Our Young Digital Innovators work in various industries and organisations. During one of our innovation projects, we worked at a renowned cosmetics company in the United Kingdom for three months. An independent innovation team, consisting of employees and external professionals, was set up to tackle the problem at hand.
The challenge at hand.
Our client struggled with their multi-level marketing (MLM) business model. An MLM business model relies on an independent sales force that promotes and sells its products to consumers, in return for a commission. However, the company was unable to offer consumers a product that they really wanted which impacted their sales negatively.
The question of the client was obvious but also two-fold: what are the current expectations (needs and wants) of the consumer and how can we offer this experience via our MLM salesforce? We joined the team as an Innovation Professional and approached both questions by applying our Lean Methodology.
What did we do.
We implemented and executed a clearly structured process: Scoping, Customer Discovery, Solution Ideation and Solution Validation.
In the first week, we made sure the team decided on the scope of the project and collected all available information, both internal and external. Once the scope was clear, we started pinpointing the areas unknown to the team and preparing our Customer Discovery. We organised several streams of interviews: Get Out of the Building (speaking to potential customers on the street), existing customer interviews, non-customer interviews, and a focus group. The several streams of interviews provided the team with massive amounts of information, many of which were newly discovered insights, out of which we distilled the customer’ Jobs to be Done, Pains and Gains for both the Supply and Demand side.
An additional step we introduced in this project was a quantitative validation of these customer insights. By this, we intended to confirm the insights from our customer interviews on a larger scale and representative for the population. This was done via an online questionnaire. Based on the qualitative and quantitative insights the team created five personas for the demand side and three personas for the supply side of their business model.
Solution ideation focused on finding the common ground between the supply and demand side. More than 40 solutions were ideated and after a careful evaluation, 5 ideas were selected for experimentation and testing with real customers — both online and offline.
In a period of 3 months, we were able to realise:
- Five clearly identified personas, based on qualitative customer insights and quantitative validation (supply)
- Three clearly identified personas, based on qualitative customer insights and quantitative validation (demand)
- Value proposition Canvas
- Business Model Canvas
- Facilitated solution ideation sessions
- Tested more than 5 potential solutions