Sleeve

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The main reason why kids want new hockey sticks is not because they sticks are too damaged to play with or because the stick got too small. They want new sticks because they like new colours, and new patterns. Having the ability for kids to change the looks of their hockey stick quicker, without having to change the complete stick could help in getting attached to the stick. The possibility to change a product is also in line with the circular design strategy design for adaptability and upgradability. The stick will not get damaged any longer on the stick itself, but first on the sleeve. This will ease the maintenance of the stick.

As mentioned earlier, the sleeve has two main advantages. Not only are the kids able to quickly get new looks on their stick, the stick also gets extra protection against wearage.

The business model that will be used with the sleeve is a hybrid business model. The hockey stick is not involved in this model. That will be a product that still needs to be bought, but will not wear off quickly anymore, so no new rebuy is necessary. The hope is that the sleeve will protect the hockey stick completely, so no new stick is needed to buy at all if the size stays right. Normally in a hybrid business model will the durable product be made cheaper, but as the hockey stick is not sold from the same company as the sleeve, this will not count for this version of the business model.

The sleeves will be the fast-cycling consumer good. That will last until it got too damaged due to wearage, or if the kid wants a new colour. The price of the sleeve is estimated around €12,95. This price is based on costs, store margin, packaging, investments, what people might be willing to pay for it and prices of junior hockey sticks. Investments that have to be made to start producing this product are the sleeve material, hook shaper to get the material around the curve and if necessary a printer. The time to market of this product could be relatively low, as there already could get started with standard models, and customisation can come later.

 

Reefer
Standard sleeves

 

Customisation gives multiple opportunities. The sticks could be customised for kids on trends and fun. Teams and clubs could make their ‘team-stick’ or companies could sponsor sticks. Other functional opportunities could be by putting a kid their name on the stick, so when the stick gets lost it can be returned to the owner.

Sleeve2
Customisation with the sleeves

 

The wraps could be made of a material that is similar to Krimpkous. Krimpkous is a material made from PVC with a mixture of polyesters that will shrink if you heat it. When reheated PVC is not the best material to use, therefore for this product will be looked at a material that has the same characteristics as krimpkous but is better for the environment.

Due to the sleeve, the hockey stick can be used for a longer technical and usage life. The stick will not get damaged, only the sacrifice material of the sleeve will. This material will be collected at the store, as people will come back to the store to remove their old sleeve and get a new one.

Extend

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The third concept is extend. I will not work out this concept completely. But did do some thinking to make the concept understandable.

Extend is based on the fact that kids grow and need a new hockey stick too often. If it would not be for the sticks being too small, the kids wouldn’t need a new stick. So when the kids are growing, why not let the stick grow as well?

The hockey stick normally consists of three components. The stick, the grip and a cap. For extend the stick gets split into two parts. As can be seen in the picture below. These parts are connected to each other with a screwing system on the inside. This system lets users have the ability to lengthen their sticks whenever necessary. This lengthening is easy to do for the users themselves, only thing is that they need to remove and redo their grip for it, because the system is underneath. Therefore the stick will only be adjusted when it is really necessary.

The upper part, a standard components will not wear off and can be used during a whole field hockey carrier. More attachment can therefore be put in the upper part. This could be done with special material or personalisation.

Print
The hockey stick will be split into two components

The lower part is a convertible component. What functions the convertible component will full fill depends on the length and the needs of a kid. Options are a smaller stick, bigger stick or sensoring in the stick.

IMG_2412
The two components of the extend

As said earlier, can the standard component cause attachment. This is one of the circular design strategies as described in the book Products that Last. When people get attached to their product they tend to keep and use it for a longer period. Also other circular design strategies are taken into account with this concept. One component is a standard model, that could be used in combination with all other components. The product is made to last, as it can grow with the kid, no new hockey sticks are needed every year. Durability will therefore increase. Also strategy design for dis- and reassembly improves. If a convertible component is not usable anymore, can the standard component still be used. Not a complete stick then has to be re-purchased but only a lower part.

This concept was primarily based on the classic long-life business model. The basis was to make a hockey stick were kids can play with for their entire kid-carrier as hockey player. During later analyses more knowledge was gained about how kids think about their sticks and what they think is important. Multiple convertible components for the lower part came out of it.

With these standard and convertible components a hybrid business model fits better with the concept. One part of the product will lasts much longer, and could be sold for a cheaper price. The other part, the convertible part is the part that will get damage due to wear age and needs to be replaced more often. The replaceable part can be more expensive than the standard component, it will be needed more often and therefore gets sold more often. This is where profit can be made.

So in what way is this product circular? Not all the materials will be thrown away too quick, the standard component lasts far longer and will save in material lost. Also will the amount of sticks needed in general be reduced, because the stick can grow together with the kid. Extra options are available to make users get more attached to the stick, like adding sensors in the convertible part, that can track for example speed and running patterns.

 

Classic long-life

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The classic long-life model: primary revenue stream from sales of high-grade products (eg the German company Miele’s washing machines) with a long useful life [1].

For hockey sticks this would mean focus on increasing the quality of the hockey stick. Juniors have a problem that they need new sticks every time they grow. Extend is a hockey stick that grows together with the kids. A screw system on the inside of the stick can turn, one direction it will turn smaller and the other direction bigger.

IMG_2405

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/six-design-strategies-longer-lasting-products

Access

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The access model: provide product access rather than ownership (eg the Dutch company GreenWheels’ shared car use). Main revenue stream from payments for product access [1].

The access model could be included in a leasing field hockey sticks model. Field hockey players get access to a hockey stick for a certain period. Hockey sticks can get a longer using life, by re-using the sticks. Also will less sticks end up near the coat hanger, as this is where many of the hockey sticks end up when they are not used any longer. The lease system can be a solution for growing kids, to not need to buy a new stick every time they have grown.

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/six-design-strategies-longer-lasting-products