The public perception of aging technology is fascinating. Think about it. Bluetooth and WiFi – once symbols of cutting-edge during the good old ‘Nokia days’ have swiftly transitioned from marvels to mundane. For GenZ and the younger generation – the pesky 10, 15, and 18-year-olds who have known wireless technologies since birth, it is no longer considered a technology! It’s become an innate aspect of their life.
It’s akin to how we kind of grew up with landline phones as just another product that simply existed, but our grandparents viewed it as high-tech. For the GenZ and beyond, wireless connectivity has now moved into this realm. (Gosh, it makes me feel old.)
So, how do you sell a mainstream wireless product, like Bluetooth earphones, to a generation for whom it’s no longer exclusive since everybody has it?
ProdWrks sought the answer from Ujjwal Sarin, founder of the consumer tech brand, Nu Republic. They sell wireless audio and wearable tech products like TWS earbuds, headphones, speakers, and smartwatches.
Nu Republic is targeting the consumption journey of the GenZ and younger generations who are the typical “upgrade consumers”. These consumers are predominantly males between the ages of 20 and 25 who want to express their individuality in every aspect of life.
They already have smartphones and may already own multiple wireless devices. They now want to upgrade upwards into more premium products or upgrade sideways to cooler tech brands that evoke emotion through design.
Ujjwal’s vision is to make “cool, sexy, and funky products” with a clear attitudinal benefit for individuals who perceive electronics, especially wearables like earphones and smartwatches, as an expression of their identity, not just as a piece of technology. He is confident that these individuals will buy Nu Republic’s products.
Gaining the Trust of GenZ
Since everyone has their own definition of what is cool, building universal acceptance for ‘coolness’ and gaining trust with this younger demographic to buy the product is easier said than done. Ujjwal takes an approach where he goes by the gut instict of his team and what they consider as cool internally.
Ujjwal follows a “form-first” approach to making their products look cool and does not try to entice the consumers with “functions” (features) like the other brands in the crowded consumer tech segment.
Product Development in Nu Republic
Building a Consumer-Centric Moat
Vision for the Future
Nu Republic aims to surprise and captivate consumers with products that seamlessly integrate into their lives. Ujjwal hints that their vision for the next couple of years revolves around creating product combos in a visual forms that excites and delights consumers.
These products would merge multiple functions into exciting, innovative forms. For instance, the fusion of a power bank with wireless TWS earbuds as a single product.
On a parting note, Ujjwal shares a crucial piece of advice for aspiring founders and leaders building avant-garde products and designs, stressing the importance of unwavering focus on the vision you have for your product, which he believes ensures atleast a 50% chance for success.
“When I say vision, it means who you are building for, what you are building, why you do this, and what makes you happy and gets you going. This is the source of your motivation. Stick to your vision, your mission, and your values. Don’t keep changing them. Everyone is an armchair activist and will keep suggesting different things to you. But don’t dilute your own vision,” says Ujjwal.