Strengths and Weaknesses
The unique technology, strong customer base, and brand of a product are some of the features that can give a company competitive advantages and distinct competencies over others. Borderless Inc prides itself as an innovative company able to produce a state-of-the-art technology helmet. CrossHelmet has enhanced safety compared to other traditional helmets due to its integrated head-up display, 360o visibility, sound management, and connectivity (Kickstarter, 2021). Since the company has a strategic market plan to sell its products worldwide, it, therefore, enjoys a strong international customer base enabling more sales and profits.
This marketing element is further reinforced by the fact that the company is able to promote and advertise products online, hence reaching more customers at a lower cost. Arata Oono, the founder and CEO of Borderless Inco, is a passionate and experienced product designer. His experience and that of the management team ensure a smooth running of operations, maximizing output. World-class engineers and designers with vast expertise contribute to its reliable workforce. In general, the crew ensures targets are achieved within a set budget and desired quality.
Despite the unique nature of its product, the company faces some constraints, which, if not addressed earlier enough, can impede its success. The technology used is expensive, and this can plunge the firm into a financial crisis as capital could become a challenge. Since the parts for manufacturing are outsourced from other companies located in different regions, logistic control will be an issue for production targets. Currently, there is an inadequate human resource to ensure shipment and delivery are done in time, hence forcing customers to look for alternatives. The language barrier among international employees is an aspect, which affects communication in the firm. Misinterpretation of messages can lead to delays and losses, and, thus, should be put into consideration. In the current world, it is mainly young people who explore online media; therefore, reaching elderly customers will become a challenge.
Opportunities and Threats
The motorcycle industry is evolving at a faster rate currently compared to the 1990s. Numerous improvements have been made in motorbike production, with little effort being put into the helmet, which is the most fundamental safety equipment for riders. Production of helmets with 360o vision has not been achieved in the industry. Therefore, a company with such technological capabilities can surely enjoy numerous opportunities in the market. Just as in any other industry, the aspect of online buying has boosted sales and profits. Through internet platforms, customers can buy products remotely without having to move to the market. This has also made it easy for businesses to reach new clients, receive their feedback, and act on them.
The motorbike industry is facing numerous threats in the market, which, if not addressed, may affect its success. People in the transport sector prefer cheaper helmets as long as safety is guaranteed. Therefore, based on competitiveness and economic value, sales of sophisticated and expensive products like that of CrossHelmet cannot attract many customers.
The smartphone functions of the product are readily available on IOS and android phones. Customers may prefer to buy cheaper helmets and later install the CrossHelmet smartphone app to enhance connectivity instead of buying expensive products. In some countries, making calls while driving or riding is prohibited. Such regulations can render the connectivity feature of the product inapplicable. Communicating while riding can lead to loss of concentration, hence causing accidents.
Competitors of CrossHelmet
One of the products with similar specifications that can give CrossHelmet serious competition is a Full-Face helmet. The latter, which is produced by the Jix helmet, is similarly built with a chin bar able to provide protection of the jaw-line and chin during impact. It has Bluetooth connectivity and a tinted or dark visor for reducing glare in the sun. Its vent ensures air circulation; however, Full-Face helmets are retailing relatively cheaper at $120 to $690 compared to CrossHelmet, which has a market price of $1799 (Kickstarter, 2021).
Off-Road helmet, which is manufactured by Shoei Helmets, is suitable for rough, muddy, and rocky terrain and also have features similar to those of CrossHelmet (Ellena et al., 2018). The former is built with an elongated chin bar and visor area to provide comfort and safety. It protects riders from flying dirt and debris while in “off-road” terrains. Conversely, the helmet is retailing as low as $160-899, making it more economical.
Lastly, dual sport helmets, which are produced by Foshan Nanhai Xinyuan Helmet Co., Ltd., have combined features of Full-Face and off-road products and only retail between $220-960. Such kind of helmets has a wider visor, integrated aerodynamics, elongated chin bar, and increased cushioning, offering more comfort. With its combined features, a dual sport helmet can be suitable while riding in mixed terrain.
Due to relatively higher prices of CrossHelmet’s products, the company will face unfavorable market competition from Jix helmets, Shoei Helmets, and Foshan Nanhai Xinyuan Helmet Co., Ltd. This relates to the fact that the majority of riders in the transport sector prefer cheaper helmets as long as their safety is guaranteed.
Strategic Alternatives for CrossHelmet
Based on Igor Ansoff’s matrix of strategic growth, CrossHelmet should concentrate more on diversification and market development approaches. The former would ensure proper expansion into the new markets such as Africa, America, and European, which the product has not reached. Through the addition of new features and services appealing to the diverse population, CrossHelmet will manage to attract more customers; hence, more sales and profits would be achieved (Ellena et al., 2018). Similarly, market development would aid in growth as opportunities in line with the current product will be created, enabling the exploration of new markets.
Kickstarter. (2021). CrossHelmet – The smart motorcycle helmet. Web.
Ellena, T., Mustafa, H., Subic, A., & Pang, T. Y. (2018). A design framework for the mass customisation of custom-fit bicycle helmet models. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 64, 122-133. Web.