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Case 2 - Start-up in 3D printed design

Starting point

3Ddesign.com is a start-up company that sells design furniture and accessories online. All products have been produced in a unique way: with a 3D printer. Based on the topics described in Chapter three, an Internet strategy is constructed that should lead to realization of the vision statement: to be an important player in ten year's time, worldwide, in the area of 3D printed design with modern, relevant designers that sell their designs through 3Ddesign.com.

Market developments, the Internet vision and strategy

The market for design furniture and accessories is changing rapidly. Where in the past design was sold largely in physical retail stores for high prices, the first big change arose with web shops that started selling high-quality design online at sharp prices. As a result, there has been a big shift to the Internet as a main point of sale. In addition, two trends can be observed: an increasing demand of the consumer to be able to buy custom-made design (such as, cupboards or desks with certain measurements) and the wish to add a personal touch to it. Speedy delivery for a good price has become an important factor as well. On the basis of these trends, three scenarios are constructed as to how the market for design will change the coming years.

1.  Design is increasingly a commodity that is sold online with declining margins as a result, so that only the larger companies with large sales volumes will survive;

2.  Design is increasingly a niche product and, in economically challenging times, is being sold to an ever declining target group both online and in retail stores;

3.  Design is increasingly sold as a commodity for sharp prices, but there is also demand for custom-made design with a personal touch. The target group is growing; more people want personalized, distinctive furniture that they can easily buy online.

Scenarios three is considered the most likely future scenario for design furniture, and accordingly this scenario is chosen as a guideline for formulating the vision statement.