2.8 | Sustainable Startup Product Strategy

2.8 | Sustainable Startup Product Strategy

We are still figuring out this "product strategy" thing.

We recently pulled two products off of our line. We were successfully able to design, source, and manufacture the Original Tote and Duffel bag but had to compromise in one area or another. Ultimately, I believed they were taking too much time to manage and produce and were not returning. It felt counter-intuitive to pull them even though we had spent countless hours doing design and sourcing. Also, the Tote was the first product I ever created as I learned how to sew in a spare bedroom. The only reason Dunsel's really started was because we made the tote and won a few pitch competitions at universities. 

In return for cutting out products, I have seen the benefits of reducing our product line. Specifically, the Pinhook tote received the attention it deserved, resulting in very positive sales data and durability ratings. It was easy to be of the mindset that by creating more products we would grow faster. That may be a strategy for a developer with a proven process for creating products that will sell. I on the other hand was learning as I went. 

With the high cost associated with on-demand U.S. manufacturing and buying parts in low volume, our profit margin was eaten alive. We have had to seriously evaluate the economic viability of this business. This is a challenge directly related to our sustainable mission. Being sustainable at our scale does mean you sacrifice profits. 


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