Retail in Asia

In Tech

A fan-tastic idea, from Dyson

It’s curious how James Dyson consistently gets "more" (price) for "less" (components). First it was the bagless vacuum cleaner, now it is a bladeless fan. The retail price is currently pegged at GBP200 (USD310), and the product is initially being targeted at the US and Japanese markets, which obviously have more people facing hotter temperatures for more weeks of the year than Dyson’s home market of the UK. Or perhaps a bigger market segment for the latest tech toys that perform well in addition to looking cool.

Branded the Dyson Air Multiplier, it is certainly a "fan-tastic" idea, and the uphill struggle should be significantly less than when he was trying to sell bagless vacuum cleaners. If anything there is now a "Dyson premium" available to him on the price.

However, in this case, the price definitely needs to be more accessible, or Dyson will be facing clones within months. Fans are already a more acceptable reality in income-poor nations, and the market significantly larger in those countries. At some lower price point the addressable market will be exponentially larger, and someone else will definitely tackle it. Patent or no patent.

Devangshu Dutta is CEO of Third Eyesight, a specialist consulting firm focused on India’s consumer-products and retail sector, and managing partner of PVC Partners, a venture accelerator focused on early-stage businesses in India.