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"ba" 

School project @ Savannah College of Art and Design | 10 weeks | 2018 

Overview: “ba” is the wellness community for millennials we created that will inspire a holistic lifestyle through an engaging online platform with interactive activities. This is a design strategy and research project.
My Role: I was in the team of four and responsible for the market research and analysis, concept development, strategy planning, and user experience design.

Mission.

The mission of "ba" is to create a wellness community for millennials that inspires a holistic lifestyle through an engaging online platform with interactive activities. We stand for a collaborative, proactive, empowered, and healing culture built to promote long lasting relationships with our users, employees and communities.

Vision.

“ba” will become the leading go-to social network connecting people that want to achieve a holistic wellness lifestyle.

Ethics.

"ba” emphasizes ethics in its internal and external relations. Our goal is to promote trust and transparency amongst our employees as well as to clients, users, and important stakeholders. We have four defining core values which embody our ethics principles and how they are incorporated into our daily function as a company. Our core values are our fundamental beliefs upon which we built our company and continue to grow.

Core Value.

Collaboration & Unity – We wish to promote a positive virtual environment where our users may learn from each other as well as from our interactive tools. Our space provides a platform for users to socially adapt their lifestyle toward healthy alternatives and bring together inspiring communities.
 
Proactivity – One of our main goals is to be ahead of the curve in terms of knowledge base and engaging tools. “Ba” is a site where there is constantly evolving and informative resources in order for our users to learn new strategies for holistic wellness.
Empowerment – We believe in our users and the capabilities they hold as individuals and as communities. Our service is in the hope of encouraging our users to be more active and feel a sense of belonging.
 
Healing – Our potential and current users are the core of our company. We recognize the complexity in maintaining mind, body and soul balance and wish to be a point of reference for our users, wherever they may be on the healing spectrum.

Target Customer Overview.

Millennials have surpassed baby boomers as nation’s largest living generation (ages 18-34 in 2015) at 75.4million. They will peak as largest generation in 2036 at 81.1 million (Fry, 2016) and are the target consumer to go after – an estimated spend of $600 billion each year. They are the largest generation with 80 million members, most technology savvy and highly connected as stated. According to Keith Knopf, Millennials research information more often than any other generation, includes social media platforms with digitally-driven mindset (Fromm, 2017). Younger consumers are most willing to initiate on behalf of their well-being (Gustafson, 2017). 39% of Millennials say their stress has increased in the last year, compared to 36 percent of Gen Xers, 33 percent of Boomers and 29 percent of Matures (American Psychological Association, 2012). Despite reporting that they are engaging in various stress management techniques, more than one in four younger adults (30 percent of Millennials and 25 percent of Gen Xers) say they do not feel they are doing enough to manage their stress, compared with about one in 10 older adults-15 percent of Boomers and 6 percent of Matures (American Psychological Association, 2015) and younger Americans report difficulties as they try to achieve some healthy living goals.

Industry Analysis.

The wellness industry grew to 3.72 trillion US dollars between 2013 to 2015 while the global economy shrank -3.6%. The industry contains multiple modalities and ‘dimensions’ to create a holistic sense of well-being. The Global Wellness Institute includes a list of 25 different modalities under the umbrella industry of wellness, for example Ayurveda or meditation. The industry offers a plethora of information and activities toward finding a holistic balance, encompassing mind, body and soul. Mann (2017) argues millennials rely on social networks for information. The millennial generation value authenticity and level of detail transparent to the consumer (Fromm, 2017). There is an opportunity to bridge the wealth of wellness information to a social network for positive user outcomes and success sharing.

Wellness Industry Analysis.

The World Health Organization defines wellness as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The National Wellness Institute defines it as a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential. The Global Wellness Institute states 25 modalities that form the wellness industry, some of those are:
Acupressure
Pilates 
Acupuncture
Relaxation Therapy
Aromatherapy
Sauna
Ayurveda
Sleep Health
Exercise
Yoga
Nutritional Counseling
Smoking Cessation
Hydrotherapy
Tai Chi
Manual Lymph Drainage
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Massage
Weight Loss
Meditation
Workplace Wellness
Music Therapy
The National Institute of Wellness has 7 dimensions for wellness:

Three Analysis Models.

We aimed to examine our industries’ environment using SWOT, PESTEL and Porter's Five Forces Analysis. These analyses seek to represent how both industries will affect, shape, and direct our business. We determined relevant macro environmental factors that will have an impact in our business. We also examined both of our industries through databases such as Euromonitor and Business Source Premier.

Competitive Analysis.

Determined our market competitors in the social network industry including Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and competitors in the wellness industry including WebMD, Mayo Clinic, MindBodyGreen, AARP, TheChalkboard Magazine, Livestrong, and positioned them in the competitive analysis canvas based on content and popularity.

Prerequisites for Success.

