The big

How we're tackling
global businesses challenges.

A great innovation opportunity is comprised of three major factors:

  1. There is reason to believe the opportunity will solve an actual human problem – either now, or in the future
  2. The opportunity contains a willingness to pay
  3. The problem space should be realistic and enable you to meet your growth ambitions for the next five to ten years

Great opportunities leverage your strengths and stand the test of time. Before engaging in research, we empathize with our clients to understand their superpowers and blockers so we can fine-tune opportunities for them. Innovation opportunities stretch the boundaries of what our clients are capable of doing, without being too far out of reach.

Go broad, go deep, and take it all in. Look at market trends to understand the big shifts in how people behave and industries operate. Identify extreme consumers, and observe their behavior, their goals, and their journey. Look for rich stories, inconsistencies, tensions, and surprises in their behavior.

Great opportunities are human-centric, rooted in real needs that we observe today – and that we believe will stand the test of time. They should stimulate many ideas, not just one. 

At the end of the day, you’ll be evaluating the quality of the opportunity by the diversity of ideas it generates – and the desirability, viability, feasibility, and social and environmental integrity of these ideas.

Creating better consumer experiences starts with the realization that everything is an experience. What we need is to qualify what kind of experience, and through which channel, we are looking to design.

The majority of ‘experiences’ are actually ordinary parts of our daily lives. What differentiates great experiences is expectation. Take for example how FinTechs accelerated a shift in the banking industry by transforming an experience that we expected to be slow and bureaucratic, into something we can solve with a few clicks in an app; it became a great service experience. Or how Apple introduced its now-famous iPhone packaging, transforming what we expected to be an ordinary package into a great unboxing experience, leaving us with a higher perceived value of the iPhone – to the point where we even keep the box for no real reason.

A good starting point, to qualify the experience you want to create, is your brand; what kind of emotions do your consumers associate with your brand and how can you elevate them? Another is jobs to be done and elements of value. Do you want to create an experience that reduces effort, in one extreme, or that provides hope, in another?

As great consumer experiences are about expectations, remember that if you try to delight without meeting the basics of consumer expectations, your experience will backfire: no one cares about a chocolate under the pillow if the sheets are stained.

Finally, don’t stop calling your products “products”, your stores “stores” or your services “services” only to start calling them “experiences”. They already are experiences: good or bad, ordinary or unexpected.

There are a lot of reasons why innovation fails. One of which is the focus on minimizing risk; many corporates function with an immune system that focuses on minimizing risk, which is essentially designed to kill variability. Instead, we encourage our clients to work and think with the concept of maximum liability and risk, and de-risking innovations and assumptions, fast and cost-effectively, through experimentation, validation, and rigorous iteration. Whether it’s the (in)validation of an assumption, concept, or business model, your decisions should be based on real-time data, gathered today, and not on a Kantar report. 

Additionally, innovation often fails due to a lack of flexibility; sticking to an idea and not being able to pivot often has a costly and inefficient outcome. Think big, start small, and learn fast. Use experiments to validate the most critical assumptions of your proposition.

Thirdly, the lack of real customer and behavioral insights creates wrong assumptions about your market, leading to low adoption and ultimately the failure of your innovation. Imagine for example that you’re launching a new preventive health solution to market based without having deep insights into what drives patient behavior chances are that you will imagine a future state patient journey that will not drive adoption. 
Designing human-centric healthcare requires holistic thinking about how solutions and interventions play a role in the physical, emotional, and economic context of users. Reset the assumptions your organization is making about patients and gather deep insights about how they make decisions. This will inform your healthcare opportunities and ensure a thoughtful solution, designed and launched for successful adoption and adherence.

By working together with other players inthe healthcare ecosystem, you can deliver value that elevates the entire health system rather than just your product or company goals. 

Think bigger about the health impact and potential roadmap of your intervention as it is rolled out and scaled globally – re-define your company’s role in your patient and customer’s life, by getting involved in new ways and increasing the overall customer lifecycle value (CLV).
A number of shifts are happening within consumer goods – these shifts are critical to address and bear in mind when looking to design ‘the next big consumer product’. 

We’re shifting from ‘designed for cost and machines’ to ‘designed for circularity and life’. Consumer goods businesses tend to have some of the most complex supply chains, often with a global footprint, and traditionally designed to reduce cost and mass-production. Consumer brands are under increasing societal and legal pressure to integrate Life Cycle Assessments into products, communication, and bottom line profitability, and generally shift the focus to designing for circularity and life.

We’re shifting from ‘global and standard’ to ‘local and adaptable’. With our saving, shopping and buying habits having shifted dramatically based on shocks from Covid-19, Global inflation pressures and the increasing access to technology and more cost-effective options, the one-size-fits-all approach has become risky and fragile. Consumers are engaging in products and services that  fit their functional, emotional and economic needs in real-time. Consumer brands need to prioritize consumer closeness and local decision-making in key markets. 

We’re shifting from ‘physical’ to ‘integrated hybrid experiences’. The experience economy “revolution” is not a single tsunami event but rather a constant tidal force with technology as the main enabler. Consumers today demand experiences that are simple, frictionless, personalized, and can cater to their preferences, platforms and timeline. 
We believe that gaining deeper customer insights comes from two sides:

  1. Being more human-centric and understanding the different values and behaviors of the individual
  2. Knowing and understanding the ecosystem and environment in which they are acting and making decisions

On the human-centric side, we look at the actions, behaviors, and values of each individual person, and how they culminate into personascustomer journey maps. We can use behavioral science to understand consumers’ motivations and triggers that we can impact to change their behavior.

On the ecosystem side, we look at the market, the industry, the systems at play, and the immediate choice architecture of critical decisions. By mapping the needscape of tomorrow, we can identify and prioritize underserved customer segments with unmet needs. Articulating end-to-end value chains turns gaps and threats into opportunities.
The key to staying relevant and responding to changing consumer behavior is the ability to see and understand the drivers of change for consumers. This usually stems from either a change in consumer values or a change in the ecosystem in which they are making decisions. Fully understanding the true drivers of change can only be achieved with deep consumer research and insights. Once you understand these drivers of change, you also understand the reasoning and goal behind the changing consumer behavior, and you’ll be able to pivot your product, service, or business. Leveraging foresight and futures thinking can help to see these changes before they actually happen.
Innovation is by definition unprecedented. However, faster, cheaper, and more accurate prototyping and data-driven research tech have changed the game. We can now build evidence and de-risk innovation concepts, and customer and business assumptions, using a data-driven approach to decision-making via rapid experimentation. Using rapid, in-market feedback to iterate ideas, products, services, and businesses, you can get closer to the real market response. This will inform and de-risk the decisions you make about your strategy, innovation, and design.

Through experimentation and validation, you move away from the standard innovation approach used in corporations (read: build the car, launch it on the market) towards a lean, de-risked approach, where user testing allows for evidence-based decisions. 



JUNE 5 & 6