This is our last blog! It has been a wonderful learning experience for all of us. We met so many people with many ideas and opinions. The whole experience was enlightening to say the least.
In the last week, we decided as a group to make a major pivot toward marketing primarily towards African American women. Emily had done research about what was already on the market, and with that in mind, our group decided it would be a good idea to pivot for several reasons. First of all, there are many all natural products for African-American hair, but none that tells a customer what they need directly on the website. They have to do searching around. Secondly, so many blogs decry the benefits of DIY shampoo and conditioner, so Bel-Cantik is taking those recipes, customizing them for the individual, and sending them without the hassle of making their own shampoos. The products offered, even if they are all natural, have some inscrutable ingredients so we are offering something without any mystery.
We learned that most components of the Business Model Canvas can be discovered through simply getting out of the building. The internet offers a rich source of connection and information that, in a place like Bozeman without a large customer base, it becomes very valuable. We used existing reviews, and reached out to friends to get their opinions. It makes sense that with more minds comes more ideas. However, we learned that many ideas and opinions could come our way but we have to decide if it is in-line with our branding. For example, when we talked to people outside of our current target market, older women, they were very interested in the possibility of expanding to bar soaps and liked the gift aspect of Bel-Cantik. Once we pivoted, we had to disregard some of those opinions because that would be too broad at this point for our company.
Although it is a very dense market, we think the business is viable. Especially if we were able to partner with other DIY shampoo makers, Bel-Cantik could be a very unique venture. There is so much practical, home-grown knowledge about what works best for different types of African-American hair; we are barely scratching the surface. It is viable because we would be constantly learning and communicating with our customers to make the best, homemade shampoo and conditioner that will ever touch their scalps. Because it is a small operation, our customer response time would be above average. Overall we believe our value proposition is unique. Finding the right solution for hair is a process that our customers shouldn’t have to go through alone by buying and throwing away product after product. It is true that the value proposition we propose are not high barriers for big companies such as P&G. However, we do not see that as a competitor because our target audience is different to P&G.
Although it is viable, we may not pursue this venture after all because of the time commitment it would require from each of us to be viable.