Brian has an idea for an app. He sees an opportunity for a digital hiring platform connecting domestic helpers and household employers.
Thousands of domestic helpers are employed in Hong Kong every year. There are over 350,000 helpers here, each earning a minimum salary of HK$ 4,310.
Every time a family hires a helper, they pay approximately three times the helper’s salary (HK$ 13,000) to the hiring agency. Not only that, agencies sometimes collude with helpers to increase the turnover rate.
Ultimately, the power of establishing a contract goes to the middleman, whereby employers are forced to pay high fees without much guarantee and helpers who are desperate to make money have no choice but to play along.
The solution is to remove the middleman, empowering helpers and letting families hire correctly-motivated workers.
Our main competitor is HelperChoice. Founded in 2012, they’ve grown to a 450K Facebook following and have frequent listings on their website and app.
Their brand combines a community-driven mission with a lively vibe to appeal to its customers. They’re active on Facebook, posting every week, and receive enthusiastic engagement.
HelperChoice has a strong foothold in the market. But there are still a few ways we can stand out.
Firstly, we can narrow down our target customers to Indonesian helpers only. This means we can specifically cater to their culture and needs. Like what?
Secondly, we can provide a better mobile-first experience with our app. Customers will be swayed to use the most effective service when it comes to hiring.
Thirdly, we’ll use a different colour scheme to distinguish ourselves.
With research out of the way, I create a mockup. Here I highlight the benefits for both of our customers – employers and helpers.
1. Latest market offers at your fingertips.
2. Recruit helpers based on your specific needs
3. Contact helpers directly
4. Forget about the process. Focus on picking the best candidate for you!
5. All you need to know about the candidate
6. Know exactly what you’re paying for. Then, forget about fees.
1. Set up your profile in four easy steps
2. Add personality to your profile with a video
3. Know who’s hiring, today
4. Speak to employers in your own words
5. Know if your profile is getting noticed
Brian is happy with how the app looks and functions. But he’s concerned about promoting the product. The network effect means that we’ll need a substantial number of helpers listed before employers will consider using our app, and vice versa.
The solution is to create a brand that promotes itself, something that’s worth talking about.
At first, Brian was sceptical. Can we have a clever tagline to use for our logo and social media?
I explained to him that a brand is not a logo or tagline or design. It is the gut feeling our customers have for our product. To illustrate my point, I give a few examples.
App Facebook Face-to-face contract signing Things we have less control over: Media coverage How people talk about Maid Sis Need to build a brand: fair recruitment
Brian feels confident in proceeding to development with the design.
Just to make sure he knows what he’s getting, I create an interactive prototype and offer it to him for no extra cost.
The developers happily take the prototype and resource files from me.
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