The product design and production has not been greatly affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The paper products are now finalised and ready to be commercialised. Some designs for wood products needed to be adjusted, and both partners – TRAJNA and the Department of Wood Science and Technology from University of Ljubljana are finalising the more complex products such as the windmill or the 3D printer.
Part of the design team with a circular Christmas tree made of IAPS (Source: Department of Wood Science and Technology).
Luckily, the market research on the wood and paper products, which was based on surveys to potential customers from identified target segments (schools, tourists, families and residents) had already been finalised by the time the COVID outbreak arrived. Based on the results of this research, over the past few months, APPLAUSE has further developed its go-to-market strategy.
The final set of selected products for APPLAUSE for an initial market introduction are:
- Letter paper with embedded IAPS flowers
- New Year’s decorations made of wooden and paper IAPs
- Wooden compost box
- A memory game to help recognise IAPS
- A set of balcony garden seeds
- IAPS paper sheets (handcrafted of machine-made)
To better understand users’ needs, APPLAUSE developed several “Personas” for the four main customer segments: schools, tourists, families and locals. These are fictional characters that, based on the market research, better represent user types that might use a service, product or brand in a similar way.
Example of a persona for the tourist customer segment. Translation: Marc and Linda / Living in: Germany / Purchase power: $$ / Interests: Travel, art, culture, music, concerts. It is important for them to take care of the environment and nature. They like to socialise with locals, they are interested in how people live. (Source: Technology Park Ljubljana).
The use of such design and marketing technique has really helped APPLAUSE to better identify the three main sales channels:
- An online store that exclusively sales IAPS-based products and services.
- An initial network of physical stores that display APPLAUSE products and services. The focus is on stores that sell a certain type of “lifestyle” that values the importance of the environment (boutique and interior stores, home products, modern concept shops, souvenir shops…). Larger retail shops may also be suitable for specific products such as the compost box.
- Social network/Instagram shopping that will lead individuals to the web purchase and at the same time build a community of interested individuals.
The go-to-market strategy for APPLAUSE products also defines a marketing mix that should lead potential customers to the different sales channels. These include: social networks (mainly Facebook and Instagram), online campaigns (on Facebook, SEO, Google AdWords, YouTube…), media (print, online, TV, promotional activities for journalists) and project partners’ communication channels (City of Ljubljana newsletters and social network profiles, partners’ branches and shops).
As a result of this work, APPLAUSE has identified the top 3 priorities for the initial deployment of its go-to-market strategy:
- To develop and optimise the online store
- To arrange at least one point of sale in a physical store
- To launch social networks and publish regularly
VOKA-SNAGA, the City of Ljubljana’s water and waste management public company, is leading the market introduction of APPLAUSE products and services. They are already working on the development of a website that will serve as online store of APPLAUSE products but also as the main information source for APPLAUSE educational resources and workshop activities. The website, named www.paplab.si, will go live in December 2020, and will be a crucial channel to enable the continuation of APPLAUSE activities, once the UIA project ends in December 2020.