1. Executive Summary
DobbleBottle is a product that helps reduce the trouble of having to carry two containers for two drinks at any one time. The product allows customers to put two liquids at any temperature into an insulated bottle. Based on our research, we have determined that there are approximately 850,000 potential customers for our product. DobbleBottle aims to expand its product line further to cover more of the market for water bottle or flask users in future.
Through the use of primary and secondary research, our team would be conducting a feasibility report on the launching of the new product into the Singapore market. An analysis of the industry would first be made before coming up with questionnaires to better understand the response and demand towards our product. After which, we would then make a conclusion on whether or not the launching of the product in the Singapore industry is a feasible one. The feasibility would be covered in four areas, namely market, technical, organisational and operational feasibility.
It is observed that people carry multiple bottles when there is a need for them to carry several drinks with varying temperatures and it is inconvenient. And as lifestyle evolves, there is a growing demand for convenience and conventional bottles that carry a single beverage cannot provide the convenience needed. Hence, our team has decided to design a product that can help reduce this problem.
In the report, we are focusing on the Asia-Pacific region and more specifically on Singapore.
The rationale behind the choice of scope is that our team is more familiar with Singapore as the team has been based in Singapore for more than 10 years. Moreover, on top of having a world-class transport system, Singapore has had a good track record of being the 1st in terms of intellectual property protection and the 2nd best city to invest in for 15 consecutive years.
Industrial Trend Analysis
The vacuum flask industry is moving from glass vacuum flasks towards the newer stainless steel vacuum flasks. Moreover, consumers are motivated by the product's price, thus the industry is moving towards producing more inexpensive alternatives. Furthermore, there is also a movement towards more trendy designs to capture the youth market and the impulse buyers.
Developments in the Industry
There have been numerous attempts to modify the vacuum flask, but no company has had a successful breakthrough with the design and function of the flask till date. However the industry players have increased the differentiation of their products moderately by modifying the types of lids and drinking mechanism. 2
The global metal, glass and manufacturing industry has been growing steadily at a rate of around 3.5% for the last 4 years except in year 2008, with a drop in growth to 1.1%. The market is forecast to grow progressively at an increasing rate in the next 5 years, with a compounded annual growth rate of 2.8%.
Global industry value
In 2009, the industry is valued at US$299.6million, and is expected to expand by 18.7% to US$355.5million by end 2014. 1
With more than 50 manufacturers, the global metal, glass and manufacturing industry is monopolistically competitive in nature with each company producing products that are slightly differentiated. For this industry, barriers to entry like technology patents exist, but are low in nature. 1
Singapore Industry Value
We are looking at the vacuum flask and sport water bottle industry in Singapore. It is estimated to be SG$5.91m. 3
This expected growth indicates that the market is mature with limited product innovation. Thus, our new product will shock and awe the current players in the market. Accompanied with our differentiated product and barriers to entry, these will allow us to capture a sizeable market share. 1
Our group has identified Thermos vacuum flask, Nalgene water bottles and Sigg water bottles as direct competition to our product.
Thermos has been incorporated in Singapore since 1996 and has since developed a sizeable market demand with their wide-ranging products. They specialize in making reusable vacuum insulated containers. Thermos' unique selling points are the reliability, safety and quality of their products.
Nalgene water bottles have gained much popularity in Singapore since its launch in Singapore. Initially targeted at active outdoorsy people, Nalgene has diversified the range of designs they offer.
Sigg has accumulated brand equity with bottles that combine style and function with more than 100 new designs launched annually. The Swiss craftsmanship that goes into the production makes Sigg the best selling bottle in the world.
Table. Comparison between brands
Ability To Carry Two Drinks
After observing the different features of our direct competitors, we conclude that each brand has positive features, some unique to the individual companies. However, none of the existing brands has a product that allows the consumers to hold two drinks of varying temperatures simultaneously. The DobbleBottle bridges the gap by combining the positive aspects of each brand in addition to its added convenience to the consumers.
