I need to rewind my story a bit. Chillibreeze, the mother company, had one other strength, which defined the type of operations Zizira would be. The strength of a strong team that had gained experience and leadership qualities by following the principle of 'learning by doing'.
Chillibreeze had skilled designers, webmasters and content creators who had ‘learnt by doing’ - managing online stores like 24point0 and muezart and keeping chillibreeze and other sites updated and appealing to our target audience, with relevant content.
Zizira, therefore, would be an online presence, an eStore with unique line of products based on the produce of Northeast India, and, will have magnetic content that would showcase the region and the farmers.
The fog was clearing. Our vision was becoming clearer to us - to pioneer the development of natural products, proving the underutilized potential of the region in a way that sparks a movement. Natural products that would find buyers. Increasing sales would create a market, means more production, benefiting the farmers.
Genuine, honest, real-life stories about the region and farmers would mean creating awareness that will bring others to look at the region. We now had some cues on the first steps to take. Even as the idea of Zizira was evolving, we created a website, to promote the vision and to build traffic, so we could sell online.
My first posts on the very new Zizira website were on: The idea of Zizira Our past success.
The launch of a new brand – Zizira - It gives me goose bumps each time I happen to read it.
Our future dreams - this post is the essence of all our ideas. Creating unique products that would sell online was a crucial next step. Want to know the Product selection strategy I chalked out, as a first cut suggestion? Get ready. I am revealing a lot, if not all, of what my initial line of thinking was like. I guess that is okay.
Product Selection Strategy
This is the list, as it evolved. I have not even changed the order in which I noted them down.
Vision – Does it fit the vision of Zizira and Chillibreeze?
Healthy – Is it healthy for the consumer?
Farmers – Will it benefit farmers in the long term?
Sustainable – Does it fit our guidelines (to create these)
Organic – Ideally, we want organic – not sure yet if this is 100% possible.
Hard to Find – It is hard for consumers in cities to find and buy this?
Available Locally – Does it fit our plan to seek and find unusual things already grow by agriculture department and others.
Diversity – Is it a good experiment? Are we trying a variety of products to discover potential.
Unique – Is this only grown regionally and in cool climates? Is it hard to grow it hotter climates making it unique to Northeast?
NE Ethnic Image – Does it reflect something about Northeast, some local kind of food or taste?
Brand – Does it fit our brand (we are still discovering this)
Solves Problem – Does it have medicinal benefit, heal, preserve, clean, disinfect?
Taste – Smell – Is it so good that people tell others.
Sustainable Competitive Advantage – Is it hard to copy by competitors because the product.
- Only grows in Northeast.
- Processing adds unique value.
- Can create a brand.
eCommerce – Is it a logical product to sell via eCommerce? Easy to package and reach our customers.
Internet Marketing – Is it something we can easily market via internet marketing?
Shelf life – Does it last for at least 6 plus months without spoiling.
Low Volume High Profit – Does not stress our infrastructure and lets us work out bugs in the process; does it help farmers discover crops where they can make more money.
Unusual Processing – To create high entry barriers for competitors.
Innovative preparation – Will our preparation add unique value and attract attention in the e-commerce market.
Farmers add value – A product where there is value addition by the farmers.
Convenience – Will our products save customers time? in purchasing (no driving to the store) or preparation (no need to grind and prepare).
Unused Potential – Can we draw more potential from products – are by-product possible?
Stand Out – Will the product stand out as something interesting and memorable.
Brandable – Can we create a unique brand for products.
Focus on quality – Focus on not competing on price but on quality, low supply, hard to find items, fill gaps where supply is low and demand high. It was almost as if we were discovering a path clearing up in front of us, as we moved forward!
In fact, ‘Discovery’ and ‘Exploration’ became our theme and brand! Want to know why? Read about it in my next post!