Wednesday, 14 March 2012

| NESTA: Customers, Blueprint Modelling + Relationship Modelling |

Last weeks workshop has helped me develop one idea for a business, as it was focussed on the customers - who exactly are the potential customers of the business.
The first activity from the NESTA toolkit today was to identify a customer group, determine what their needs are and what we are offering them.

Since last week and speaking to my lecturer I have thought about a potential niche that would fit in with my core values for a business model. The one idea I thought about last week was to create a new shoe shopping experience that will be more focussed on the client having an unforgettable experience. The shoes will be on display in a new innovative way and also the process of trying on your shoes will be different instead of having to wait for ages until a member of staff retrieves them for you.

For the workshop I carried on with my idea to see how these activities can help develop a business idea. However the idea may be subject to change over the next few weeks.

So I have thought about retail store managers as my customers. It is them that I am going to have to take my ideas to to introduce into their stores. I am going to look into independent shoe store retailers rather than certain chains as to begin with they are much harder to break into.
The needs of the store managers are:
- to attract new/different customers into the store,
- to reflect brand image,
- increased sales

The business would offer them
- a new experience/environment to work in
- an improved store layout to enhance business/productivity
- better working conditions
- a different way to brand themselves?
- an enjoyable stressfree working environment.

|Blueprint Modelling| 
This helps to visualise how the business will function and describe how it will be done. From doing this today I realise that for my idea it would probably benefit me to conduct two of these, one for the store managers, and one for the customer.

Store managers+Customers_
At the engagement stage I would carry out market research to find out what exactly is out there already - different examples of shoe stores across the world. I would speak to the store managers of the store I was looking to change to find out the limitations. What aspects of the store need to remain the same? I would
carry out focus groups with the customers to find out if this is something they would like and benefit from.
I would also develop a market at this stage by perhaps creating a video showing what it is that I could provide for people. For an idea like this and to get people interested they have to be able to visualise the changes to see how it would look/function so I feel like to arise interest in this a video is the best approach.

At the development stage once the essentials are identified and the desires of the customers are known then I would begin to develop the idea further. I would need to find out the effects this new installation would have on the store. When is your quietest time? What is the best time to install it? How long can you afford to be closed for?
To show the customers early prototypes I feel rendered sketches, digital created images and perhaps a walk through animation of the store visuals would work best. Also creating a test/prototype shop to test the public interaction.

At the delivery stage I would find out who the contractors are who are fitting the shop, and where is it going to be first installed? One individual flagship store? Then for the shop opening and delivering to the customer I would promote/advertise the opening through flyers throughout the city where the store is. Attract people in to the 'opening event' with discounts etc.

|Realationship Modelling|
We had a quick introduction today to relationship modelling. Every business needs a set of relationships to make all the steps happen.
The people that I have identified so far that I would perhaps need to build relationships with is the retail store managers (are they interested?) the customers (their input into what they want from the design)
I would also have to meet the contractors (those fitting the shop) and shop employees (has it provided better working environment?)
The customers (has it improved their service/shopping experience?)

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