Business Strategy Case Study – Secret Lab + Bonus
Taking an example of Secret Lab, we shall see how TrustPro may conduct a Business Engineering project on it.
We prefer the term of Business Engineering(BE), rather than strategy where we focus on a systematic manner of approach.
Using Enterprise Singapore’s Business Excellence (BE) as a framework, we adopt it and thus have a BE2 approach.
Background info: Secret Lab was registered in 2014, with its first product launched in 2015. Their biggest win was the 2020 award-winning chair.
Assuming we talked to them in 2016~2017.
1. Organisational Profile Report
We will most probably brief touch on the Mission, Vision, Values of the company, with a review on main products, core competencies, key success factors etc. We may conduct a SOAR analysis just for management to know where they are.
2. Customer Analysis Report
This is where we shall segregate customer profiles according to demographics of interest.
We will also ask whether they understand the current, future requirements of customers, customer touchpoints analysis and satisfaction survey.
Overall is to know which customer is the most profitable and how to satisfy them, or to pivot into new ones.
3. Key Strategies
This is where it gets interesting. As Secret lab is a product company, they have to decide on the right product strategy, as a key business strategy.
As an engineer with product specialisation, we may look at using qualify function deployment (QFD) to gather the Voice-of-Customer (VOC) into technical features.
Also, we will assist in looking at the human ergonomics of the design, their testing requirement and certification as applicable.
Other strategies, combined with our unique Value Engineering (VE) analysis, we should derive around 20 plus more strategies, such as
– Design and Aesthetics – Customisable designs based on the client’s requirements.
– Reducing anxiety – Make it easy to understand your height and weight before buying the right chair.
– Fun & perks – Make the buying process engaging
– And many more.
Also, a key strategy is about financial management, where product R&D requires good cash flow.
If this is an early startup, they can choose the LEAN-MVP approach or the leader approach, which depends on their cash flow. With Secret Lab, it appears they are the latter one, with a good pocket.
4. Staff Satisfaction review
We may conduct this, as part of an employee engagement survey. As this is a product company, a good engineer will solve a lot of problems.
5. Process redesign review
We should be reviewing the product development process, from conceptual to prototype and testing. This is a Rapid Prototyping (RPT) workflow
– Lead to the customer acquisition process
– Internal supply chain process
– Digitalisation, based on any existing ERP system.
– Gap analysis
– Implementation for gaps closures
6. Knowledge gathering process flow
This will ties in with Section 3, 4 and 5, where information are channelled into knowledge with a process to act on it. A bit of Kaizen idea improvements.
7. Key Performance Indicators
We will most probably suggest
– Customer results – satisfaction KPI
– Financial results – Sales and commerce KPI
– People results – Company retention and training
– Operational results – Product development KPI
– Benchmarking for related, such as digital commerce.
Fast Forward to today 2021, on https://secretlab.sg/pages/about-us
We can see that the company focuses on product strategy, with rigorous testing and attention to detail. They also give inspirational value by vision, hope and reputational assurance.
Buying on the website gives a lot of options, and yet comforts in knowing whether it fits.
Overall, TrustPro’s BE2 project should have worked well for Secret Lab.
The take-back is good product strategy + financial management + hub-strategy + product engineering + streamlined processes with KPI as a guide.
Addons – Compared to branding project
As we are a business mentor to a few SMEs, we shall compare it to a branding blog post, for educational purposes.
Secretlab strongly aligns its brand’s purpose and values with the interests and needs of its target consumers – gamers. Gamers value having a close gaming community and winning their game challenges. Hence Secretlab’s purpose of “engineered for champions”.
– This is wrong and misleading info. Engineered for champions is for the esports page as a tagline. It is not the purpose of Secret Lab. https://secretlab.sg/pages/lolesports
Through thorough market research on gamers, studying their needs and interests before coming up with solutions to satisfy them, Secret lab launched a product strategy based on a strong brand foundation.
– Secret lab always launched products, with the first in 2015, 1 year after the company is registered. This is hard-selling that “branding” is important, and a strong brand foundation is needed before launching a product strategy. This is like putting the cart before the horse.
Be careful of this kind of re-writing, which is attractive but misleading.
Are you ready to embark on your brand’s journey to align with your consumers’ values?
– Compared to a BE2 project, will a customer value alignment be good enough? Brand story, brand promise perhaps? Not good enough for us as it lacks depth, like most other branding agencies.
In TrustPro Instagram post for inspiring business quotes, one of our favourites is
“Focus on building the best possible business. If you are great, people will notice, and opportunities will appear.” – Mark Cuban, Serial Entrepreneur
You can make a simple decision on which is a better project a branding or a business strategy / engineering project?