After evaluating the competitors above, the unique properties of DobbleBottle are manifested through the lack of perfect substitutes in terms of its functionality. Thus, the threat of substitution is minimal.
We have identified the firms that sell bottled water and packaged beverages as our indirect competitors since a portion of consumers value the convenience that disposable containers and packaging bring to them.
It is observed that there is an increase in environmental awareness, especially in Singapore where there is an increasing number of environmental initiatives, like the “One Million Acts Of Green”, to encourage Singaporeans to go green. Our team projects that the initiatives will induce people to convert from disposable containers to reusable containers, thereby enlarging our product market reach.
DobbleBottle has the first mover's advantage with a product that is a breakthrough in terms of functionality. However in the long run, our product may lose its competitiveness in terms of product differentiation with the influx of imitations and innovations entering the market.
In order to insulate the company from new competition, there is a need to constantly innovate and introduce new products that adhere to our company's vision. Moreover, each new innovation represents a procurement of a new patent that reinforces the barriers to entry for new entrants. Thus, DobbleBottle has the ability to maintain its market share in the long run.
General Public Data Analysis
Market segmentation is vital for us to better meet our customers' needs and provide us the opportunities for future growth. Our market can be segmented according to the customers' distinct needs, characteristics or behaviours in order to properly tailor our marketing mix to suit them.
Target Market Segment
Business to Consumer
Students and office workers would make up the bulk of our target market segment. Geographically, our customers would be centred around the market in Singapore, as it would be more viable for us as a start-up company to focus on a more concentrated market.
Demographically, our target market would be young adults aged 19-30, and have a middle- class spending power. They would buy our product for the benefit of having 2 drinks on the go, and their user status would be that of first-time users since our product has yet to be launched in the market. Through various promotional means, we hope to convert our buyers into loyal buyers in future.
This age group was chosen because our product will most probably yield the greatest utility for the consumers. From our survey results, the consumers from this age group would largely be students (59%) and individuals who typically have office jobs (40%). From our second survey results, we are able to conclude that approximately 68% of respondents prefer to bring it either to class or to work. Hence, the product would be marketed to fit their school or work lifestyles.
According to the adoption process, our target market would tend to be innovators and early adopters and have a more variety-seeking buying behaviour. Our target market of young adults leads us to believe that they will be more open to new products and experiences, and thus be more likely to purchase our product. Moreover, the changeable decals and wide variety of colours would appeal to the typically fashion-conscious and trendy target market.
Business to Business
Our target customer for business to business transactions would be corporations, which may choose to personalize the flasks with their corporate logos. These flasks can be marketed as corporate gifts, which would bring much benefit to the corporations in terms of branding and reputation. The flasks bear greater usefulness than a generic trinket as office workers would be able to make use of the flask on a daily basis. The flasks can also last for a longer duration as compared to other souvenir products because of the materials used in the flask, such as stainless steel.
To target students and working professionals who desire to have a quality flask which has the functionality of containing two drinks at a time, DobbleBottle gives consumers the option and freedom of choosing the combination of drinks they wish to put in the bottle. We hope to fulfill the needs of the Singapore industry and expand our products to an international market in the future.
Product description and design
DobbleBottle is a bottle that seamlessly merges convenience with utility. It is a multi-purpose beverage holder that offers increased functionality, portability, ease-of-use, and the aesthetic appeal that is unique to every individual.
The bottle has two compartments which can carry two different beverages at once. The unique function of this bottle is that it can keep two hot and cold drinks at their own temperatures for long periods.
The entire bottle excluding the cap is encased in transparent plastic. Customizable decals, pictures, and drawings (on paper) can be slid into the plastic casing for decorative and styling purposes. Thus, users have the freedom to customize their DobbleBottle according to their whims and desires.
Ease of piracy
There has been an issue of piracy on technology worldwide. However, the piracy rate in Singapore ("Singapore Ranking," 2010) is low where it is ranked the best worldwide in providing protection of intellectual property.
