Air Masks: Competitive Landscape

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Competitive Landscape - Airinum, Airmotion, and Airpop

Airinum's branding largely centers around the style of its masks. Airmotion's branding revolves around innovation, reliable protection, "[f]uture-proof design," and sustainability. AirPop's branding is rooted in the advanced technology of its smart masks.

Airinum

1. Business Model

2. Branding/Marketing Approaches

  • Style is a key element of Airinum's branding, which is reflected in its use of the catchphrase "mask up in style." To produce stylish masks, the company "partner[s] up with some of the most talented artist[s], creators and pattern makers there are."
  • Airinum's branding is centered around being "the world's most advanced mask."
  • The company positions its masks as "next generation health accessories."
  • Social media is a key channel the company uses to market its products. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Weibo are the social media channels the company uses within its digital marketing approach.
  • The company's aim is to make masks "that intersect functionality and design, catered to urban citizens all over the world."
  • The incorporation of the company's Swedish heritage into its products is an important aspect of its branding.

3. Industry Success

  • Airinum has excelled in its industry, as the following statement from a PR Newswire article clearly demonstrates: "Airinum has become famous for its innovative product design and rapid adoption amongst influencers. Winner of prestigious awards such as the American IDA Gold Design Award and Chinese Hurun Best of the Best Brand Award, the company has in a few years established themselves as the number one fashion-tech mask brand in the world."

4. Market Position

  • Airinum has a strong market position with regard to the media attention it has received. The company stated: "Even though it has not been long since our inception, we are proud and humble towards all the attention we have got already. Featured in media such as Vogue, Highsnobiety, GQ, BBC, CNN, The Guardian, PSFK and Fastcompany to name a few."
  • Many customers appear to have high regard for Airinum's masks, as is illustrated through the 4.8/5 and 4.9/5 ratings it has received for two of its products (for example).

Airmotion

1. Business Model

  • Direct-to-consumer ecommerce is a major component of Airmotion's business model, as products can be purchased directly through its website.
  • The company's business model centers around its geographical presence in Beijing, Singapore, Thailand, Columbia, and Copenhagen.
  • Airmotion's business model includes "free shipping worldwide for orders above" $60. For orders less than that amount, the company charges a $6 shipping fee.
  • The company also sells its products through other online platforms, such as Falcon PEV Pte. Ltd.

2. Branding/Marketing Approaches

  • Airmotion's slogan is "Good air. Good life. Making an impact for a better tomorrow."
  • There are four main components of Airmotion's branding: (1) Innovation; (2) Reliable protection; (3) "Future-proof design approach"; and (4) Sustainability.
  • The company brands its products as "the world's most breathable masks."
  • The company's branding is further centered around its mission, which is described as follows: "As a purveyor of good health and fitness enthusiasts, we have made it our mission to ensure that you receive the best out there. We created an entirely new category of air pollution masks inspired by doing good & an ongoing mantra to create better things in a better way."

3. Industry Success

  • Airmotion has succeeded in its industry, especially with regard to its Woobi Play mask.
  • The Woobi Play masks debuted in China, the product launch was successful, sales rapidly increased, and over 100,000 masks have been sold since the product launch.

4. Market Position

  • Airmotion has a strong market position, as is clearly demonstrated through the 11 awards it has won.
  • The following are several of the awards the company has won: SG Mark 2019 Design Award; Brands for Good 2018; Core77 Design Awards 2017 Winner; 2017 Winner European Product Design Award; Fast Company 2017 Innovation by Design Awards Finalist; Silver Award 2017; Good Design Award 2017; Danish Design Award Finalist 2017; and Index Award 2017.

AirPop

1. Business Model

  • As part of its business model, AirPop maintains two main locations in different continents—Shanghai and San Francisco.
  • AirPop's business model for China involves selling products "all over China" and through major, online ecommerce platforms that include TMall dot com and JD dot com, on which the company maintains its flagship stores.
  • AirPop's business model for the U.S. involves selling products on Amazon. With regard to its sales on Amazon, AirPop states: "Buy AirPop on Amazon in your country, now shipping worldwide."
  • The company's business model also involves selling products to consumers in Japan, South Korea, England, and India.
  • AirPop maintains "partners[hips] with brands that support its mission of air health, smarter breathing and enviro-social responsibility."

2. Branding/Marketing Approaches

  • Advanced mask technology is a major aspect of AirPop's branding. Based on its use of technology, the company calls its products "smart mask[s]." The company's masks feature filter technology and sensor technology.
  • AirPop provides a key statement on its website that directly addresses its branding, which states as follows: "AirPop fundamentally redefines the relationship we have with our urban atmosphere. Featuring the most advanced ergonomic design, wearable innovation in breathable materials, lightweight construction, exceptional filtration and integrated digital sensing. AirPop’s intelligent product system learns and adapts to the wearer, and her environment, providing feedback and deepening understanding through personalized guidance."
  • The masks also work in conjunction with the AirPop app, which shows mask-wears information about air quality that's location-specific. The AirPop app is available on both the App Store and Google Play.
  • Airpop's branding is centered around three main principles: Breathable, wearable, and sensible.
  • The company's branding is further centered around its innovation mission, which it describes as follows: "AirPop aims to empower the more than [four billion] people living in pervasive ambient air pollution using its revolutionary smart mask system."
  • The company further describes its innovation mission in stating: "Join our movement to innovate for clean breathing with the AirPop app and a connected Halo Sensor. A new paradigm in personal air health. For the first time, see meaningful feedback about your breathing and your mask performance together."
  • A slogan the company uses as part of its branding/marketing is "the Airvolution is here."
  • AirPop markets its products to millennials, as the company "is one of a new breed of conscientious lifestyle brands that resonate with style savvy, digitally native millennials."

