Lightening Challenge

24 Hour Case Competition 

My New Year’s Resolution for 2018 was to try to fail more to learn more. Thus, when I saw that the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship was holding a business consulting competition, I immediately knew I wanted to participate. As a designer, I was completely out of my element and I loved it. Much to my surprise, I was able to use design thinking to consult the company and in the end, win the competition!

 

The competition asked my team and I to take on a Harvard Business case study, determine where the business at hand failed, and ideate a solution that could have potentially saved them.

Overview

Time:

24 hours

Business women who want to feel empowered by their clothes and no longer reduced to a number/their size

User:

My Role: 

Collaborate through design thinking to create a product that can help MiddleTree advance their mission

What We

Created: 

Redesigned business model and service

User Interviews, Persona Development, Low-Fidelity Prototyping, User Testing,

Strategies

Used:

Understanding hidden true user needs through theories on priming and conditioning

Brain stuff: 

Quincy: A Failed Clothing Company

The business we were presented was Quincy, which promised perfectly fit women’s business attire.

 

Quincy’s Business Model:

Build 80% of item

Complete remaining 20% using customer’s inputted bra size

Provide perfect fit suit

Quincy failed because customers kept returning items, claiming they still did not fit right around their bust

Strange Choices

As I read into their business model, I found that Quincy had held some strange misunderstandings about their customers.

They were basing their “perfect fit” formula but 80% of women wear the wrong bra size

Why wouldn’t they just purchase a competitor’s suit and pay $40 more for personal tailoring

Their suits were priced at $160 which similar to their competitors.

Why wouldn’t a customer purchase a brand name suit at a similar price

Brand name suits empowers women with social capital and gives them a community

Getting A Deeper Understanding of the Problem

We conducted user interviews around campus to understand what really appeals to women. Here are highlights from the conversations we had with five female career minded students.

“Going and getting my bra size measured is just this awful and really invasive thing”

 

“I hate that at some stores I am a 4 and others I am 6, like what does that even mean?”

It is not about the fit, it is about the feel

The interviews revealed that there is a need to revitalize women’s shopping experience when purchasing business attire.

Yet, the solution is not to simply change the measurement system.  We discovered that women for years have felt defined by numbers. The measurement system made them feel terrible about their bodies and as a result, they have been conditioned to resent the current sizing system. Quincy does not need to throw away standardized sizing as a whole, but can instead provide a new take on sizing guides that is uplighting rather than traumatizing.

A Suit that fits a Woman’s Real Needs

Here is the new product and associated service, my team and I designed

Step One:  Perfect Fit Band is Mailed to Home

User creates a profile on Quincy.com and receives perfect fit bands in the mail

Star and Strength rather than Numbers

User creates a profile on Quincy.com and receives perfect fit bands in the mail

Step Two:  User inputs information into their personal online profile

Instead of their previous model, Quincy will now create 10 standard sizes. Women will input their information and algorithm will determine which one of the ten sizes they are a best fit for.

 

If a user is between sizes, the website will inform her and offer personalized tailoring for purchase to get her a better fit.

 

We carefully chose the diction used during this process, since our goal was to inject positivity into what has become a emotionally painful experience for women.