How first-time customers become regulars
It takes an average of about 16 seconds for a customer to get a freshly loaded Chimpy, replete with the appropriate power cord, at one of the company’s points of sale. The borrowing cost is CHF 4 for an entire week, plus a CHF 15 refundable deposit. Making the service known is a challenge, says the young entrepreneur, even as he stresses its potential: in Switzerland, the market penetration of smartphones is now well over 90 per cent.
In this instance, product promotion works well via word of mouth. “Once you’ve used a Chimpy, you always come back,” says Braendle. And then first-timers make the offer known in their circle of friends and on social media. The Chimpy team are present wherever throngs of people are joined at the thumb with their mobile phones and electricity is scarce: summers, at all major music festivals in Switzerland; winters, at selected ski resorts. In cities, the service is also offered at a number of bars and clubs.
Not least in the target group are commuters and hikers: those who need to be reachable throughout the day, be it in the office, on the road or on the trail. In the meantime, it’s even possible to load a Chimpy subscription onto the SwissPass for public transport, which works even if your mobile phone has chucked a wobbly.
Shared logistics with press and kiosk articles
At company headquarters in Zurich, where a photovoltaic system is installed on the roof, the atmosphere is laid back. Stylish music entertains the afternoon shift: the team cleans, recharges and checks the returned Chimpys. After that, back in the small delivery boxes, back in the logistics chain.
The small boxes are transported pallet by pallet to the central warehouse of Valora, the largest kiosk operator in Switzerland. From there, they get distributed together with newspapers and other kiosk goodies to the points of sale, and are later collected again. Braendle is proud that Chimpy was the first to establish a sustainable, rentable, recyclable consumer electronics product in the local retail market, thereby adding another element to the Sharing Economy.