Benson Inc. has pivoted a lot since the first blog post. Originally, our project wasn’t too unique: all natural soaps and shampoos that wouldn’t harm the Earth. Products like these are easily found on websites like Etsy. Instead, we chose to make our value proposition stronger and more unique by adding customization. Benson Inc. is now going to be a website in which customers can fill a virtual shampoo/conditioner bottle with various ingredients (after first choosing a base) that work best for them. We’re also going to send a prepaid postage sticker so customers can send back their shampoo bottle for refilling. We also toyed with the idea of sending sample bottles of various mixtures for a low price so customers can determine what works for them.
All these things will take time, though, so in the beginning, Benson Inc. will only offer a few different mixtures/ingredients, so the customization potential will be low. However, our goal is to offer the very custom version of the website around various holidays. We would do advertising to increase the hype leading up to these holidays. It would be a nice, relatively low cost test, and because it’s for a limited time, it wouldn’t be too large of a commitment.
Essentially, this updated project is the one we took to the streets lately. Annsarah talked to three African-American women, all of whom thought it was a great idea. They liked the customization, but were all looking for something cheaper. However because African-American hair generally takes more specialized care because of it’s texture, they really liked the idea of complete customization for the natural products that work for them personally. Biiancaa, in her conversations, doesn’t believe that college students are the Benson Inc. target audience, as they aren’t generally the ones to spend more money on all natural products. Her goal now is to talk to older working class individuals. Her friends expressed contentment with their current shampoos and conditioners. Of the products offered at most stores, some college students are willing to spend a little bit more for natural products, but not too much more than normal. Emily talked to her mom, Aunts, and a few friends. Her mom expressed worries that people wouldn’t buy Benson Inc. products as presents. She would buy bars of soap, because she wouldn’t want to spend a lot of money on a whole bottle of shampoo that the recipient might not even like. She suggested offering gift cards, as that product would be something fun to receive. Emily’s mom was also concerned that this wouldn’t be something people would buy for themselves, as it’s feels like a luxury. Her Aunts think cheaper bar soap creations would be more fun.
Benson Inc might have to pivot some more, maybe offering customized shampoo gift cards only during holiday seasons, and base products the rest of the year. We learned that our market will be fairly unfamiliar to us — middle to upper middle class women who do their shopping online.