130° Theft-Deterrent Satchels | Skillshare Projects

130° Theft-Deterrent Satchels

The Elevator Pitch

We make security satchels that stop pickpockets in their tracks.  Pickpockets use three common tricks to get your stuff.  They sneak into your bag or pocket, usually when it’s beside or behind you and you’ve been distracted.  They slice your strap, yank your bag and run before you can react.  Or they slice your bag near the bottom and grab valuables that drop.  Our satchels include simple design components that block each of these angles of attack, and keep the traveler in possession of their good stuff.


Here's background.  This is for a small company I co-own in the 'travel products' space, where we've launched a line of theft-deterrent satchels this Spring.  This adds to a line of specialty travel journals we've sold for a few years, and another addition of an online map to hidden gems around the world (just entering beta) and a crowdfunding platform we're discussing with people, and which would focus on the travel industry. 

This project is to develop a strong marketing strategy for this new satchels product line, which (considering our very small number of products) is also our most promising and high value potential revenue stream for the next year or two at least.

Having just completing the course, here's my story.  Three characters in the story.  The vacationer who is perhaps unsuspecting but whether they know it or not, are at risk in many locations from character 2.  Character 2 is the villain, a pickpocket or purse snatcher, watching and waiting for just the right moment to take the vacationer's money and cards and phone, which not only means they lose their valuable stuff, they may also have a dream vacation ruined.  Character 3 is our hero, a security satchel, which has several barriers that are apparent to thieves, and that make a quick snatch and run unlikely, so thieves tend to go elsewhere.

The story ends with the vacationer returning home with their valuables and their great memories intact.

Before doing much advertising, I want to update our web site. The current version is found by going here:

http://www.skooblevart.com/    and clicking the 130° box. 

We'll modify the content of that box to have just a few words that are pretty much all about benefits.  All of the boxes on the home page have too much text and not enough clarity.  But the sequence below would be the description when you get to the shopping cart page, so one click away.

Also, I think I can use segments of the new web site info within ads, focusing on one aspects of protection in any given ad.  Anyway, I want to have the whole story on our web site in an easy to read, swipe / scroll-friendly form.  I am now inserting the concept for the web site product descriptions (two products) immediately below, and then historical project info further down (after some asterisks).

Here Goes

This is the headline text (think it's too much, but I'd like to hear opinions about which parts resonate):

You’re on an awesome trip. But while you’re seeing the sites, villains are scanning for opportunity. In just a few seconds they can sneak valuables from your satchel, or snatch it and run.

Your travels shouldn’t be ruined by a low life. Nor should you need to be constantly on guard.  [Alt 2 changes this sentence to "What’s better than a security satchel that successfully blocks theft? One that keeps the villains from trying in the first place."]

Our 130°® satchels are on a mission to protect you from pickpockets, using visible barriers designed to keep thieves from even trying.

The flash of orange in the 130° logo is a warning to stay away. “Don’t bother dude, you aren’t getting in here.”

First, sequence is for UnderThere satchel (ignore these words on the images below ...

A sea anemone provides refuge to “it’s” clown fish, but a stinging rebuke predators.

Similarly, 130°® satchels provide a comfortable and easily accessible haven for your cash, credit cards, passport, and mobile devices, yet provide multiple barriers against theft.

Let’s look at the 7 levels of protection you receive from the UnderThere™ 130°® satchel.

Second, sequence for Tranquility (note that the first few sentences are identical ... the 'brand' intro.)

A sea anemone provides refuge to “it’s” clown fish, but a stinging rebuke predators.

Similarly, 130°® satchels provide a comfortable and easily accessible haven for you to keep your cash, credit cards, passport, and mobile devices, yet provide multiple barriers against theft.

Let’s look at the 7 levels of protection you receive from the Tranquility™ 130°® satchel.

That's the end of the story.  Any feedback would be welcome.


After the first couple of lessons, here are some answers to key questions.

1.  Your Business or Brand:

 130°® Theft-Deterrent Satchels

Our satchels function very well in their intended purpose of stopping pickpockets.  To sneak into the security pocket and get your phone, credit cards, cash, or passport, a thief will need to have three hands (or two hands, plus one foot with an opposable thumb) and a cloak of invisibility.  I hope to convey that it's really not practical, and very nearly impossible, for a thief to lift your valuables without you knowing.  Any effort to do so is time consuming and risky.  Our goal is to have thieves go somewhere else, and leave our customers alone.  We've built in features that provide protection from all of the common approaches to pickpocket or purse snatching.  In addition, our satchels are sized appropriately for day trips and walking among crowds, comfortable to wear, fashionable if you like simple colors, very compact when not used, and durable.  They are reasonably priced and made in the USA (a hard combination to achieve). 

 Here’s one of the two reasons behind our use of the 130° brand.

 One “secret” to reduce the risk you’ll be pickpocketed or have your purse snatched is to always keep your valuables (i.e. your satchel) within a 130° range of vision in front of your body.  Having something on your back, or even pushed to your side is opening the door for the kleptomaniac. 

