The human factor is something crucial and therefore I need to build my prod- uct around the athletes I want to address. My target audiences are primarily Top-runners and Omni-athletes. Why? Simple because these two clienteles have a common passion for the sport as the driving force behind their pur- chasing decisions with the difference that the one is more focused on themself while the other tries to exceed in a competition. Both audiences are willing to pay a higher price to get the best product possible and that’s why I think that
I should be focusing on them. The demographics shows, that both combined make roughly 50% of the overall sneaker consumers which is important for my concept to unfold.
After the purchase decision has been made, our athlete is faced with the choice of one of the two models. He can choose between the base and the pro model, the sneakers were designed the same, but still, have some specific adjustments. The Pro model is based on the athlete’s biometrics. For example, an accurate measurement of the foot or height and weight can be considered to create a personalized product. This design approach is already being followed to create professional athlete’s products. I took this as a role model and want to make it available to a wider range of consumers. I saw the need for this step in a BCG report where it was stated that investment in the personalization of products will need to increase from the current 0.7% to 18%.
This brings me to the prices that I consciously set relatively high or not particularly high if you consider the effort, the know-how, and the production conditions under which these sneakers were manufactured. The price, along with the information presented in the app, should encourage consumers to rethink their relationship and think about product expectations.
I want to create an incentive to deal with the work behind a sneaker and thus accept the high price and not because of an artificially created hype. Of course, I am aware of the idealistic approach, but I hope with my thesis and ideas to create a stimulus for how things can be managed differently. Because such high prices scare off many customers and many simply cannot afford it, I would offer an installment payment model which ideally should be interest-free. With the 1000km guarantee, the athlete is guaranteed that our product has a longer lifespan than a regular shoe. This is mainly possible due to our harder midsole. Within this 1000 km, the customer has the right to have his shoe repaired or exchanged due to a serious defect that is not his fault. Of course, the shoe must be designed so that it easily survives the prescribed 1000km, which goes hand in hand with higher quality managment.
As a designer, I strive to create the best possible product, which can be difficult to achieve due to the artificial obsolescence on which our economic system is based. But it is precisely this obsolescence, the development of products with guaranteed death at a certain time, that is the driving force behind economic growth, which makes it quite difficult to get rid of. So my approach is to integrate digital services into an analog product in order to maintain a source of income and still be able to produce less and at the local level. I see a great opportunity in the local market economy and consumer education is an urgently needed step to reduce the number of goods produced, but also to make transparent where things come from and where they go after disposal. Products do not magically appear and disappear, they are made, and this process, in my opinion, must be seen as the admirable act that it is.