Success Stories: GenZ Outdoor, Inc.

GenZ outdoor sucess stories - RaveRunner XRIG

Project Background

Running has never been and will never be an easy task. When trying to get in shape, you need to make the act of moving your body forward as easy as possible. Having good shoes and clothing to keeping you call will work for starters, but GenZ wanted to go beyond and continue to innovate with products that benefit those who are looking to shred fat or get ready to run a marathon.

“Wearing a giant bulky backpack can get annoying for those running a few miles, and most fanny packs bounce too much or cause chafe and irritation at the waist. Of course, holding your phone is never an option because of the new age of glass screens.” 

GenZ needed help solving this problem through a product that could aid other people experiencing the same issue. While they had some concept ideas in their head, they needed help having a team develop those ideas into a tangible reality. 

Challenges we needed to solve

GenZ wanted to complete innovate the way individuals carried small items on them while running. They had the idea, but they didn’t even know if it was possible to create product that people enjoyed using. Additionally, we needed to design this so that they weight of the back was evenly distributed on the front and back of the individual. Lastly, this needed to be built with material that caused minimal chafe and skin abrasion. With our previous experience and PERSISTENT mentality, we took this project on with a full head of steam. 

The Development Process

Sketching

We started out with some simple sketches in Adobe Illustrator so that GenZ could understand exactly what we brainstormed as a team to solve their problem. 

What features were necessary? What materials would best suit this bag? 

In the sketching process we were able to get on the same page as the client and show them how we believe the product should lay on the user. Below you can see the simple sketch with some call outs of pockets we believed were important for the common runner. Some of these features and pockets were requested by GenZ, while others were implemented by us with our previous experience.

Product Development Sketch

3D Design

3D Design is the exciting part. The owners of GenZ were able to see their product in a live view on our garment CAD software. Here were able to fully grasp how the product would sit on the user. 

Does it look good? Is everything we added necessary? 

Once GenZ became satisfied with the 3D concept, this design file became the cornerstone of the project. The file includes exact dimensions measurements. We also organized each layer to indicate which material to use on certain parts of the bag. Because we created this, our manufacture was able to cut patterns and source material without any excuse of miss measuring or using incorrect material. 

Prototyping

Now that we have the Tech Pack created and GenZ was happy with how it looked we proceeded to develop a prototype. The material was sourced and the patterns were cut. 

While we had a picture perfect item in 3D, creating this bag into a picture perfect product on the first shot is not easily done. You can see in the slideshow below that many details were off. This is to be expected. Small details are always altered in the iteration process.

In the slideshow below, you can see that some sizes didn’t work like we expected. With the design file in our back pocket we were able to dive back in and change certain measurements. With the aid of some screenshots, our manufacturer was able to easily understand what needed to be changed. This resulted in getting our next sample approximately two weeks later. 

Iteration

Iteration simply means fine-tuning the prototype until it is ready for the shelves. It is common for the timeline from first prototype to production-ready sample is 4-8 weeks, but in GenZ case it was about 3 months. GenZ wanted to run tests on different body types.

Did it chafe in certain areas? Was the bag big enough for the common phone? Was Wight ditributed correctly?

GenZ did not want to rush and we commend them for that. While we are able to move fast, creating the perfect product may take time. A good product will ultimately sell itself. Therefore, we were on standby for whenever GenZ wanted to move forward with an adjustment. 

Production

The athletes at GenZ were ready to rock-and-roll with a completed design. We told the manufacturer to begin sourcing the materials in bulk so that we could place an order. Since the manufacturer we were working with had a connection from the samples they created they were able to begin production within a week. 

We used this manufacturer previously and were satisfied with their work, but you can never assume that they would give us quality product the second time around. 

We tasked our overseas liaison with visiting the manufacturer to make sure they had a smooth operation in line. 

Additionally, our liaison was able to randomly request product testing for correct zipper functioning, logo printing, and sewing lines. In effect, the factory had pressure on them to perform. 

Inventory Logistics

Product development Inventory shipment

Our work is product development was done. The entire project ran smoothly and GenZ was happy with the outcome. They wanted to start selling immediately so we split their into 2 shipments. One shipment went with DHL in a 6 day delivery. This had 20 pieces of each style they had ordered. This enables GenZ to get the product in the hands of those who purchased on backorder. The rest of the shipment was about 20 days behind on an ocean freight delivery. Shipping by sea is much cheaper than by air. For a young startup like GenZ, they needed to save every penny where they could. We made sure to do our part in being as cost-effective as possible.

Now the fun part: Marketing

Building SEO

GenZ already had a website up and running. But they owners had little understanding of how the internet worked. Because we new the product so well and did our own research on who their dream customer was, we were able to find high volume keywords. In essence, we worked to acquire backlinks from high authority sites. Big name blogs wrote articles about the innovative product with the anchor text of, “Chest pack” and, “Running Chest bag.” Now the SERP’s on google for keywords like those above return links to their website. The best part? They are all organic, so GenZ doesn’t pay a dime for those clicks.

Running Social Ads

Facebook has some seriously complex algorithms. Trying to understand them all on your own takes years of reading, practicing, and wasting money. GenZ had a tight budget, so they utilized our services to run the ads while they focused on the other parts of the business. They shipped us products, we took great portrait shots and started running ads targeted towards those who run, hike, snowboard, and the like. Because we understood the algorithm and had a grasp on who to target, GenZ’s cost of acquisition was much cheaper than if they were to do it on their own.

Influencer Marketing

Finding individuals to promote your product is extremely time consuming. The owners of GenZ had a few in mind that they believed would be great ambassadors for the brand. GenZ needed to allocate their time to customer service, wholesale prospecting, and other important business tasks. So they tasked us to get the job done. With our access to a large database of influencers looking to partner with brands, and our expertise in negotiating with them, GenZ scored some pretty big names to promote their products. 

Selling like Mad

GenZ started selling and the snowball effect began. As they moved their way up in search rankings for targeted keywords and more individuals wanted to promote their gear, the sales began flooding in. 

“A good product sells itself.”

This quote holds true in all industries. Our design job was done, but our marketing efforts will last as long as GenZ desires to utilize our services. 

If you are interested in taking your product idea from napkin sketch to selling like crazy, we are here to help. 

About the Author
Ryan Lange

Ryan Lange is the Founder and Lead Product Designer of Persistent D&M. Ryan began his product design career developing soft good products in the outdoor industry and has since broadened his skills in 3D design, industrial design, and design engineering.

Leave a Reply