Note: I no longer work with IonLab since Nov 12 of 2009.
The past couple of weeks has been a rollercoaster ride for us and for ion.
Sales has been very good so far, but our observation is that people in India are still hesitant to buy online from reasons such as credit card security concerns (understandably so) to recently Paypal changing their UI making it more difficult for the average person to understand what to do. So, we started accepting offline payments and that has worked out well.
What's the response to ion? Simply amazing. I mean if you think about it, it's just a charger (<marketing-pitch>and works really really well</marketing-pitch>), and yet people are so appreciative and supportive of what we are trying to do. The clincher is that it solves a real problem. I've often heard the phrase "I just needed something like this."
As we say in our about page:
Moral of the story : "See a need, fill a need" -- 'Robots' movie.
The three biggest points about "ion" (both the company and the product) that people like are:
We took the idea to execution. This alone amazes people. I still remember what Jace once said: "Ideas are cheap. Execution is everything."
The statement we make : "Made in India. Available only in India." and "We are just Indians who want to make products for India." Nothing much to be said here, except that we mean it and it's not something we say lightly or say it for the sake of it. And no, we're not going to rephrase it as "I'm just an Indian who wants to develop products in India for everyone in the World" as someone suggested.
We have a very good finishing - the ion itself and the packaging looks very good and has a professional presentation. At the right price point.
Another aspect is how word-of-mouth has helped ion and we were banking on that because we do not have a marketing budget other than the posters we are giving to our friends to put up in their company notice boards. Most people came to know about ion through emails, and it's surprising how effective email forwards are - the chain just keeps going on and on, and many times my friends had come to know even before I sent it to them because someone had already forwarded it!
Processing all the ion emails is both a chore and fun...
The worst mail we've got is:
first time in india single click orkut programs launching a product,website,service etc. but dont have enough money to market your product,service,website etc.
there are more than 3 crore registered resident indian on orkut out of 8 crore indian internet user.noboby can question the potentional of orkut.
orkut single click tools can help u to reach 3 crore indians at cheapest price possible.
the features of orkut single click program are as follows:
1)Single click to scrap all your friends. 2)A Single click can directly take u to a user's scrap book or album 3)A single click directly creates a topic in all the groups u have joined 4)A Single click helps u to join a community. 5)IDEAL for people who frequently use ORKUT,people who want to market their product.
Free stuff included : 1)orkut FAN FLOODing 2)DATABASE of 8 crore email address 3)FREE orkut tweaks
i m gonna give this full package in a cd for 500 rs and shipping 50 Rs extra
plz call 098________(Editor's Note: Full number not reproduced to protect the guilty)
Some of the best mails we have received are:
I would like to congratulate all three of you for your New product - "ion | power your music". I wish you three develop more and more usable products for all of us. I would like to buy it even though i don't have any of the product which needs usb charging.
If you are devising a marketing strategy for your company and this product, I will be glad to offer any assistance. I have worked in pre-Sales Europe for quite some time and my experience, given the remarkable nature of your product may prove helpful.
I am a B.Tech-III Electronics student. Came to know about you through some forward. I actually have few such ideas (related to electronics), but don't know how to commercialize them. Can you help me out? Though I can get placed in some MNC easily, I am more interested in implementing my ideas.
I think this last mail was the best we've ever got. I'm starting to believe what Vikram says that more and more of this generation are thinking like this, and "want to do things for India", and he/we mean that in a non-political non-hyper-patriotic manner. It's just that simple "ness" in us.
And finally, some of the blogs that have written about us are:
All in all, there's more work to be done, but so far so good. There's more to it behind the scenes, and perhaps I'll write about it in another post.