3. Industry Success

  • AirPop succeeded in its industry by creating "the world's first smart air pollution mask" (AirPop+).
  • AirPop quickly excelled in its industry, as "[s]hortly after launch, AirPop won the 2017 Red Dot Product Design award for its stylish construction and high functionality."

4. Market Position

  • AirPop has a strong market position in terms of consumer opinion, as it has received a 5/5 rating and 4.92/5 rating for two of its products (for example).
  • AirPop was the runner-up for the Consumer Product Award , as part of the Core77 Design Awards 2018.
  • AirPop was nominated for The Index Project 2019 Award.

Research Strategy

Information about marketing approaches for these companies was very sparse because much of their business is conducted overseas. Thus, information about the social media and advertising platforms they use was very limited. For example, Airmotion Laboratories has a Facebook page, but its last post was from April 9, 2019. The one company that used mainstream social media channels was Airinum, which is why we could include more information about its marketing approaches compared to the other companies. Based on this limitation, the information we provided for each company's branding/marketing approaches was the full extent of the available channels used by them that we were able to find. With regard to the vast majority of the requested information that we were able to find, the companies' websites were a key source of that information. We reviewed each company's website, looked at their social media channels as available, read articles about the companies, and also checked their product listings on other ecommerce platforms, such as Amazon. Examples of articles we reviewed were published by sources such as PR Newswire. Together, this research process provided us with significant information about these companies' businesses and products.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Competitive Landscape - Rpur, and MEO Air

The France based R-pur designs R-pur Nano anti-pollution masks and sells its products through online channels. The New Zealand-based MEO Air sells its products through duty-free retail channels and Amazon. The company is currently looking for distributors in India and other neighboring countries.

1. R-pur

BUSINESS MODEL

  • The French company designs R-pur Nano anti-pollution masks, which has been conceived especially for 2-wheelers. The unique and advanced nano-filtration technology protects against fine particles, which are the most dangerous for health, and combines efficiency, comfort, and elegance.
  • The products are sold through online channels.

BRANDING AND MARKETING APPROACHES

  • The anti-pollution mask was featured at the CES 2019.
  • In 2018, the company launched a crowdfunding campaign where they hoped to raise €15,000 but ended up raising €180,000.
  • R-pur raised €250,000 in 2018 from two rounds of crowdfunding and is in the process of securing a new round of investment.
  • R-pur conducted an online marketing campaign after air pollution episodes in Thailand and South Korea and received a good response from people in Asian markets.

SUCCESS

  • As of May 2019, the company has sold 10,000 masks with 70% of their sales made in France.
  • The masks have been sold in more than 30 countries worldwide.

OVERALL POSITION IN THE MARKET

  • According to the founder and CEO of R-pur, the amount raised from their crowdfunding efforts is a testament of the importance of the market need for R-pur and their efficient high-end product.
  • The brand has a 4.7 out of 5 star rating on Avis Verifies.
  • Examples of testimonials by some credible publications include "anti-pollution mask that takes your safety to the next level" by Men's Axis; "the R-pur Nano Mask makes it easier to breathe for the runners, cyclists and bikers" by C|Net; and "futuristic masks filters out air pollution for cyclists and runners." by Digital Trends. [Source 4]
  • The brand has 4.5 rating on its official Facebook page.
  • The brand has 12,100 followers on its official Instagram account.

2. MEO Air

BUSINESS MODEL

BRANDING AND MARKETING APPROACHES

  • Meo Air partnered with the social media marketing agency, 'Curator Social,' to make stunning content, influencer relations, and a growth strategy to set them ahead of their competitors.
  • MEO Air also collaborated with the iconic New Zealand designer Karen Walker, giving the mask a fashionable edge, which is often absent in most designs.

SUCCESS

  • A published interview of Cherie Chen, General Manager of Healthy Breath, has stated that the realization of the MEO Air idea and its subsequent mass production and global shipping in less than a year can be considered a big success.
  • The sales of the products tripled within a month due to the spike in hazardous air pollution in November 2019.

OVERALL POSITION IN THE MARKET

Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 02
Quotes
  • "The R-PUR Nano anti-pollution mask, which is made in France, has been conceived especially for 2 wheelers. Thanks to its unique and advanced nano-filtration technology, it protects against fine particles, which are the most dangerous for your health, and combines efficiency, comfort, and elegance. "
Quotes
  • "We launched a crowdfunding campaign in which we were hoping to raise € 15,000 and ended up raising that amount in a single day! We ended up collecting €180,000, which demonstrated the importance of the market need we intended to address with an efficient high-end product."