18 Apr 2017
Interview: Focusing on everyday objects with BANALE
There are important objects in our daily lives.
To make them really unique we must not think of them more powerful.
But more present. More personal.
Question (Q): Why small businesses should include gift cards in their marketing strategy
Answer (A): founders met in an Executive MBA in Milan. Studying design driven innovation theories, we realised that there’s an unexploited global market for smart-designed accessories that target people on the move like commuters and travellers.
Q: Personally, how much do you think BANALE has changed as a company since its founding?
A: Very much. Everything is getting more clear and defined every day; product line-ups, countries and channels where we distribute, brand identity; even the team and plans for the future. Having started a year ago, we have grown exponentially.
Q: Were there any challenges faced and what were they when developing your products?
A: While developing a project, you have to build an effective and efficient supply chain; You can’t wait until the end of your project. The biggest challenge is to find the right partners – those who can help you produce something innovative, even changing the way they work, their processes, materials, etc. We choose to produce in Italy since we have found suitable industrial partners. It is also not efficient for small companies like to produce in Asia; We could be saving a lot of money on production, of course, but we’d be bothered by other costs (lead time, inbound shipment, etc.), risks and uncertainty. Producing from Italy means that we do not have to waste resources (energy, people and time).
Q: What about when you were putting them in the market for the first time?
A: We made many mistakes at the beginning. The pricing of the toothbrush was too high, the packaging didn’t communicate, the pop materials were ineffective, etc. Step-by-step, we improved everything, and we’re still improving.
Q: BANALE currently has stores abroad in Singapore, Taiwan, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Spain, UK, and Portugal. What was the decision making process like when deciding which countries to expand to, outside of Italy?
A: We opened distribution in many more countries in these last 3 months. Now, we’re also in Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, Mexico, South Africa, Belgium, Netherland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Poland. We’re focused on Asia and Europe for several reasons, both economic and cultural. But we’re open to any requests coming from other continents with no limitations.
Q: Are there any products that we should watch out for in the future from BANALE?
A: Lots, like the new, smart foldable bags, and many more.
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