January 26, 2014
“Our vision at Allocacoc is to set a different standard,” says Khoi Ho Si. “That is, we want to change everyday products that haven’t been changed for years; we give those products a new twist.”
In other words, the design team that hails from The Netherlands always seeks to give their products added functionalities and not just new designs. That allows them to change the complete user experience of a product.
For example, think of a power strip. What’s really changed about it since it was invented?
“The power strip is a very unhandy, bulky product with no sex appeal,” says Ho Si. “And it always seems to be out of your reach when you need a power socket.”
Allocacoc applied their creative twist to the traditional power strip by designing the PowerCube. This modular reconfiguration enables people not only to avoid the setbacks of a power strip, but also to create their own wiring system.
The plug comes with small USB extension cords and mounting platforms, so they aren’t really rooted to the same places as traditional power strips. You can set the sticky dock on the leg of your desk, on the wall above your TV, or on the bottom side of a tabletop, and then clip your PowerCube in.
But when you redesign a product like the power strip, it’s never easy; breaking ingrained habits and thought processes takes a lot of time. While the user response is positive, the road has still been trying for the Allocacoc team.
They took it upon themselves to handle all of their own production. That means they have to pre-finance their costs when it comes to production, shipping, and selling. At any given point, the company has to bridge a financial gap of four months.
The bright side of the personal manufacturing option is that it opens up some beneficial doors further down the road. That is, Allocacoc can seek direct partnerships with a distributor, which drastically lightens the burden of marketing on their end.
Additionally, since they are the designers and manufacturers, they can lower the cost of their product significantly. When it comes to competitors, and there have been a few, having the lower price gives them a substantial edge.
“Power sockets will always be needed,” says Ho Si. “It is a low-tech product that is not sensitive for time, and we’re confident that the market will not change dramatically in the next 10 years.”
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