Considering the idea that for the sake of a product, a company changed its entire outlook, went through a drastic change, and revolved around the idea of promoting a packing line, may and does sound crazy. Smart Pac was designed to keep fresh produce, especially fruit fresh and juicy for consumption. In order to do that, the company had to first see what the competitors were doing. They realized to their satisfaction that there was a lot of manhandling, which lead to loss. A loss, which if strategically maneuvered to become as asset could do the company a great deal of good.
Among these factors were considered things like the produce’s disease caused by fungi and bacteria, temperature injury due to extreme weathers, post harvest loss which was about 25% worldwide, physical injury due to water loss and soft texture. Collection and analysis of this data provided many hoops and spaced for Fresh Tech to jump right in and play hard ball.
For Craig Machado, this was a challenge because his years of expertise in the industry taught him that one option failed to be given a try was the packaging. If the packaging was good, it would bring down issues of bruising, taste, freshness, waste, spoilage and accessibility.
The special aspects of the Smart Pac included passive atmosphere. This was different from other MAP products (Modified Atmosphere Packaging) in two ways. These were that there was effective technological way to exchange heat from the box that complied with industry pressurized cooling. Secondly, it also allowed cooling of sealed contents through simple refrigerating. Smart Pac also had a natural oxidation sanitization system that cleaned and sterilized the produce while being transported. The addition of technology innovation was a driving factor in the success of Smart Pac; Figure 4.
Applying Blank’s Customer Discovery model, analyze who should be the target audience/s for Fresh Tec Smart Pac technology and why?
According to Steven Gary Blank, the Customer Discover Model, a company should work retrospectively, instead of with a way forward. Once every point or step has been defined, a company should halt breath and then move on to creating new business strategies.
The four points to this framework are:
- Customer Discovery
- Customer Validation
- Customer Creation
- Customer Building
According to such a plan as mentioned above, once the data has been analyzed, for instance, in this case, the designing, the material and packaging of the Smart Pac were decided upon. There onwards, the market was studies for suitable candidates.
Once it was figured that Fresh Tech’s Smart Pac could not be sold locally, they decided to do more ventures in the foreign market. Where people would be first discovered
as being potential customers, then through basic brand testing, they would be validated as being a probable customer. Then, through marketing strategy like the 4P’s the product would be exported and introduced into the foreign market. This would ultimately lead to the creation of the customer. Finally, once the consumer becomes a buying customer, it is important to see that the customer stays loyal and that the churn is reduce to them minimum. In fact, the work on corporate decisions leading to strategies, would eventually lead to building long-term customers. For such reason, according to the Fresh Tech’s game plan, the target market had to be countries in the developing world, where the produce would be harvested ad picked, there would be less cost for transportation and the labor would also be cheap. For such reason, Fresh Tech chose to create their markets in South Africa, Panama, South Africa, Mexico, and the Netherlands.
Bob Wright, the CEO of Fresh Tech revolutionized Fresh Tech from scratch and gave it the position it has today. From a wave of inspiration that came to the Wright in September 2010, while glancing at the slices of mango on the conference table. The innovation led him to think of an idea of creating a smart Pac for Fresh Tec’s products. The Smart Pac was originally designed to keep the produce fresh, like it had just been picked. The problem was that the designing and packaging of the Smart pack was so intricate and so expensive that finding the right target market was beginning to be the trouble. Whereas, ordinary food produce, tinned or packed otherwise could be bought at 10% the value of the Smart Pac; nonetheless, the packaging of it could not be compared to that of the ordinary, local packing which apparently seemed similar.
Steven Gary Blank provided a solution for such a problem through his Customer Development Diagram. However, in order to introduce such a technology into the market was a difficult task, and for Wright the approach to adopt in order to make their new product viable was to pose a difficult task.
In order to explain this we can use the Model of Competitive Advantage, Figure 2. According to this, a company’s resources have distinctive competencies, which are also a result of their capabilities. In Fresh Tech’s case, their superior efficiency, quality, innovation and a target customer was the result of these particular competencies. Each of these various aspects further led Fresh Tech to help create low costs, focus on the customer, and differentiation for their market. All of this had one purpose and one purpose alone for Fresh Tech; to create a product namely Smart Pac, which had added value
The case of Fresh Tech was a difficult strategy to devise four years ago for the CEO. But this can be explained using some frameworks. According to the figure 2, Fresh Tech’s idea was a result of core competence. It led to market research, which went hand in hand with opportunity and innovation. Through the Marketing 4P’s, concept of the Smart Pac was introduced as a competitive advantage, which finally resulted into a new venture altogether, which in this case was the smart Pac.
Competence was derived by Fresh Tech through its unflinching leadership by the CEO, Wright and his team of managers and directors. This group of people often went without pays for months just in an attempt to make the company successful. Such driven force backed by intuition had to have ripe fruits, which it surely did. Fresh Tech made sure that it identified, studied, and analyzed the target market though roughly. Each case scenario was studied and looked at from every angle. Such thorough insightfulness complete with art and statistical data and analysis provided Fresh Tech helped the brand to make some quantitative decisions.
These decisions further lead to such strategies of marketing like export of the brand to foreign countries, which were still in their developing stage. The 4P’s of Marketing, the current vogue and accepted form of campaigning and promotional tactics worked great for Smart Pac. The results were colorful and favorable for Fresh Tech. In this market, the product was emerged after first being introduced and hence giving way to other brands to come with similar but not the same quality r value. This neat trick won Smart Pac a competitive Market which eventually was the beginning of the new venture in these foreign lands. Hence, it became a happy beginning of great sales and revenue generating.
Figure 1: The Four Steps of Successful Company Building
Source: Blank (2006)
Figure 2: the Model of Competitive Advantage
Source: Hackwood (2012)
Figure 3: Early Stage Entrepreneurial Process
Source: Kelley & Singer (2012)
Figure 4: Technology Trajectory
Source: Christensen & Suarez (2001)
Blank, S. G. (2006). The Four Steps To The Epiphany.
Christensen, C. M., & Suarez, F. (2001). Strategies for Survival in Fast-Changing Industries. Management Science
Hackwood, J. ( 2012, February 10). Distinctive Competencies
. Retrieved from Marketing Director: http://marketingdirector.com/competitive-advantage/
Kelley, D. J., & Singer, S. (2012). The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.
United States: Babson.