When delivery fails, it costs in more ways than one. In today’s show, I talk with Santiago Navarro, founder and CEO of Garçon Wines. Santiago shares his unique solution to a constraint that caused major problems for his online wine business. Based in the UK, Santiago developed a packaging innovation that ensures delivery the first time. But his flat wine bottle does much more than simply guarantee delivery. This constraint-based innovation gives rise to market opportunities beyond the mailbox.
Constraints that Spark Innovation
Santiago’s online wine business suffered because wine bottles would not fit through the traditional UK mailbox. Failed deliveries cost the business. This was the spark for his flat wine bottle innovation. In developing the bottle design, other constraints factored. When it comes to wine, heritage and tradition are strong elements. The wine bottle designs used today date back 200 years and are steeped in tradition. The challenge was to toe the line of tradition as much as possible with the packaging innovation. Another constraint was aesthetics. The new design had to present well on the table. In the case of this constraint-based innovation, the constraints further refined the product.
Shaping the Flat Wine Bottle
The design process involved focus on three circles of a Venn diagram:
- Aesthetic, emotional and experiential in one circle,
- Function and functionality in another circle,
- Sustainability in the third circle.
Respect for tradition along with these elements helped to shape the design. The result was a packaging innovation that solves a number of problems. Aside from cost savings, the flat wine bottle leaves a smaller carbon footprint. It minimizes the space needed in delivery. The bottle is made of post-consumer recyclable material. This also makes the packaging innovation friendly to the environment.
Timing is Everything
The flat wine bottle has gained broad acceptance. Leaders in wine and wine logistics are taking notice. Airlines, where space is a premium, are interested. His packaging innovation has won awards and received plenty of media attention. In fact, I posted an article on the flat wine bottle at The Innovator’s Community, which led to this show.
The desire for convenience, sustainability and cost savings resonates with people. The timing is right for the flat wine bottle. It’s a wine bottle for the 21st century. But Santiago recognizes that not everyone is ready to embrace it. He doesn’t want to rush it.
Words of Advice
It took years to get his packaging innovation from idea to market. Reflecting on this, Santiago says don’t give up if you believe in what you’re doing.
He offers another word of advice for those innovating a physical product. Get a minimum viable product (MVP) as soon as possible. This is essential when presenting your idea to people. It will save time and money in the long run.
For details on Garçon Wines, visit www.garconwines.com.
Santiago Navarro is founder and CEO of Garçon Wines, creator of the flat wine bottle. He is a serial entrepreneur, launching his first start-up, Vinopic Wines, in 2011. He is also co-founder of Nightly.travel, an online hotel booking site.
You may follow him on Twitter at SantiagoBiz.
You may also reach him through The Innovators Community (www.theinnovators.community), a free online community for innovators.
To hear the interview with Santiago Navarro, listen to this week's show, The Wine Bottle: Ripe for Packaging Innovation.
The life cycles of your industry and your customer can make or break you. Ignoring these life cycles, can render a business suddenly obsolete. But how can you see what’s next and keep ahead of these life cycles?
Five Minutes to New Ideas
This week’s Five Minutes to New Ideas reveals tips for understanding customer and industry life cycles.
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This show is produced by The Innovators Network.