This is a cautionary case study — an example of a risk not taken and a business that never saw its first customer. Had Hands Free Zone launched its online store, as it intended to do in mid-2006, its owners might be sipping some cool drinks in the Caribbean right now.
In late 2006, California passed a strict mobile phone law. It prevented drivers from making calls while holding their phones to their ears. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the bill, and gave Californians approximately 2 years to prepare by purchasing hands-free headsets for their mobile phones. Enforcement began in July 2008.
In early 2006, Hands Free Zone’s founders saw the legislation coming and they prepared by setting up an online store to sell bluetooth headsets. Then they asked Point Blue Communications to review their product mix and their marketing plans. Just about everything was ready for launch, but family issues arose and threw a wrench into the company’s well-crafted plans. A few weeks later, HFZ chose to shut down their business.
Had the company launched, it would probably have sold millions of dollars of headsets in its first year. The timing was right, the strategy was right, and the company would have benefited from a huge first mover advantage. Life is never predictable, though!
Point Blue Communications really helped us focus our energy on the most appropriate markets. Starting a company, especially a small Internet business, opens up so many opportunities that it’s easy to get off track. Point Blue helped us develop and solidify a great marketing plan, and they were a fantastic resource to test out new concepts and simply bounce around ideas.”
Maria Saad, CEO, Hands Free Zone