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About Kangapoda

There’s Gotta Be a Better Way

“Most people cannot point their toes for any length of time without experiencing discomfort including, for those who are prone to it, the sudden, intense cramping of the feet and calves. This is why many people who watch TV under the covers or sleep on their backs un-tuck the top sheet and blanket so their feet are free from the mechanical force of the cloth lever on their fulcrum feet.”

Hal Mintz, Kangapoda Inventor and Founder

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Kangapoda’s founder, Harold P. (“Hal”) Mintz, first coined the term the nutcracker effect after jumping out of his bed with a painful calf cramp brought on from contorting his feet and pointing his toes to try to be more comfortable under the tucked-in covers. Sure, he could have simply un-tucked the covers and let his feet stick out; but the whole bed would have been a mess and annoying to re-make in the morning. He could also have watched TV on top of the covers until he was ready to turn in, but he wasn’t fond of that either. It was late…he was tired…he didn’t want to wear layers of clothing…and he didn’t want this to be a whole production. He just wanted to watch TV under the covers in comfort before calling it a night.

 To read Hal's Customer & Friends letter, click here...

 

 

Patenting the Idea

Kangapoda sheets and blankets are the greatest ergonomic advancement in above mattress bedding since the advent of the fitted bottom sheet. The Kangapoda canopy is a patented innovation (US Patent No. 8,127,378 B1) that vastly improves the ergonomics, pragmatics, and comfort of bed top sheets, blankets, and quilts so persons can recline in bed on their backs with their toes naturally pointed toward the ceiling—with the covers tightly tucked-in—in far greater comfort than ever before.

Hal thought ‘there's gotta be a better way.’ From the initial glimmer in his eye, he got granular and more substantive. There was nothing like the built-in foot canopy on the market. Hal wanted to make very certain that his intellectual property was protected as he knew he was on to something and would be copycats needed to be prevented from stealing his idea. He worked diligently with a patent attorney and filed for patent protection. His patent was granted. Kangapoda has continued to expand the patent family.

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Dreaming Up a Brand Name

 

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The 'Kanga' roo is the well-known marsupial 'pouched' animal, 
and the patented foot canopy is like a pouch for the foot. 
'Poda' is Latin for foot, and podiatry is the branch of medicine
focused on the study and medical treatment of the foot. 

The name for a consumer product is often hard to get just right particularly because the brand name is the foundation for a company’s marketing efforts. It is integral to the customers’ introduction to and first experience with the product, and, likely, impacts every experience thereafter. When customers see or hear a brand name for the first time, the associations and reactions they have immediately start to define the brand in their minds, for better or worse. A lot of brainstorming went into the inspiration to fuse two words with inherent cutural and experiential qualities into an entirely new context—a bed top covering with a pouch for the feet. The ‘Kangapoda’ name is fun, catchy, distinctive, and descriptive. 'Kangapoda' is also friendly and pleasing to the ear.

 

Designing a Logo

 

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The company name is the starting point, but how the name is featured adds strength, depth, and complexity to the brand. Kangapoda’s logo is whimsical, pleasing to the eye, and gets right at the core of the business idea—as the logo metaphorically depicts the product itself. The entire name doubles as the raised bed with the “K” functioning as the headboard. The dotted line depicts the Kangapoda sheet or blanket highlighting the foot canopy at the bottom that is vaulted over the stem of the letter “d” which metaphorically depicts the extended feet of a person reclined under the top coverings.

 

Adding a Complementary Tagline

 

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A tagline is a branding slogan usually paired with the brand name or logo in marketing communications and advertising. The idea behind the concept is to create a memorable phrase that will sum up the tone and premise of a brand and reinforce the consumer’s memory of the product. The tagline should go straight to the heart of the brand and what the company would like people to remember about it. The Ergonomic Feet Feat for a Bedding Feet Fête™ states exactly what the Kangapoda top coverings are all about:

     Ergonomic – intended to provide optimum comfort and to avoid stress or injury

     Feet – all 26 bones, 33 joints, and 100+ muscles, tendons, and ligaments

     Feat – an achievement that requires great courage, skill, strength, or innovation

     Fête – a celebration, jubilee, or festival    

The tagline’s use of the repetitive consonance of the “F” sound and its homophonic arrangement of words that all sound like ‘feet’ but have different complementary meanings is playful and descriptive.

 

Kangapoda Jingle

 

Click Here to view the Kangapoda Jingle 

 

Early Kangapoda Proof-of-Concept Model

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Above is an original proof-of-concept model of the Kangapoda top sheet which was first made out of a pillowcase. The positioning of the prototype in the photo shows, on the left side, the decorative hem at the top of the sheet turned down and, on the right side, the canopy at the bottom of the sheet from two angles – from the top down demonstrating how it collapses and lays flat when not in use and from the underside revealing the feet’s entrance to the canopy. The flap to be tucked under the mattress appears on the right and is rather stubby in this model.

 

Finding A Manufacturing Partner

Believing Kangapoda had finally arrived at a viable design, Hal needed to find a manufacturer, and this is no easy task. Hal can empathize with all of you inventors in terms of how long and tricky the process of finding a manufacturing partner can be. To begin, Kangapoda was an idea, a dream. So, even if the inventor is lucky enough to be introduced to the right potential manufacturing partner, capturing his or her attention is no easy task. Almost by definition, the manufacturer must also have the entrepreneurial spirit; and, of course, (s)he must appreciate the inventor’s vision. Hal also learned in a far more direct way: a whole host of U.S. manufacturers had ceased operations.  It was a little sad to travel through some previously industrial areas and see building after building now uninhabited. 

 

Slowly but surely, Hal made progress. Another thing that caught him a little off guard was the need, particularly in the early stage, to provide very detailed guidance for the prospective expert manufacturers. But after getting back some rather funny looking Kangapodas, Hal realized he had to get smarter regarding cut and stitch operations so that he could give better guidance.

 

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For those of you who have ever been injured or infirm and come to realize that, even though the doctors are incredibly educated, you must take some control over management of your condition—this was somewhat analogous. Hal had to learn enough about cutting and stitching to present a better map for the manufacturers. Kangapoda did not have the in-house skills or capital to do sophisticated CAD-CAM drawings. Instead, Hal resorted to a not-to-scale oak tag model put together with bobby pins. Incredibly, it worked. The detailed arts and crafts project was very helpful to all and led to the first true prototype being made.

 

Being under the covers makes the bed snuggly, offers a sense of emotional
security, and provides warmth from colder ambient air temperatures.

 

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The London Summer Olympics in 2012 marked a Kangapoda milestone as Hal watched some of the Olympic Games under a delightfully validating king-size Kangapoda top sheet prototype. By George…it worked great! And in his own way, Hal got to exalt with Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas, Usain Bolt, and the others who had been training for years to achieve their dreams. 

  

It took over three years to perfect the Kangapoda top sheet and blanket, find the right world-class manufacturing partner, and advance from the early concept through the prototype stage to today’s elegant world-class products.  Kangapoda is proud to say ‘Made in the USA’.

 

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