A Product Journey: from tech to supplements - Niels Peetermans, Qallo - Rocket Day Talk Summary

Our last speaker at our Rocket Day was the only physical product leader. What better way to close our panel by presenting an energy drink supplement after several talks in a venue full of people? Disclaimer; Niels Peetermans isn’t a product management expert. However he has a lot of experience working for different products from big companies.

As Niels cleverly pointed out before his talk, the first reason for low energy and concentration is lack of hydration. That’s why he decided to create Qallo, a sugar-free energy beverage, fully made of plants.

After energising every in-person attendee by asking them to slap every part of their bodies (check YouTube video, I’m not kidding), he took us through his journey in the product world. He talked about his transition from digital to consumable, and what he learned during these exciting times! Let’s dive into our summary of “A Product Journey: from tech to supplements”.

Since he transitioned from a digital to physical product, Niels came to pinpoint many different things between those two types. The data and feedback received is much easier to track for a digital product. A physical product implies watching people use it in real life, and talk about it on social media. Its use can be misinterpreted, even reinterpreted. For example, a customer once told Niels he used milk when shaking strawberry flavoured Qallo powder, when in fact you have to add water. This outlines a different use of the product than intended, and practically never happens when it comes to software or other digital products. 

Qallo’s original business plan was to target the esports community, by giving flavours and names that align professional players’ needs, such as more focus and energy. However he saw that the esports community wasn’t the only one working for the company. Qallo then shifted their focus from gaming to a much broader term grouping casual players and athletes on a professional level. This change was induced by those who were experiencing the product, and using it in such ways that the target audience shifted by itself, pushing Qallo to take action.

The marketing aspect is the top feedback provider concerning B2C consumables.  Having an image oriented towards a specific audience and checking how the product is used stays the most important part. It will drive consumers into keeping the habit of drinking Qallo.

Qallo’s most importantly a sign of lifestyle: people that choose it want to drink something better than Red Bull or Monster. They also share a feeling of who they are. Gamers who want to stop drinking those sugary drinks now have a product outlining the same benefits, without the junk food aspect. It constitutes this consumable’s image. People went from consuming Qallo when they were gaming, to when they were studying, which created the product’s pivot. But now the question follows: when buying Qallo, are we choosing the product or the lifestyle?

Introducing a new product in the customer’s life is about changing his behaviour, Niels says. He focused part of his talk to walk us through the unconscious process of adopting a habit-changing product such as Qallo or Poppy. Taking the example of the carpooling service, you’re now free to rent a car easily at point A, fully charged and clean, and leave it at point B.

Niels finds it so nice to see people use the product he worked hard to deliver, and he doesn’t want to stop now. Being a savvy entrepreneur, he’s not scared to dive into an amazing adventure, and he won’t give up. However there are things that won’t change according to him, such as errors. You’re bound to make some at the early stages of what you want to create. In the end, you can just learn from what happened. What’s important when managing a product is believing in it, and “Keep on Building.”

An insightful talk from someone who’s not really into the B2B product management atmosphere, but his presence and insights raised an utmost interest by the audience.

Check out Niels’ full talk on our YouTube channel!

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