Besides, having the first mover's advantage, we are able to dominate the market for the first 5 years before the second mover comes in. Further research and development is to be done in order to keep our product ahead in terms of its competitiveness. Moreover, branding strategy is performed where entry barrier is erected to hinder the entry of newcomers.
Singapore Ranking. (2010). Retrieved 19 May, 2010, from http://www.sedb.com/edb/sg/en_uk/index/why_singapore/singapore_rankings.html
Intellectual Property Issues Intellectual property (Barringer & Ireland, 2010) is any intangible human product that has value in the marketplace. It provides competitive advantages to a company.
Patents ("Patents: Intellectual Property Office of Singapore," 2010)
Patent of invention DobbleBottle plans to patent our product to prevent the exploitation of our ideas having ascertained that there are no existing patents for products similar to ours.
Product Design ("Designs: Intellectual Property Office of Singapore," 2010)
DobbleBottle will also have to register for a new product design. In order to do so, the product design must satisfy the requirements stated on the website of Intellectual Properties Office of Singapore. The two main clauses are: the design must be new and industrially applied onto an article.
Trade Marks ("Trademarks: Intellectual Property Office of Singapore," 2010)
The database of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore was used to determine that no entities are registered under the company and product name, “DobbleBottle”. Thus we would be able to register our company and product name “DobbleBottle” as a trademark. The registration of the trademark should be in accordance with the Trademark Act in Singapore.
In conclusion, we are protected from potential product pirates via our obtained Intellectual Property rights, thus insulating ourselves from the risk of piracy.
Barringer, B. R., & Ireland, R. D. (2010). Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures (Third Edition): Pearson.
Designs: Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. (2010). Retrieved 16 May, 2010, from http://www.ipos.gov.sg/leftNav/des/
Patents: Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. (2010). Retrieved 16 May, 2010, from http://www.ipos.gov.sg/leftNav/pat/
Trademarks: Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. (2010). Retrieved 16 May, 2010, from http://www.ipos.gov.sg/leftNav/tra/
SAFETY ISSUES AND STANDARDS
The International Organization for standardization (ISO) is an internationally recognized standard organization that is based in Geneva, Switzerland1. It is a non-profit organization that ensures consistencies in the manner products are manufactured and the way they should be complied to. ISO standards can also be referred to as a standard where companies strive forward to, such that the basic conditions for a product to make good performance can be made possible. ISO standards are enforced such that products and services can be consistently met with the customers' requirements. This is done to enhance greater customers' satisfaction and promote more efficient manufacturing processes which results in lesser reworks and scraps. Generally, ISO standard provide better internal communication within the company as quality improvements are locked into place through document procedures. This entails a framework for Total Quality Management and continuous improvements during the process of the product2.
In order to achieve the ISO certification, roles within the team has to be carefully assigned. Manufacturing procedures, policies and system requirements have to be well recorded such that the individuals are aware of their respective roles. Internal auditing are subsequently conducted before regional ISO representatives are contacted for the application of the certification.
Obtaining ISO certification can take a lot of time and effort. However, once obtained, the outcome can be very rewarding due to its credentials which may propel the performance of the company that is looking forward to expand globally.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an organic compound that has been reported to be hazardous to health3. However, consumer products containing BPA have been made readily available on the shelves until recent report were severely raised to question the detrimental effects of these products on human health. There is a wide range of consumer products that contain BPA. One such product that has been used often in our daily life is the water bottle.
BPA can be extremely detrimental to health where reports have mentioned that the chemical can cause health problems such as obesity4, 5, 6, thyroid malfunction7, cancer8, intestinal inflammation9 and heart diseases10. As a result, consumer products being BPA free is very important, especially in the context of food contact products. Thus, our team has strived to go BPA free for being both health and environmental conscious and for the well being of our future consumers.
 Update on Bisphenol A for Use in Food Contact Applications: January 2010. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 15 January 2010.
