To reach consumers, but the revenue generated from selling the space to advertisers is also used to keep production costs low, ensuring greater value and affordability for distributors while enhancing the reach for marketers. In this way, the bloomerHang® takes advantage of previously unutilized space, and opens up new opportunities as . a marketing/media platform. The unique design of the bloomerHang® did not happen ovemigJ1t, but rather as a result of multiple design iterations.
Thian conducted many field studies in the wardrobes of friends and family, in fumiture stores, and in laundry vans, searching for the elements of design that would make the bloomerHang® viable. After comparing over 20 different hanger designs, one important fact he gleaned was a size disparity in hangers catering to the European and Asian markets; there was a difference in width of two inches. This was an important finding; with the company's efforts concentrated in Singapore-an Asian market-the larger, European 18-inch hanger would stretch the shoulders of clothing and wrinkle smaller garments.
This observation not only helped refine the product design to better cater to the local market, but also reduced the amount of material necessary to produce a single bloomerHang®, thereby saving on the costs of production. Another interesting fact gleaned from these fact-finding missions was that over 60 percent of the garments passing though dry-Cleaners were menswear; this allowed the company to better understand the demographics of its target audience, and to select its advertising partners.
It is this attention to detail that is behind the unique design of the bloomerHang®, and it has been recognized with nominations for a prestigious design award. The bloomerHang® is offered as a new marketing platform for advertisers and companies targeting a specific demographic. The bloomerHang® reaches its four target audience segments through four major distributors: tourists through hotels, students through hostels, healthconscious adults through gyms, and working professionals through dry-cleaners and laundromats.
In this way, bloomerHang® represents an extremely focused means of reaching its target audience directly. In the student segment, the company strives to establish close ties with student organizations and boarding residents' committees of the four major universities in Singapore. This has allowed it to reach a significant number of local undergraduates. Tapping on this, the bloomerHang® has been called upon to deliver diverse Advertisers and marketers are continually seeking new channels to reach and inform consumers about their latest products or services.
Now, even social media has penetrated the consciousness of mainstream society, and social media marketing has become commonplaceeven necessary-for many products. Yet, there are bound to be ways to reach an audience that have yet to be discovered-and many recently found means such as the one that may stare at you every moming as you reach into the wardrobe for an outfit to wear. This novel product is the bloomerHang®: a clothes hanger with customizable advertising messages.
The bloomerHang® is produced by a Singaporean company, bloomerang Pte Ltd, founded by Thian Zhiwen in mid-2008. Thian first conceived of the idea while frustrated with a broken hanger in a gym locker room; he also observed that the inside of the locker room was plastered with advertising posters, and thought to bring the two together. He capitalized on his experience with the paper products industry to come up with the bloomerHang®, a 100-percent biodegradable clothes . hanger, created from recycled corrugated cardboard and recyclable art paper.
The hanger serves all the functions of and is just as resilient as a conventional plasticwire hanger, but is cheaper to replace if it breaks-as clothes hangers often do--and leaves less of a carbon footprint as well. Not content with simply outperforming the conventional clothes hanger, what sets the bloomerHang® apart is an advertising space incorporated onto the art paper overlay integrated into its design. Not only does this space serve as a persistent advertisement for marketers marketing messages for fashionable shoes, electronic speakers. and even a healthy lifestyle campaign.
One of the more recent campaigns was an initiative by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to lower the incidence of smoking in Singapore. Targeting young adults and university graduates, the bloomerHang® served as a call to action and an invitation to a text-message competition organized by the HPB to get across its anti-smoking message. The overlay of the bloomerHang® has also been put to more interesting uses as a tool for greater marketing reach. One previous campaign involved the use of the bloornerHang® to distribute a discount coupon for a boutique, which was effective in increasing foot traffic.
Other uses of the unique design include attachments on the bloomerHang® itself, such as discount vouchers and restaurant brochures for tourists in hotels, or skin care and shampoo product samples for users in gyms. The launch of the bloomerHang® hanger was greeted with extensive press coverage and attention in Singapore. The company is active in entrepreneurship, design, and biodegradable waste management, and has been nominated for prestigious awards. The company also participates in multiple collaborations with tertiary institutions in Singapore, serving as an intriguing case study in product design, materials, and business marketing.
Though these have helped increase the visibility of the company and opened doors to new clients and collaborators, Thian concedes that it is still an uphill task to convince marketing managers to adopt such an unconventional marketing channel. Still, the company's efforts have not gone unnoticed, and parties abroadin Australia, Germany, Jakarta, and Kuwait-have expressed an interest in the bloomerHang® concept and business collaborations. At its core, however, the bloomerHang® remains a business for Thian, who sees the green aspect of his business as a necessary feature.
Without financial feasibility, he contends, it would be too difficult to convince retailers and distributors to switch over to the eco-friendly bloomerHang®. Sourcing for advertisers and seeking a media presence is, therefore, an important priority for the company. The business model of the company represents a hybrid between a conventional production company and a novel media platform. Business development efforts are divided between potential advertisers and interested marketers, and the gyms, hotels, and laundry services that make up bloomerHang'"'s distribution network.
Like its triangular shape, the bloomerHang® represents the coming together of benefits on three sides-a captivating marketing channel for the advertiser, an economical alternative to conventional plastic wire-hangers for outlets, and a green product for the consumer. Its three-sidedness also represents three aspects of the company's business strategy: practical product design, creativity in marketing, and an element of corporate environmental responsibility. This synergistic combination is no doubt the recipe for the bloomerHang®'s past and future success.