Final Design & Pricing Decisions

Based on our previously decided target audience and how they use their devices, we decided the best course of action was to optimise our app for integration into both the Apple and Google Play store. This decision came with its own set of considerations, both operating systems hold their own unique requirements which our developers would have to take into consideration even though explicitly, many developer requirements did overlap as you can see in the links attached below.

https://play.google.com/about/developer-content-policy.html

https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/

Apple seem particularly strict on the kind of app’s they allow into their store where as by comparison, Google seem discernibly more flexible where app functionality and design are concerned. From a business perspective, assuming that we at “Duped” are fundamentally a small start-up, hiring a development specialist to adhere to Apple’s precise requirements not to mention the ability to keep up with their continuous IOS upgrades and our own intended prototype and design could be costly for such a small business.

It’s at this point where we really started to consider how our service was going to generate revenue to cover these costs. After all, if our costs aren’t covered we can’t realistically deliver the level of service and innovation our customers deserve. It’s worth noting here briefly that as a business we did take into account the fact that most start-ups don’t generate serious profit within their first quarter, promotion and recognition is key for us here as opposed to profitability but never the less, it’s a significant factor that needs to be addressed.

We set four objectives overall for our first quarter, two of which related directly to revenue generation having resolved that revenue was going to be generated in two ways;

In-App Advertising: Selling advertising space to companies sharing our user demographic on a CPM basis.

In-App Purchases/Upgrades: Users can upgrade to premium membership which allows them to access additional in-app features such as an improved user profile with item save features.

Objectives

  1. To generate €1,137.50 in revenue from paid advertising in the first quarter
  2. To achieve €2921 in revenue from the in­app purchases in the first quarter
  3. To create alliances with two popular drugstore brands and one Irish blogger with 10 thousands followers
  4. To reach 3180 downloads within the first quarter

In order to measure the performance of our revenue targets, fortnightly revenue targets were devised in order to track our progress in a realistic and logical manner.

Where in-app advertising was concerned we opted to rent out space (banner ad’s etc.) to 25 advertisers at a rate of €0.50 cost per thousand impressions generating a total of €1,137.50 by end of quarter July 1st.

For In-App purchases we set an overall goal of €2,921.00 by end of quarter July 1st.

Revenue and downloads can be expected to dip and rise naturally in correspondence to promotional/PR events associated with Duped so we took that into consideration when spreading out our targets.

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For me personally, the most exciting part of the progress was getting to design a prototype for our app. I thoroughly enjoyed creatively engaging with my team to come up with our final blueprint for manufacture.

Bare in mind none of us are graphic designers by any stretch, never the less I’m so pleased with our prototype!

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Overall, I have been fortunate in having encountered nothing but positive experiences whilst working with my selected team. I can say wholeheartedly and candidly that as a group I believe we collaborate quite well together, we tried to work holistically rather than completing sets of tasks individually and I feel that this approach really contributed to the creative requirements of the project.

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Meet Amy and Pamela

We recently worked on two separate brand personas in order to develop a better understanding of our potential customers and in turn, better cater to their needs:

Our elder millennial Pamela is a 27 year old female, during the day she works full time at a local primary school and in the evening she enjoys writing articles for her online fashion and beauty blog. Pamela is a vibrant individual, she loves spending time with her family and friends and prefers to spend her extra funds on social events rather than on overpriced beauty products.  Aside from educating the youth, Pamela also has a penchant for beauty and fashion (after all, she writes about it!) and wants to engage in all the latest beauty trends but she still wants to have that surplus at the end of the month for dinner with friends. Pamela uses “Duped” an iPhone app that allows her to find near to exact matches to some of the higher end lipsticks and beauty products she wants at a more reasonable price.

Our younger millennial, 21 year old Amy is a full time beauty student who has a passion for make-up and creativity. Amy works part time in a pharmacy .She has little disposable income after paying for her transport, college fees and other expenditures. Like Pamela, Amy wants to engage in all the latest beauty trends but doesn’t want to overpay for the privilege. Amy has also started a freelance make-up business, this involves buying products for her clients and she is finding it quite costly to acquire the different shades and formulas of makeup required to suit her clients skin tones and textures. Amy wishes she could find an alternative to buying high end make up products that can still deliver flawless results. “Duped” allows Amy to find cheaper alternatives to higher end products providing a value which is transferred directly onto her customers via makeup session pricing discounts.

Although both individuals admittedly come from different demographic backgrounds their needs meaningfully overlap and both parties can be identified as social influences within their communal groups.

Our nearest competitor “Drugstore Dupes” exhibited an unattractive layout and a lack of content making it a poor competitor for social pinning app’s like Pinterest. We hope to differentiate our app by its ease of use, appealing interface and relevant up to date content which will be revised consistently to keep users interested.  It is our hope that “Duped” resonates with our audience as distinctive, desirable and superior and although we are primarily launching this product into the ROI app store, we expect its design to be of a standard that could potentially attract a UK audience in the future.