 Rubin, B.; Soto, A. (May 2009). "Bisphenol A: Perinatal exposure and body weight". Molecular and cellular endocrinology 304 (1-2): 55-62.
 Heindel, J.; Vom Saal, F. (May 2009). "Role of nutrition and environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals during the perinatal period on the aetiology of obesity". Molecular and cellular endocrinology 304 (1-2): 90-96.
 Newbold, R.; Padilla-Banks, E.; Jefferson, W. (May 2009). "Environmental estrogens and obesity". Molecular and cellular endocrinology 304 (1-2): 84-89.
 Grün, F.; Blumberg, B. (May 2009). "Endocrine disrupters as obesogens". Molecular and cellular endocrinology 304 (1-2): 19-29.
 Brisken, C. (2008). "Endocrine Disruptors and Breast Cancer". CHIMIA International Journal for Chemistry 62: 406-409.
 Braniste, V.; Jouault, A.; Gaultier, E.; Polizzi, A.; Buisson-Brenac, C.; Leveque, M.; Martin, P.; Theodorou, V. et al. (2009). "Impact of oral bisphenol a at reference doses on intestinal barrier function and sex differences after perinatal exposure in rats" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107 (1): 448-453
 Melzer, D.; Rice, N. E.; Lewis, C.; Henley, W. E.; Galloway, T. S.; Zhang, B. (2010). "Association of Urinary Bisphenol a Concentration with Heart Disease: Evidence from NHANES 2003/06”
We surveyed 100 individuals to examine the market demand for DobbleBottle. As can be seen from figure __, most respondents were from our target age group, which helped in the reliability of our research.
Our first survey asked the respondents to choose between 2 models of the DobbleBottle, and give reasons for their choice. The two models are shown below:
Our survey respondents gave the response of preferring product B (58%) over product A (42%). Since the results are not distinctively different, we had to make use of the feedback the respondents had given us, in order to better improve our product design to suit the target market's demands.
The results showed that 58% of the respondents preferred model A. Since neither model was chosen decisively, we decided to send out a second survey, offered to the same respondents to ensure reliability. This survey offered a new model that was designed and modified using the comments from the previous survey. The enhanced model is shown below:
Our enhanced model had 2 compartments, and had a carabiner on the top lid. One of the respondents commented that “no one really carries 4 different drinks”. We didn't choose model A because the mechanism to adjust volume didn't seem technically feasible and cost effective. One surveyor noted that model B would have more aesthetic potential, so we added a changeable decal function. A hot/cold indicator was also added on the suggestion of a respondent who said “I wouldn't be able to tell which drink is which”.
The 2nd survey respondents stated that the enhanced model was a significant improvement from the previous models, thus showing that the usage of a 2nd survey to modify our product was very effective.
Based on the survey results, we concluded that our target market was interested in our product, as shown in Figure __.
Moreover, a large proportion (70%) of those surveyed indicated that the DobbleBottle would be able to value add to their lifestyles. This is an extremely important part of our marketing strategy as value adding to lifestyles can strongly influence the demand for DobbleBottle, making it more than just a want.
As of 2008, our target market segment of young adults aged 19-30 make up approximately 17.5%of the country's population, and this translates to a total of 846895 people whom we want to market our product to in Singapore.
Appendix: Youths aged 15-29 make up 20.6% of the total population .85% would be our target market aged 19-30. Hence 0.85 X 20.6% =17.5% would make up the total percentage of our target market. This would come up to approximately 846895 people which we are hoping would purchase our product in Singapore.
The following figure shows where respondents would like to buy DobbleBottle. This will help us to determine the best location to sell our product from.
The following figure shows us the preferred price ranges for DobbleBottle. This information is essential for pricing the DobbleBottle.
In the second survey, we capitalized on the first survey and offered a narrower range of prices, thus potentially enhancing our pricing strategy.
