iLifebuoy was developed to serve 2 large customer / user segments: A) Watercrafts – incl. cruise ships, ferries, passenger ships, tourist boats, canal boats, yachts – referenced with “W”; B) Coastal infrastructure open to the public – public areas, bars, restaurants, residential estate) – referenced with “S”. The User Needs Assessments we performed as part of our development cycle helped us identify the following stakeholders: cruise companies, Ferry boat operators, passenger ship carriers, tourist boat operators, tourists, private boat owners, life guards and coastal public space managers. These Needs Assessments enabled us to hone in on the critical user pain points and then refine the functionality of the product to ensure they are appropriately addressed. In addition to the unique selling point advantages (USPs) outlined in FIG. 1 ‘Competing Solutions’ above, iLifebuoy successfully tackles the following user concerns thus increasing users willingness to buy it (willingness to pay):
- Given that cruise companies often compete for the same set of customers for a particular destination, PR is of the upmost importance. In one of our Needs Assessments we contacted the Marketing and PR teams of 3 of the best appreciated cruise companies – Viking Cruises, Silversea and Crystal. They all confirmed that if there was a “robot lifeguard” onboard – they would include it in “The training” at the beginning of each cruise. Because rescue boats and life jackets are the same on all cruise lines, but the view of how an iLifebuoy finds the MOB alone will be unforgettable to customers. And will bring about a strong increase in customer confidence.
- All “W” case users -Cruise, passenger and tourist ships can improve overall safety onboard as well as decrease their insurance premiums due to risk of incidents, law suits and negative PR
- Cruise, passenger and tourist ships can position themselves as ‘innovators/pioneers’ in the field by leveraging advanced robotized safety technologies while their competitors are ‘stuck in the past’
- All “S” case users and private boat owners – iLifebuoy provides ‘a qualified and constantly aware lifeguard’ and substantially increases the chance of a successful MOB rescue (even when there is no lifeguard present)
Our targeted customers represent a mix of a) businesses – cruise and ferry operators and managers, merchant and other ships; b) private individuals – private boat owners – primary customers; c) coastal establishments (“S”) – secondary customers. We have already established connections with a considerable number of potential customers that took part in our User Needs Assessments (i.e. they are part of our user base). Additionally, as a partner of the ‘Inland Waterways Association’, we are well positioned to engage with our target business and private customers. Finally, we will further increase our customer reach by partnering with already established providers of safety equipment. (see ‘Commercialisation Plan’ section for details).