Creating subscription value through design

on Wednesday, 08 June 2011. Posted in N21 Business Blog


What do you give someone who has everything?  A subscription?  Great idea, how about a cleaning cloth subscription?


Have a fresh, clean cloth delivered every month? Daft idea!


Actually no, this a fantastic new business set up by Swedish-born Marie Jangneus-Davis, who has a background in design and retail.  She has set up Jangneus Design, because she wanted a new career now that her twin boys are getting older and she has more time on her hands.  Her vision is to "provide you with great products that combine the Scandinavian tradition of form, function and design to give you the inspiration to add some colour and fun to your living space".




Whilst the cleaning cloths are beautifully designed, they are low value, so she needs to sell a lot to make a living, hence the idea of a subscription to boost the value and create an aspirational, gift priced item. The minimum order is 5 cleaning cloths, costing £10.00 including delivery (free delivery UK only) and Marie also sells an annual subscription, sending a new cleaning cloth every month for a year. If it is bought as a present, they can be gift wrapped and her attention to detail is evident by just browsing through the site.


She is also ticking the eco box, as the cloths are 100% biodegradeable, when they are worn out, you simply put them on the compost heap. She suggests that "for best results we recommend washing only when the moon is in the 4th house and aligned with Jupiter. Start by soaking the cloths in a pail half full of numinous fairy crystals. Leave for 15 minutes and then rinse gently in a flowing stream. To dry - hang between 2 maypoles and dance around until the cloths are dry..."  That should raise a smile, the woman has a sense of humour, you can actually just bung them on the washing machine.


The website is a perfect example of why websites should be designed by design literate experts and feature professionally shot photographs. It demonstrates how good design and good photography can make something as humble and mundane as a humble tea towel into a highly desirable object.





Not only is Maria good at design, but she is pretty good at marketing and sales. In a matter of weeks she has signed up 200 subscriptions and got her business onto BBC News 24, discussing her subscription business model; which is generating a number of new businesses, including several showcased on this website.






This is a kitchen cloth business that is going to go a long way.

What do you give someone who has everything? A subscription? Great idea, how about a cleaning cloth subscription? Have a fresh, clean cloth delivered every month? Daft idea!

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