Usually, this is a place to share glamorous news: our podcast, news about corporations innovating or success stories of our own startups. Today I want to tell you about how we work at Corporate Lab as a venture studio: how we get our hands on our project, and how lucky I am personally to work with these four entrepreneurs.
Something that defines our team is the hands-on approach. And this photo session is the perfect example of how the Corporate Lab team gets down to work to get our projects out.
The project: A self-service product of wooden wall panels
Together with an industrial group, we want to launch a product that is normally sold B2B to B2C. This is a product that requires installation by a professional, but we want to get any person (a bit crafted) to install it at home by themselves. We are talking about wooden wall panels.
The hypothesis we want to validate is the sale through our own channel. This channel implies an inspiration phase. When you are trying to decorate your house, you go through different sources of information to get ideas. It is a thoughtful purchase, you will need a lot of information about the product, the technical characteristics or the installation, and you want to get even more info when it comes to self-service products. That is why we needed to do a photo and video session.
Our methodology is based on four-week sprints in which we pursue certain objectives. During those four weeks, we lead the project to achieve that goal. In this case, we have two objectives and one of them is to get professional pictures and videos of the product. These are meant to serve as inspiration, and favor purchase decisions. If you have ever managed a photoshoot, you know four weeks is a challenge. Spoiler: It goes wrong.
One of the objectives of this sprint is to generate photos and videos that serve as inspiration and help the purchase decision.
Coming up the photo session
First step: devise as a team what we need to reach our goal.
First we need to know what material we need to generate, both photography and video content. Darío listed the contents that we would need to have, together with Ana Fernández. Mainly videos for social media, videos and photographs of the manufacturing process, videos and photographs of the assembly process and photographs of the whole rooms.
We need a specific place to do this. On the one hand we have our partner’s factory, but what if we also rent an Airbnb? We found out that this is one of those things that a corporation can't do, but Corporate Lab can. The problem is that the installation requires drilling holes in the wall, something that hosts are not willing to do. Time is short and at Corporate Lab we stand out for our agility, so we made a quick decision: first, we will install two video and photography sets in our partner's factory. In the following sprints, we will be looking for more spaces.
We need an external photography and video team to help us. Darío meets Tania Prego and her Somos Ártica team, a group of professionals with experience in interior photography, and an enviable portfolio.
Logically enough, we need the product that we are going to photograph and record, but we also need a decorated room. If what we want is to inspire the buyer and encourage them to purchase, they need to be able to see how the panel looks in a bedroom, a living room, a hall... So Ana Vilar makes a list of all the props we need, organized by rooms. This is not our area of expertise, so we don’t have a warehouse with this type of props. No problem: together, we list what we can bring from our own homes, to create not only different rooms, but also different styles. What if we don't have enough? Then we go shopping.
Planning includes making a list o the materials we need, deciding on the shooting location, hiring a team of external professionals, and making a list of props.
The week of the session: Hands on!
We have all the theory ready and the week for the photo and video session finally comes. It will be finished in three days: one for preparation, and two for photography and filming. In addition, we have to coordinate our team, which works from different cities. I will arrive by van from Vigo, and Ana Fernández flies from Madrid.
We have to coordinate our team, which works from different cities: A Coruña, Vigo and Madrid.
Day 1: Preparing different sets for photos and videos
I arrive in a moving van to Coruña, with all the furniture from my house and some that I have borrowed from my sister and parents, and I pick up Ana Vilar, who has also dismantled hers. We arrived at the factory and began to organize all the props, preparing them in order of priority to make the most of the time. Sofas, tables, chairs, beds, desks, paintings, lamps, cushions... Once we have moved everything, we write down what is missing. It's been a hard day loading and unloading furniture, but we're not done yet. It’s time to go shopping.
After a couple of hours touring decoration stores, nd we get everything we think we are going to need and a few "just in case". We are making a big effort to deploy several teams and people from different cities at the same time, so everything has to be ready in these two days. One of the sprint goals is at risk.
Day 2: Videos and photos of assembly and manufacturing
At 7 PM we are already in the factory. We have not hired models, but they are not necessary, because we have volunteers within the Corporate Lab team. Ana Vilar and Ana Fernández lend themselves to making the videos and photos of the product. We prepare the first room where we are going to install the panels, and follow the assembly step by step while the Somos Ártica team records and photographs every detail. When we finished the first assembly, we went on to portray the manufacturing process.
Next assembly. We prepare the room and repeat the process, this time with a different product. It's past 9 PM. Enough for today.
We get a moving van, and volunteer to complete the props, both with things from our homes and with new items we buy. In addition, we also have volunteers to act as models.
Day 3: Last details plus photos of the rooms
We leave the last day for the last shots and for the details that we miss from the previous day. We go on to take pictures of the rooms with the finished product. As fast as possible, we are changing the furniture and decoration to show different spaces. Everything we had prepared is photographed, but we also improvise. We are cautious and organized, but also creative.
Time flies and everything seems like a very coordinated dance between everyone: the photography and video team, Corporate Lab, and our partner, who is there reviewing each scene, but also helps in the preparation of the props.
We photographed everything we had prepared but we also improvised. We are cautious and organized, but also creative.
Post-production: This is how to optimize 2 days of shooting
In this session, we are only photographing two products, but the catalog will present many more colors and finishes. How are we going to get the most out of this session? By counting with an editing professional. The photo and video session require the time of too many people. The best way to optimize this time is to recreate the rooms photographed with photo editing. Thus, we will multiply the photographic material without wasting the team's resources.
We optimize the hard work by using other tools. Thus, we will multiply the photographic material in a smarter way.
The result: A new, inspiring, and functional website
The result of this intense week of work is a much more inspiring website, easy to navigate. A site that will help potential customers make their purchase decisions. More weeks await, so we can still continue improving the experience, optimizing conversion rates, and launching Maderandeco to success. But we will tell you all about it soon on our social media and on our blog. Keep an eye on us!
If you also want to expand your business models and want to do along with a venture studio as involved as Corporate Lab, contact us.