It's rare that products launched on Kickstarter actually take that crucial next step to become a full-fledged brand.
Prong – the New York City-based startup behind the revolutionary all-in-one iPhone charger case launched on Kickstarter just two years ago—and called on our industrial design team in the Fall of 2013 to try to break this norm.
This summer, Prong's totally-reimagined product—the Prong PWR Case—will be sold at Best Buy stores around the country.
Here's how it all went down:
We approached the design of the new Prong PWR case with an “every line is there for a reason” philosophy.
This manifested itself in features like:
The Shape of the Camera Detail
Where most protective cases feature an oval cutout for the camera lens, the back of the new Prong PWR Case was sliced to eliminate the problem of glare in photos. At the same time, the design creates an iconic aesthetic that celebrates the iPhone's premium finish. This design feature alone creates an icon in a sea of sameness.
The Detachable Battery Pack
We worked with Prong to creatively engineer the product to separate so that the phone is usable while the battery is plugged into the wall. It’s a functional design feature that completely eliminates the need for an iPhone charging cable.
From a manufacturing standpoint, we also completely overhauled the technology within. A lean team of three—a mechanical engineer and two industrial designers—engineered a completely new printed circuit board from scratch, in two months. Until now, this technology didn't exist anywhere.
Just six months later, the brand new Prong PWR case was ready for tooling.
“The launch of the Prong PWR Case represents more than just building a beautiful, functional product...it was about solidifying Prong as a powerful brand."
At launch, the case received high praise from the tech community, including Yahoo! Tech's David Pogue, and CNET's Rick Broida.
But the launch represented so much more than just introducing new features like the much-needed detachable battery pack.
This project was about helping the company pay closer attention to their entire user experience, and every use case imaginable.
It was about helping Prong have empathy for their customer, and delivering a smart product that could actually help make a difference in people's lives.
It is this thinking, we believe, that will help take Prong from a clever startup to a truly user-centered brand.