According to our analysis we know that our market, for both Wellness and Social Network industries is very competitive and its prone to change rapidly due to constant innovation, either incremental or radical. It is clear for us that in order to remain competitive we need to adapt to our user’s expectations in terms of offerings, engagement tools, fun factors, etcetera. We need to constantly monitor trends and stay ahead of the game. At the same time, our threat of substitutes will remain constant, so we need to create loyalty with our users. Create strong, meaningful relationships through our platform seems vital to our survival. The combination of a digital website and an App seems obvious for our users’ expectations, hence developing an app and meet mobile trends is a must. We will diminish the threat of new entrants by always providing trustworthy information that can assure our users of the authenticity of the site while also being engaging, easy and fun to use.

Key Success Factors.

Constant Innovation
It’s necessary to constantly develop new ideas and concepts by understanding the needs and change in thoughts of the users in order to become an efficient service or product.
Transparency and Trust
It’s mandate to build trust among your customers while it’s cardinal in the wellness industry as the service directly effects the customers physically or mentally. So, in order to bring loyalty in the customers, it’s foremost to be conspicuous in what we are offering.
Community Building
In order to succeed, it’s very important to build the sense of belonging among it’s customers in such a way that allows you to be better as a part of that community than you would be without it. Technology is making some aspects of community building much easier, it's still no replacement for the bond that gets created face-to-face.

Strategies.

Evaluating Business Strategies.

The following evaluation criteria proposed by Johnson, Scholes and Whittington, helps us seethe potential success that our strategies have. In order to handle these three criteria, we as managers, needed to analyze the external and internal environment of our company. This table provides a logical, comprehensive approach to see where and how optimal our strategies are.

Prioritize Our Stakeholders.

Stakeholder's Relationships with "ba".

Positioning by Differentiation.

After understanding our key competitors and taking into account our competitive advantage, we decided to position our company using a conceptual map to better illustrate how we want our customers to perceive “ba”.
We defined the “x” axis in terms of fun vs. boring and the “y” in terms of how the majority of the information displayed in a online social network is perceived by our users.
We can see that there is a great space currently unoccupied by competitors that we can seize and that would target our consumer’s ideal points. At the same time, it touches our key success factors and confirms that we are on a right path.

Blue Ocean Strategy.

As we saw in our industry analysis, “ba” lies within two of the largest industries hence the competition is fierce. In order to sustain high performance, we need to create bigger opportunities. The Blue Ocean Strategy presents an ideal framework for us to look our industries through a different lens, reaching beyond what we believe is the existing demand, breaking the current market boundaries and focusing on the big picture. It will help us find markets where there is less competition so we can reach and protect more consumers. We used The Strategy Canvas tool in order to see the factors where our industries compete and invest. This confirmed the intense competition that exists, but at the same time showed us where value could be added. 

Strategy Canvas.

Gaining New Consumers.

The Blue Ocean Strategy will help us create bigger market opportunities by breaking its boundaries. Another way to look at how we can create a future for our service is to think about it in terms of how we can create and sustain a market leadership. Hamel S. stated that markets change substantially so there’s no such thing as “sustaining” leadership; it must be regenerated again and again. Which customer do we serve today? Which customer will you serve in the future?
We at “ba” can see how by creating a Blue Ocean Strategy, and answering the “future” questions, we can generate a congruent growth strategy of how we are going to reach customers and more importantly, sustain that leadership.

Understanding Our Consumers.

We began our research by compiling and analyzing secondary research then based on secondary research findings, developed a survey to better understand our target audience. We asked millennials regarding their lifestyle and wellness goals. The survey led us to conduct 8 in-depth interviews with millennials in regard to their decision-making process.
After gathering data from secondary research, it was important to take surveys as it can provide broad capability, which ensures a more accurate sample to gather targeted results in which to draw conclusions and make important decisions. By analyzing results, we can immediately address topics of importance and can then compare research data from secondary research and survey results to understand accuracy of behavior and activity patterns.

​What is most important to them?

​How do they define healthy well-being?

How do they manage stress?​

​Do they think they are happy?

Primary and Secondary Persona.

Branding Exploration.

When dealing with abstracts like brand identity, it’s difficult and unwise to ascribe hard and fast rules. In order to explain our process for building a color scheme, we used the following framework. The following tool is mentioned in Ellis, Matt. “Branding colors: everything you need to choose your brand's perfect pigments.”
In order to find the most strategic home site for “ba,” we explored the process of registering a company in each of our respective home countries: China, India, Mexico and the United States. We considered factors such as ease of doing business, available market space, and registration fees. We decided to start in the US and remain open to international expansion in our home countries.

ZAG Steps.

In his book “Zag” (2006) Marty Neumeier identifies 17 checkpoints of the design process. We used this as a final analysis tool to wrap up and identify our key components in our business. At the same time, it serves the founders and every stakeholder to have a quick yet complete understanding of what “ba” is all about.

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