How do motor cycle riders see upon safety and the use of motor cycle helmets? More importantly, are they willing to pay for a safer helmet? When entering the motor cycle helmet segment, questions such as these were on MIPS AB’s mind.
MIPS AB was founded in 2001 by five specialists in the biomechanical field from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden. The company has extensive technological and medical expertise focused on preventing head injuries. From its research an initial application for producing safer helmets is now being brought to market – the MIPS helmet technology. This technology is globally patented and fully functional to be implemented into helmets across all helmet segments.
To ensure discussions with potential partners in the motor cycle helmet segment are based on facts rather than assumptions, MIPS AB engaged Opticom to conduct a study among motor cycle and moped riders to develop a better understanding of their views on safety and to determine how price sensitive they were when choosing a helmet. Using an international panel with respondents from the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy, Opticom conducted an Internet survey covering behavioural questions as well as incorporating a conjoint analysis to measure the willingness to pay for added safety on the basis of MIPS helmet technology.
“This market study has boosted our self-confidence as it provides us with a clear picture on how consumers think in these matters. We have used the results to show motor cycle helmet producers that consumers’ views may differ from what they themselves may assume when only listening to their distributors and resellers of their products,” Niklas Steenberg, CEO for MIPS AB, summarises the main value of the survey. “In this rather conservative market, people are not used to getting customer feedback through conducting market studies. Using a market study in this way shows our potential partners that we are competent and innovative, which in turn fits well with MIPS’ positioning as academic and credible.”
As the study incorporated questions about current behaviours and views on safety, an introduction to the MIPS technology and questions based on conjoint methodology to determine which factors were most important in helmet choice and to measure price sensitivity, the material is very versatile. When preparing for meetings with potential partners, Opticom has assisted MIPS AB by adjusting the report to present the results that were applicable to the brands produced by these suppliers.
“The conjoint model and its possibilities to simulate different alternatives taking into account price segment, helmet models and brands, have provided us with a tool to substantiate the opportunities our technology provides for the partners we are discussing with. We can show that there is a clear willingness to pay for increased safety and this not only translates into increased revenues but it also provides a competitive advantage for those who are early to invest in implementing our technology in their helmets,” Niklas Steenberg concludes.