 Our satchels have a security tether, which when clipped, keeps your satchel in this safe zone.

Pictures of our smaller "UnderThere" and larger "Tranquility" styles can be found at the links below.  I also list key features of each.  I hope that seeing what we've done can also provide something others can react to.

First, UnderThere (www.skooblevart.com then click the 130 degrees box, and you'll see the Underthere to the right.  Click it to see photos and description ... sorry, but I tried inserting photo and a direct link, both of which caused editig to fail and this text box to lock up).

Click one of the bags with white background, you'll see:

1.  There's no visible zipper.  The zipper is under a sewn-down flap which must be lifted to access the zipper.  Lifting the flap to get to the zipper moves the satchel, alterting the wearer.

2.  There is a tether that ends in a clip.  The clip attaches to belt loop, belt buckle, button hole.  Three reasons for the tether.  First, it's short, so if someone tugs on the satchel, you'll feel it.  Second, a crucial moment of risk is when you lean over a counter (e.g. at a market) and push your bag to your side or back ... the tether forces you to keep the satchel in your 130 degrees safe zone to your front.  Third, one common tactic is to snip or cut the strap ... the thief grabs the strap near the bottom, slices above their hand, then yanks ... in this case, the satchel is attached to the belt loop so the thief's hand slips off  the cut strap and the run off empty handed.

3.  The internal security pocket zipper is further above the the main zipper and zips in the reverse direction.  It is impossible to open the security pocket without fully opening the main zipper, then lifting the fabric at the main zipper to get access to the security zipper.  One hand to hold the bag steady, one hand to lift the fabric, and one hand to unzip.  So a thief would be unable to sneak into this pocket unless the wearer is sleeping.

4.  The satchel is small enough to be worn under a shirt in case you want to fall asleep on a train, or if you're in a really crowded area.

5.  Made in USA

The Tranquility is seen via the same path.  Key features:

1.  The main zipper is under a button down flap.  When zipped and buttoned, a thief can't unzip the bag without first unbuttoning, and the button is going to be in front of the wearer.

2.  The satchel also has a security tether, for the same reasons as described above.

3.  The internal security pocket is reversed in direction from the main zipper, and a couple of inches below the top of the satchel, so even if the main zipper is open, the security pocket zipper is invisible from behind.

4.  A tactic for getting good stuff from a satchel of this size or larger is to slice open the bag, have everything drop out, and grab anything off the sidewalk, then run.  This satchel has the security pocket and pocket for phone against your body, then a full height divider.  Put your tablet or any other bulky valuable in the section closer to your body, then your umbrella, guidebook, etc., in the outside section.  If someone slices the bag open, they get your sandwich.

5.  Made in USA.


Here's our promise:

Use our satchels, and you won't be pickpocketed or have your bag snatched.  These won't solve an armed robbery, but they will keep a sneak thief out of your stuff and foil the snatch and grab from cutting the strap or bag.

This will make people feel more secure, at less risk than they normally would.  They will also tend to make it through their vacation without being victim of theft, so will have a more satisfying trip ... however, this is difficult to quantify, because you can't really compare keeping your good stuff with they hypothetical situation of losing it.


My P's - I struggle with this, perhaps explaining why I'm taking this class.  Any feedback is very welcome.

1.  Positioning

XY chart

X-axis has "multiple defenses" vs "no defenses" ... the no defenses would be just using your pocket or a pack / bag with no specific features aimed at deterring theft.

Our product would have multiple defenses that block every technique that is commonly used by pickpockets ... slip into an open bag, quietly unzip without you knowing (especially when bag is beside or behind), slice or snip strap (people have now started using wire cutters to get through straps that have a cable embedded), slice open the bag.

Y-axis has 'simply versatile' vs. solely useful for theft prevention.  Specifically, our satchels are designed to be convenient, look nice, easy to use every day.  No chicken wire, no locks, no wires.  Just basic design features that slow down a thief, leading them to pick on someone else.

Z-axis has "made in the USA" vs. "not" ... this is difficult to accomplish with sewn items, and something we think worth emphasizing.

2.  Placement.  Because only a small percentage of people travel and the timing is very specific.  There's a need to place our messaging in a time and place where people who are preparing to travel, and buying their equipment, will see it.

3.  Promotion.  Because we need to build awareness.

4.  Permission.  The goal is yes, with the idea that we'll provide useful items and activites that begin to give us access to travelers.  I'm trying to figure out how to build this as a long-term value to our company, while in the meantime getting initial visibility ... e.g., this seems like a growth strategy that will pay off eventually, but I still need something that will work soon.

5.  Place.  Our web site needs work, but it's placed there.  We're also placing on Amazon and other online marketplaces.  All sales are via the web, so figuring out how to make people who visit our pages come away feeling like Pavlov's dog is a significant goal.


The Talk Bubble:


I want the loyal, happy customer to say:


These satchels are so simple, yet so clever.  They’re “simply clever.”  They stop all the major ways a pickpocket or purse snatcher will get your stuff.  And they do so visibly, so a thief can see the barriers.  A few seconds sizing you up and they’ll go look for easier pickin’s.



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