With the advancements in technology, nearly everything can be planned in advance including hotels, doctors appointments, restaurants, with a simple click of a button. WiAiPi (pronounced VIP) tried to take advantage of this and go one step further so people could book their place in a nightclub ready for their arrival, why not?
The whole project started with a team of just four; a designer, a programmer, and two others that knew the Luxembourg night scene like the back of their hand having experienced it over time as DJ’s and as party-goers. When we were approached, they were actually surprisingly quite far forward in the process and were eager to push forward and get going. They had already considered what packages will be offered by the clubs and how customers will pay securely online as well as having printed business cards and drawn up contracts for nightclubs should they be interested in the idea.
We were pleasantly surprised by the focus and the drive of the team and they looked ready to go with a bit of investment which led to our first mistake; not questioning the idea far enough. Corpoinvest already had a company to the name that was sitting idly so we decided to use that as it would reduce the costs and we scheduled regular meetings to discuss the next steps. The site had to be perfected and free from bugs and when that was complete, we were already in the marketing stage. Our second mistake was paying too much attention to Facebook and social media ‘hype’; of course, we had to set up these profiles to generate interest but ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ do not equal customers.
We were ready to launch and so we set a date, put flyers around, and worked with clubs; we even made bookings before our first night. We decided to pay for advertisements and thought this would generate more interest and therefore more sales. The fire threatened to take hold but only really sparked and so we had to analyse why it wasn’t taking off.
We saw that going out was often spontaneous and so people preferred to phone rather than go online and wait for a service.We were entering a fiercely competitive market.Our service was redundant at weekends because clubs were going to be full anyway.The market is, on the whole, relatively small. People don’t visit nightclubs regularly and those that do have a regular company they will use.
We pulled the whole operation without even spending the whole investment as it required more research and attention than what we offered. We thought we could make it a success by trimming costs but in the end, it was the idea that was flawed. We learned some lessons though;
Sometimes a gap in the market is there for a reason and only raw research will allow you to determine that reason.We could have started smaller with a payment system at the club rather than online.We could have added a phone number as well as a WhatsApp and SMS contact option.We could have done without setting up a company before launch and removed a lot of hassle.Finally, we should have chosen a soft launch rather than a full-on launch night/party.