The results show that most respondents are willing to spend between $15 - $17.40. Hence, we decided the price of DobbleBottle to be $15.90, catering to both high paying and low paying users.
Primary Research - Interview with Lee Chee Keong
DobbleBottle interviewed Mr Lee Chee Keong, the Manager of Thermos (Singapore) Pte Ltd. He aids the management and supervision of staff and employees, and through his management, helps the company achieve its growth and development. Because of his expertise in the industry, he would be in a good position to gauge the industry performance and demand.
Firstly, Mr Lee noted that the industry is moving towards products having a “more trendy design and a wider range of colours, to appeal to the younger crowd”. This is a good prospect for DobbleBottle as young adults are our target market, and because DobbleBottle is leveraging on its ability to provide changeable decals with a wide variety of colours. However, he mentioned that our changeable decals may not appeal to older age groups, so we should consider this for future strategies.
Moreover, he noted that there is a huge market for cheaper variations of thermal flasks, as compared to the Thermos flask which sells for around $42 per bottle. Hence, our pricing strategy is in line with this trend in the market, and it would also be better for our target market segment as students and young working adults should presumably have a lower disposable income than more mature adults.
In addition, he noted that Singapore as a geographical location would be convenient for consumers the distribution of the product to consumers due to its small size. Moreover, he noted that departmental stores would be more convenient for consumers to access our product as compared to having a concept store. This comment of his ties in neatly with our distribution methods which would be largely focused on departmental stores and supermarkets.
A key feedback he gave us was that it is imperative that our product is infused into the lifestyles of our consumers. We can do this by marketing our product in such a way that consumers would find a need for our product instead of just merely classifying it as a want.
Buy versus Make Analysis
An estimated cost of S$122,204.00 is expected for the first month of operation if we setup a production line to produce DobbleBottle. On the other hand, the cost of outsourcing our production to a manufacturer in China is significantly lower at S$14,800.00. Moreover, the production line will be severely underutilised as a small quantity is produced on a daily basis.
Secondly, one year is required to set up a functioning production line in the make model. However, the setting up of a functioning office space under the buy model takes only a month. In the interim period between setting up and operation, costs such as rental and utilities will be incurred. This cost is lower with the buy model.
The lag time also poses a threat to our product competitiveness in terms of novelty if a competitor launches a similar product in the interlude. However, with the patent rights in place under the well-established intellectual property rights laws in Singapore, such threats will be eliminated.
Next, a make model allows us to increase the intensity of production to meet a higher demand volume but there will be a sizeable amount of fixed cost involved. Any exit will translate to substantial losses since the items such as machineries, are industry specific and cannot be used to produce other products. Comparing this model to the buy model, the latter has a much lower cost of exit since the fixed cost is low.
Lastly, although shipment costs exist in the buy model, cargo insurance will well cover any loss and damages of shipment goods and thereby minimizing the risk component.
Thus our group has decided to undertake the buy strategy because it is lower in costs compared to the make strategy.
Breakeven Volume (Units) = Total Fixed Cost/ (Selling Price - Variable Cost)
= 18550/ ( 15.9- 5.25) = 1741.78 = 1742 units
Breakeven Sales = Breakeven Volume (units ) x Selling Price per unit
= 1742 x 15.9
Assuming 1000 units are sold in a period of 1 year,
It would take a total of 1 year, 9 months before the company can breakeven and begin to make a profit.
Organizational Feasibility analysis is a method of determining wether a business is capable of succeeding with the management in place and the resources available to the company.
The people in the initial venture team consist of the following people:
Managing Director: Mr. Lua Cheong Hong
Lua Cheong Hong
The managing director is the leader within the company; he is the person that decides on the directions and policies for which the company follows.
Chief Executive Officer: Miss. Low YiShi
Low Yi Shi
In the event, that there is a managing director, the CEO is in charge of executing the plans and policies that are set by the upper-management .
