Does the World Need Another Smartphone Case Company?
Mobile phone cases have gotten a lot of attention as the technology age grew into a proper presence. The cases have become part of life with mobile phones, tablets and laptops all growing to become complementary life items that you cannot live without – with most people using tablets for notetaking in meetings. Even so, you might drop your phone at some point, or hit yourself on something while carrying your laptop or tablet. If they do fall down or get scratched, the scars that are left are never a good sight to behold: at least for most gadget users.
There are newer designs coming out for cases. In terms of quality, feel, texture, and pricing, so many options exist today. Which is why, as we had a discussion with the founder of Kase one of the lingering question was: does the world really need another smartphone case designer and line of products?
The startup’s founder, Jack, tells us he started the business alone initially, packing and sending orders out from a garage. “Now we are working with one of Hong Kong’s largest fulfilment centers to deal with our orders daily,” he adds.
The market has definitely grown since their launch in 2014. In fact, so much so that they expanded their scope from selling in Australia, where Kase was founded, to shipping internationally around the world.
Handling international orders is not a mean feat. So many ecommerce companies have tried and failed.
“We now have a partner based in Hong Kong Asia to get our products delivered even faster to our customers internationally,” Jack adds. This has definitely taken most of the logistics away from Kase helping to focus on the most important part of the business; marketing and growing the customer base.
When there are so many options around the world for smartphone cases, including hundreds in Australia, why would people buy Kase? This is not necessarily a tough question in a market where truthfully, there are hundreds of poorly designed cases. As Jack indicates, there is a lot to argue in favour of Kase:
- Colourful case choices have given customers variety.
- They protect your phone all around without adding bulk – extremely light.
- Our cases are hand inspected, edge-to-edge and corner-to-corner quality control.
- Kase has the world thinnest cases yet very durable at a thickness of 0.35mm only.
- We make them from polypropylene which is very a durable plastic.
- Less is more philosophy guides our design – minimalist cases.
- Considering all the above, a proper additional to the premium quality is our affordable prices.
While nudging Jack to give us a bit more, there is obviously no doubt that the company has gone to great lengths to define what a proper smartphone case should look like in the 21st century.
“Kase products will ensure perfect protection from scratches, everyday wear and tear, and light drops,” he says. Additionally, from market research carried out by the company, their data showed no other company sells colourful ultra-thin smartphone cases.
Jack adds, “Most cases in the market are all in dull colours and colours similar to the original iPhone. Even those that try to be colourful are thick and bulky.”
Consequentially, that makes Kase very unique in terms of design; but it is not just that. We have seem poorly made cheap cases that sell on the basis of their cheap price. This is despite the toxicity of the materials used to make them. Cases that enjoy the toxic free materials are expensive for most people. Kase makes a bargain for itself by using a toxic-free plastic material, devoid of the smell that engulfs most cases in the market while making them arguably affordable.
ORIGIN OF KASE
The founder is quite brief on this one. He saw a simple problem, with a simple but complex solution and decided to fix it.
“We just wanted colourful, ultra-thin, toxic-free, affordable cases for our smartphones. We didn’t find them, so we decided to make them,” he remarks.
Most startups have stories of their humble beginnings, and some of these stories are funny too. Kase isn’t an exception.
“We were formerly named Caselogy, and many customers mistook us as Caseology and filed complaints and requested for refunds. That’s why we renamed our business to Kase,” Jack notes with a grin. “We also used to sell customised mobile covers that were per order.”
Customised covers made per order can be very difficult to scale. Which explains why they changed their business model.
MAJOR LESSON SO FAR
Owing to the Caseology and Caselogy confusion among the clientele, Jack says they would have chosen a better name earlier and saved some time. “We realized the name of the business is very important. A special name to stand out from our competitors, memorable, short and unique. Kase is the product of that valuable lesson.”
The ultimate pick-up for Kase came when they ditched the customized cases business model, and instead researched the market and came up with ultra-thin cases. “We became very popular and gained a lot of customers, most of them male,” he accounts.
With the case for a new case company proven owing to the design, quality, and sales of Kase, 2018 just started and has a long way to go. Jack indicates that the goal is to move into smart home devices as well as collaborating with charity organisations to increase the company’s customer base.
While Kase waits to see how that pans out for the company, he has some little nuggets of growth advice for startups.
“Understanding that customers’ wants are constantly changing, just like fashion, we must adapt quickly to their demand. We stopped selling customised cases (made as per order) when the sales dropped sharply and after some market research, we realised customer demands changed. We realised constantly doing market research was very important as well as constantly following your customers’ wants,” he concludes.