de los Andes with the idea of helping our studentsleverage technologies for their professional future.IDEA > After I offered the School a lecture on Crowdsourcing (or Mass Collaboration),the Curriculum Committee encouraged me to create a course on the implications thattechnology and the web 2.0 had on business and innovation. Since it wasn’t my area ofexpertise I had to teach myself first. My biggest challenge was creating a comprehensiveframework to include everything from social media to new business models. As a way tocomplement my own views I invited several industry experts to give short presentationsand share their experience with the class.RESULTS > After teaching it twice, students graded the course with an overall 4.5 outof 5 as well as a 4.8 on my performance as a teacher, instantly becoming one of themost popular electives. Moreover, faculty requested that I conducted a one-day seminaron the matter, and coach them on how to use online tools to enhance their teachingmethodologies.