In the last posts we used the different design strategies to design a product that last on product level. For products with a long life span it is also important to think about a good business model so that the benefits of the product will be most rewarding for consumer and producer and contribute to a circular economy. In the theorie of Products that Last 5 different business models are distinguished to serve as a starting point to design an optimal system for products with a long lifespan.
During the 2nd session with the designer, different concepts were generated for every business model. The following ideas are explained per business model.
The Classic long life model provides a primary revenue stream from sales of high products with a long useful life. Since kiteboards are made for optimal performance in heavy weather circumstances it is already a classic long life product. If it wasn’t for upgrade in performance the materials are very durable and can be kept a ‘lifetime’. The problem lies in the way that the board cannot transform into a new shape. A future challenge could be that the board grows with the user. In these days the board is made of epoxy and glass fiber; this material cannot be heated and deformed into a new shape. Research in materials should be done to be able to offer this kind of service for the user.
If we look at the footstraps, some room for improvement in the materials of the pads and straps can be found to make them qualitatively more durable. The connection of the foot straps didn’t change in about 10 years. The kiteboard shaper told me why: The user isn’t prepared to pay a higher amount of money for the pads. nowadays the person only thinks the board itself influences his performance. In this model the user should be convinced why he would pay a higher amount of money for the pads and footstraps and that he in return gets a longer lifetime of the product.
The hybrid model is a combination of a durable product and a short lived consumable. Looking at the combination of parts of the kiteboard the pads and straps are the parts that can be keeped a lifetime while the board changes along with the progression of the kitesurfer. The idea is to make personalized footpads and straps that can be kept a lifetime. In this case the board board will be the short lived consumable. This would be a total different approach than it is right now. In this model the kiteboards are only used per step in progression, so the board will only be used for about 10 times. In this model they don’t have to last a lifetime, so a challenge will be to change the material into disposable material. In this way the obsolescence is planned.
This model exploits the lifetime value gap or leftover value in product systems. An idea could be that at the moment the kitesurfer makes progress he will go to the store were he bought the gear. The store offers a service to be able to try different kind of boards and pads. The pads that are brought back to the store will be refurbished and sold again
This model provides access rather than ownership. An idea can be to make a service like peerby. Some people own kiteboards and some don’t. Service like peerby can show which people are not using their board at a certain moment and want to sublet it. In this business model people pay for the service application.
Another possibility could be to create a subletting service to upgrade your kiteboard whenever you want. A lease system will provide acces to different kind of boards. In this way the user can easily change boards if he wants a new one. He will pay a certain amount of money per month for this service.