BlueSmart is a technology company that developed an Internet-connected travel carry-on. BlueSmart’s carry-on has several Internet enabled features that enhance the user experience, but the carry-on’s ability to capture user location data makes the product a digital winner.
The BlueSmart is leaps and bounds ahead of their closest competitor when it comes to digital features. Their carry-on has a digital lock that is controlled by your phone, has proximity alerts which sync through Bluetooth, and has location tracking using an embedded GPS. The features alone make the product unique, evidenced by the $2,000,000 the company raised on indigogo.com
Trip Data App
The app creates value for users by keep track of all visited locations, logging time spent in travel, and providing flight reminders.
BlueSmart has the potential to capture the most value by providing advertisers and service providers information on individual’s future travel plans and accurate location tracking.
Targeting Travel Plans
Advertisers such as Google would benefit from knowing a BlueSmart user’s upcoming travel plans. Imagine a situation in which BlueSmart provides Google with a user’s itinerary for an upcoming trip to the Bahamas. Google can subsequently target the user with advertisements related to beach vacations. Hotels and car rentals would also benefit from this information, allowing them to send the user special offers.
Accurate Location Tracking
BlueSmart has already partnered with Uber to provide easy access to airport rides. With the touch of a button, a BlueSmart user can request their Uber as soon as they land. Imagine a scenario in which a BlueSmart carry-on accompanies a user from the airport to the hotel. Brick and mortar establishments such as local tour operators could send special offers to the user’s app as the carry-on passes their location. Location information would also be valuable to any advertisers focused on local deals, such as Groupon.
Data: A Competitive Advantage
BlueSmart cannot compete with established bag manufacturers on features alone. In time, other manufacturers will copy their technology. The established players have more resources, fully developed distribution channels, deeper connections with factories, greater scale, etc… However, BlueSmart has a competitive advantage as a first mover in the industry.
As established players scurry to build their own version of the connected carry-on, BlueSmart will be building thousands of highly accurate user profiles and collecting millions of data-points. As mentioned prior, this data will be highly valuable to advertisers. By having more data than their competitors, BlueSmart will be able to negotiate more favorable advertising agreements with companies like Uber, Google, and Groupon.
In addition, BlueSmart prides itself on being a technology company more than a bag company. In theory, they should be able to collect more relevant data points from which they derive more useful intelligence than a “Samsonite,” which focuses on bags and bag design. We can assume that it will take a year for an incumbent to replicate BlueSmart carry-on’s features, but much more time to replicate BlueSmart’s app, and BlueSmart’s ability to manipulate data in a way that technology companies can benefit from.