Research and Development Officer: Mr. Sifat Nabil Rahman
Sifat Nabil Rahman
The research and development officer is responsible for looking into improvements on the product design and material selections . This officer brings a concept to a feasible product prototype.
Chief Technical Officer: Mr. Leo Cheng Ming
Leo Cheng Ming
The chief technical officer is in charge of dealing with all technical aspects within the company. He will be dealing with engineers and technicians while ensuring compliance with the company' procedures and safety regulations.
Chief Financial Officer: Miss. Chin Yu Yuan Heather
Chin Yu Yuan Heather
The chief financial officer is in charge of dealing with the finances of the company. The chief financial officer is in charge of overlooking and handling the finance issues of the company while prioritizing and highlighting the cash flow constraints within the company. She reports to the CEO.
Chief Marketing Officer: Mr. Ong Hsien Ming Justin
Ong Hsien Ming Justin
The chief marketing officer is an executive that is in charge of handling all the marketing aspects within the company.
The team is committed and seek to stick with the plan for the coming 5 years. In all events, strict legal proceedings will be adhered to and company registration will be handled at ACRA by professional lawyers. These measures are in place to prevent and reduce and damages that may occur which will disrupt DobbleBottles's performance.
Due to the time constraints, it was difficult to undertake a comprehensive survey with a large sample size. If we had done so, our market research would probably have more depth, and our conclusions about the market would have been more strongly substantiated. It could have led to different results and conclusions altogether.
Another obstacle was that we could not schedule some interviews with some industry insiders, because appointments could not be made on such short notice. More interviews could have provided us with diverse viewpoints, so that we could obtain a greater understanding of the nature of the market and industry.
Our secondary research using NTU Business library sources and internet resources was limited by a lack of information regarding our industry. The vacuum flask industries are not specifically defined and distinct, making the search for specific information to be an arduous task. Hence, we relied heavily on our primary research to gain information about our industry trends.
Because DobbleBottle is an “on-the-go” bottle, there exists a compromise between portability and effective thermal insulation. The insulation is compromised by the increase in portability. Hence, striking a balance between these two desired aspects of DobbleBottle is hard to achieve.
Things to look at in the future
1) Environmental Awareness
As the world turns to a greener future, the use of plastic products may be reduced. This is because plastics are non-biodegradable and difficult to recycle. As the DobbleBottle contains significant amounts of plastic, there will be concern among customers about its effect on the environment. Thus, for long term viability, DobbleBottle should consider changing the material composition of the product when it becomes feasible in the future.
2) Photonic Crystals
One way to enhance the thermal insulating ability of DobbleBottle is to use photonic crystals. Research suggests that photonic crystals can be much better thermal insulators than pure vacuums. This technology will allow DobbleBottle to be more portable and effective in function. However, at present photonic crystals are not commercially viable because its practicality as thermal insulators is still being researched.
3) Expanding the product line and geographic region
DobbleBottle can increase its consumer base by targeting a new market segment in future, for instance children or the elderly, so that it fully penetrates the market of flasks or water bottle users. The DobbleBottle can come in various sizes to suit the newly targeted market segments.
 Singapore : Country Profile. (2008). Singapore.
Singapore Ranking. (2010). Retrieved 19 May, 2010, from http://www.sedb.com/edb/sg/en_uk/index/why_singapore/singapore_rankings.html
 About Thermos; http://www.thermos.com/WhatMattersToUs_SWF.aspx; Accessed on 15th May 2010
 About Nalgene; http://www.nalgene-outdoor.com/about/history.html; Accessed 15th May 2010
 About Sigg; http://www.sigg.com/about-sigg/; Accessed on: 19th May 2010
 Environmental Challenge Organization; http://www.eco-singapore.org/about-us; Accessed on: 19th May 2010
 World Bank, World Development Indicators
 Appendix: Summary of cost for make model
 Appendix: Summary of cost for buy model
 Cross reference to patent section
 Appendix: Fixed cost figures
 Appendix: Insurance Coverage