Designing a Box to think about your Value Proposition – March Wrap

This month we ran a workshop instead of a talk. If you attended, we’d love to get feedback on this session. Would you like more of this? What worked well? What could have been better? Reach out to Jen & Liz on the ProdAnon slack.

Designing the box+

The ‘Design the Box’ is a classic activity created by in 2011. The goal is simple – to create the design of a physical box that sells your product. The limited real-estate and creating a physical ‘thing’ forces participants to focus on who is the customer, what is important for them, and how do we influence the buying decision.

This is known as the value proposition – simple statements that summarizes why a customer would choose your product or service. Every value proposition should speak to a customer’s challenge and make the case for your company as the problem-solver.

Essentially this activity is about identifying the ideal customer persona (ICP) for your product, and the value proposition that will engage your customer to buy your product.

How will your box grab the attention vs all the competitor boxes?

Steve Bauer took this classic and fun activity and rebooted it for the online world. The product isn’t always a box any more. It could be an information card hanging at Officeworks, or a Gift card at 7-11. Alternatively it might be an electronic representation instead of a physical product; like a web landing page or an App Store page. The sales channel may change, but the customer still needs the product. Identifying and designing the channel for the ICP and value proposition and designing for the channel still needs to be done.

Definitely try this at home.

This is a fun exercise you can run at your own company. For example each team competes for the design of the same product, the teams takes separate modules of the product, or the team creates competitor products. The activity, the focus on the customer, and the learning about your value proposition is the same.

The steps we followed were:

  1. Create groups. A good size for collaboration is 4 or so people
  2. Fill the box. Choose the product that is inside the box; physical or virtual.
  3. Choose the shape. Is it a physical box, a landing page, a gift card, etc.
  4. Build the box. Create a physical design
  5. Share the box. Share your design with other teams, highlighting why certain value propositions were considered important.

Ready, Set, Go…

Once teams formed, they needed to decide on a product so there was a bit of brainstorming! It turns out people are too happy to chat about ideas, or what goes on the outside. However quick reminders about the time helped nudged them into making decisions and moving on.

Overall we had some fantastic products and boxes. We ended up with 3 products focused on pets, a few concerned about the environment and one protecting us from scams (all details below).

Team 1: A self driving car for teenage drivers.

Specifically the buyer is the worried parent and the user is the teenager (who can do their homework while on the way to school because they’re not driving!). For the parent, the benefits were safety and control. Lots of data and logos of safety organisations to communicate this self driving car is safe for your teenager who has no or not so great driving skills. Teenagers make mistakes, our cars don’t!

Teenagers & Cars. OH MY!

Team 2: ChatGPT premium gift cards

Expanding on the current ChatGPT product, one group re-imagined what it looks like as a physical product. Creating a gift card similar to the Spotify, Amazon, JB HiFi cards you see for sale at various stores, they offered a 3 month subscription. This helps to bring awareness to ChatGPT to a much larger audience including those non-techies. They did they by showing sample questions to the packaging to help show what people can do with this and how it might appeal to everyone.

Team: ChatGPT as a subscription

Team 3 – Hear Boy

This team created a product for dogs with hearing loss (which impacts 20-30% of all dogs) to help them hear the world again. It reduces anxiety by 8%, increases walkies by 250%, simple and easy to setup, recommended by vets, lifetime guarantee! The slides of the box highlight partnerships which let your dog have an even better life – dog playlists to listen to and an ai costume generator! *note: Product Anonymous does not vouch for any of this data 🙂

Solving dog hearing loss!

Team 3: BuddyBot for housework and pets

The next team tackled 2 problems we’re having now as we return to the office – the anxiety we have about leaving our pets at home alone and not being able to do housework between meetings. With BuddyBot, they have brought together a robot vacuum with AI to play with your pet which let’s you watch the play via their app! Their design had big pet pictures on the front of the box to draw you in and lots of features across the back including warranty information and highlighting the vacuum has won the 2024 Good Design Awards!

Clean the house & reduce your pet’s alone at home anxiety at the same time! Winning at adulting!

Team 4: Taste good, do good, feel good coffee

Sustainability & traceability of coffee was very important for this team. On the front of the box, they focused on a simple message of the quality of the product (which is good!) and that you are doing good by buying the product. They included the the logos of various environmental groups to give it the thumbs up that this is a legit product. On the back there was information on how it was sourced ethically – even the the box itself is sustainable because you can return/exchange it.

Designing the perfect coffee

Team 5: Saving the planet with recycling

Our next group had a product where you put your e-waste in the box and it spits out new electronic products. On the front of the box, there’s lots of social proof including that it’s been #1 seller on Amazon, approval from your local council and a quote from an environmental organisation CEO. Their tag line: Save Money! Save Time! Save Space! Save the Planet! Use that box of cables you have at home! On the sides, there’s the colour options and visual design (not text) instructions of how you take that box of cables you have at home and recycle with this box! Of course the the bottom of the box was reserved for ‘lots of legal stuff’.

Saving the planet by helping us recycle those old cables

Team 6: Dogminder

There’s also the dogminder product – version 2 now comes with more pats! This is a service represented in a box so there’s lots of cute pix of dogs! There’s lots of quotes from users including dog users (‘woof!’). Having easy steps to follow to use the service was also important.

99.9% of our dogs recommend us to their other dog friends

Team 7: Crook Block

This amazing product blocks your phone from receiving spam calls and messages. On the front of the box were the logos – certified by AFP & AU Govt and lots of seals of protection! plus ‘Now with more AI’ They used a humorous approach including an image of a phone with a chastity belt on the back of the box.

Team 8: Protein jelly shots

This team was helping the hard gainers who power lift, but don’t see massive improvement in strength because they struggle to get enough protein. They developed high protein jelly shots to help you! The front of the box was full of numbers and benefits – each shot has 50 grams of protein so you only need 2 a day to reach what you need, low sugar, vegan, gluten free, low gi, all the free things, stevia AND available in 5 flavours! On the side of the box you can scan the QR code which brings you into the community and gives you a free sample.

And the winner is…

All of the groups did such a fantastic job with their boxes, we decided to have everyone present and have our hosts, Chargefox, select a winner!

Nick in front of a big screen about to announce the winner.
Nick about to announce the winner.
Group of 4 people sitting at a table. Our winning group!
Our winning team! Baani, Dileesh, Jun & Yau with protein jelly shots!

 Thank you to Chargefox for hosting!!

Chargefox is part of the AMS Group. Every day thousands of drivers charge their vehicle on the Chargefox network – the largest and fastest growing EV charging network in Australia. We’re owned and operated by the NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAA, RAC and RACT. The same companies supporting drivers for over 100 years.

Want to run your own Design the Box session? Reach out to Steve and the Product Anonymous team. Alternatively jump to gamestorming for more details.

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