Introducing “Duped”

After a great deal of brainstorming, we collectively decided on the name “Duped” for our app and began to define the audience for our service in accordance with the considerations laid out in our core text book.

To us, “Duped” is a time as well as money saver and so our audience consists of two potential demographic groups; younger millennials and young professionals. Both of these women are stylish, trendy and most notably busy, they want to engage in the latest beauty trends but they want to do so in a cost effective and simplistic manner. “Duped” provides a service to these women by allowing them to find alternatives for higher priced products at a more affordable price saving them time and money in the process. Our philosophy behind the app is “beauty without compromise”, we believe that being constantly on the go doesn’t mean you can’t look your best, our values are convenience and affordability so our users can spend their surplus hard earned cash on the more entertaining things in life, like tapas with friends!

This week we asked ourselves;

  • What problems do customers want to solve? Save money by finding more reasonable alternatives to higher end beauty products.
  • What are customers requesting? Our audience realises that more affordable dupes for pricier beauty products exist but don’t have the time to trawl through stores like Boots searching for them or go through the monotonous trial and error process of testing all these alternative beauty products. The app simply does it for them!
  • Do our customers have unstated needs? Yes, our customers want to look their best and stay up to date with the latest beauty trends

We were than able to isolate our potential, available and penetrated markets

Potential Market: Female millennials from university age up to young professional with an interest in beauty.

Available Market: As our app will be available free of charge to customers, generating revenue from sponsored advertising and featured brands as an alternative to app downloads, our service will be an affordable and viable option for the majority of our potential market. However, in terms of product awareness we can expect the majority of our app downloads to come from within Ireland. This is primarily due to our intended utilisation of an influencer marketing approach when launching the service, we intend to approach Irish blogging/beauty personalities with our idea as a way to connect with our target audience more effectively. Our logic behind this tactic is maximum reach, social influencers boast massive followings on a variety of platforms, all of which include our target audience. By collaborating with these individuals we hold the opportunity to penetrate a sizable chunk of our potential audience whilst simultaneously gaining trust from consumers as our advertising message emanates from an already established reliable source.

Penetrated Market: We would normally consider that these individuals to be those who have already purchased this type of service, however, with this current service not being heavily marketed in Ireland (Our app competition was designed for the US market) we had to think outside the box. For this reason, we would consider our narrowest market to be Irish women between the ages of 20-35 who regularly browse Irish blogs and “dupe” articles and websites.

App Brainstorming!

The past two weeks required a surge of creative thinking on behalf of our group and so, in an effort to aid the discussion process, we assembled a group chat on Facebook where all members were encouraged to fire their own ideas and designs into the pot and informally chat about said concepts without the restrictive stiffness of a proper group meeting. For most individuals, the best ideas have a tendency to pop into your head randomly at unsuitable hours, the group chat allowed up to publically record these ideas without the need for pen and paper in the middle of the night.

Having recently written a makeup dupe piece on my own personal blog (and thought nothing more of it!) my colleague Eimear cleverly pointed out that an app that advices users on less expensive alternatives for luxury/high-end beauty products could be a real contender for our “big idea”. Being unapologetically a group of “girlie girls” for want of a better phrase, we collectively decided to trawl the App Store to see how original this model was and came upon an app called “Drugstore Dupes” sporting a download price of €2.99. The description seemed quite similar to our own idea and displayed only one rather negative review of the app, not an ideal edge for the app developers. We also thought the pricing for the app was a bit ridiculous considering that the information displayed on the platform was available for free on social bookmarking sites like Pinterest and Tumblr, never the less I decided to take one for the team and pay to download the app so we could gauge what the layout was like. Quite personally I was less than impressed, at an asking price of €4 such an app should ideally include some basic imagery of the products at the very least but the layout itself was far from interactive or visually appealing exhibiting more of a forum like design altogether. We decided that the app was definitely a real contender for a bit of a fixer-upper which we could perhaps improve upon.

It wasn’t just makeup on our minds however! We also discussed an application somewhat resembling the already highly successful Zomato but designed specifically for students in pursuit of lunchtime deals and offers. As students ourselves, finding new cafes that offer value for money combined with good quality cuisine is always a welcome discovery. We recently got very excited to find that Chopped has opened a new outlet in St Stephens Green and played with the idea that it would be beneficial to both students and restaurants to advertise their lunch deals on a kind of Pigs Back/UniDays like platform. Finally, we also reflected upon the fact that as frequent Hailo and Uber users we occasionally feel a little vulnerable when travelling alone in taxis, particularly in the evening. We discussed the possibilities of making requests for female drivers an in app feature with popular taxi apps as a solution to the unease we sometimes feel as women travelling alone. Although none of us have officially determined “The Big Idea” for us just yet, we certainly have quite a few serious contenders to choose from.