Shaping opportunities to enhance customer satisfaction, grow revenue and improve the experience of customers (small & medium sized businesses) globally.
Our client is a world leader in the business software industry. However, a strong positioning in the high end Enterprise market (more than 250 PC’s) undermines the relationship it has with the Small and Medium-sized business segment. Although it is practically impossible to sustain direct relationships with this segment on a global scale, it is crucial to understand the ways in which to improve the experience of these customers in order to grow revenue.
The objective of the project was to generate strategies and solutions focused on small and medium sized business based on a deep understanding of their needs, barriers, and decision making processes around IT management.
In order to accomplish this, a team of four in/situm consultants visited eight countries (China, India, Brazil, Russia, France, Norway, US, Germany) and conducted ethnographic research with current customers and IT partners. Specific techniques included observations, shadowings, and in-depth interviews with business and technology decision makers. After analyzing the collective results, we generated several frameworks which were used as input for conducting several innovation workshops with different members of the corporate marketing team.
Resulting strategies were refined and worked in detail in order to turn them into actionable solutions at a local and global level. Most solutions are being used to inform the strategic plan of the division which will be implemented during the next three years. Some short-term solutions are currently being implemented at a local level with estimated sales increase of US$19 million per (+7%).
Understanding the reading market and the Spanish publishing industry to identify market potential and product definition for a digital device for reading.
A major technology company has detected a business opportunity in the digital reading market for Spanish-speaking countries. However they needed to establish the market potential and identify possible networks, supporters and opponents of the publishing industry for the introduction of a digital reader device.
Even though the product category already exists, our client wanted to introduce their device as a disruptive technology. That means, introducing it by improving the current products in ways that the market doesn’t expect, in this case by being low priced and designed for a different set of consumers.
The objective of the project was to determine the market potential and to generate strategies and solutions for a digital reader device for the Spanish-reading market.
We had a team of four in/situm’s consultants with design and social science backgrounds conducting the ethnographic research, analysis and innovation in Mexico and Hispanic areas in the US.
The research was planned to understand readers and key players of the publishing industry. Techniques included one-on-one interviews, shadowings, participant observation and contextual interviews.
By gaining deep understanding of the publishing industry, from the creation to the consumption of reading materials, and also by knowing in detail different types of readers and their practices our client could identify opportunities and paths to generate solutions and strategies for the develop of a a digital device for reading aimed to be introduce in emergent markets in the following years.
Understanding the “Education ecosystem” in developing countries as a way to envision new technology-based products for teachers, students and parents.
A major technology company has detected the educational market in developing countries as a key segment in which to build future demand. However, education in developing countries (LatAm, Africa, Middle East, India, China) can be quite complex to understand and design for. A number of product initiatives are currently being developed to target this growing market but our client needs constant input for exploring new product opportunities, evaluating emerging ideas and refining early concepts based on constant user insights.
The objective of this three-year retainer project is to provide a constant flow of insights and ideas for technology-based products and services focused on the educational market throughout LatAm.
We have an assigned team of five consultants (marketing, design and social scientists) spread between Mexico and Brazil, conducting a series of short projects with rapid turnarounds. In/situm teams work fully integrated with client teams, conducting research, analysis and innovation work with different labs worldwide. We work simultaneously on different phases of the innovation process from doing exploratory ethnographic research, co-creation sessions with users, ideation sessions with clients, rapid prototyping, and even usability studies around specific product concepts.
From the beginning of this engagement we have substantially increased our clients’ understanding of the educational market, developed more than 20 new product/service concepts, and have informed the development of one new product currently being launched on a global scale (´08 sales > 2 million products)
Improving the design and usability of a high-efficiency washing machine prototype based on the results obtained from the interaction with users.
The largest home appliance manufacturer in Latam had developed a new water saving technology for washing machines, but was unsure that users were going to be receptive to this new way of washing clothes, both perceptually (less water = less effectiveness) as well as in the usability of a new interface (different from existing washing machines). So they asked us for help on designing the product interface as well as the brand positioning.
The objective was to ensure user-centeredness in the washing machine interface as well as in the marketing strategy (define the target market, claims, positioning, and personality).
This two-phased Project started with conducting exploratory research on the behaviors, perceptions and meanings around water management and environmental concerns with Mexican households. The result of this research included the generation of various insights around water-saving and its relationship to washing clothes (yes, it turns out most people are not aware they spend 120 liters every time they do the laundry!). After identifying the right target, we set up functional prototypes in their homes and asked them to use the machine for a few weeks, documenting every aspect of their usage by taking photos and filling in a diary every time they used them. After 3 weeks of continuous use, we conducted ethnographic interviews with these women in order to wrap up the experiment by doing projective techniques which would reveal hidden emotions and unconscious feelings towards the product.
The result? Lots of opportunities for improving the interaction with the product, but none of them were willing to give up the prototype back to their old washing machine. So, we decided to conduct usability testing of the control panel and re-designed this interface to overcome the main difficulty users had.
Using the outcomes of this research was enough for us to craft the brand strategy and positioning of the product in a subsequent workshop session. The marketing communications came almost entirely out of end users.
The product went into production and, based on the outcomes of our involvement, our client decided to keep its marketing investment low while keeping sales above expected target. An excellent product with the right positioning and tons of benefits has a guaranteed success. And having a product that saves 80 liters of water every time users do their laundry made us very, very happy.
Generating concepts and packages for soaps and body oils from the needs of consumers
An important international beauty and body care products company sought our help for the creation of their 2012 and 2013 line of soaps and body oils.
Generate, together with the client, new concepts for their body care line, based on a thorough understanding of the habits and purchase drivers of users.
We employed different qualitative techniques to obtain insights from consumers as well as from sales representatives of the brand in Sao Paulo.
We also carried out triads with users and non-users of the products for the validation and refinement of the products and packages.
Aside from the basic and premium concept portfolio, we also worked on the launch and positioning strategy of the products.
Understanding and finding solutions for Hispanic small-business owners
An insurance company wanted to have a deeper understanding of Hispanic small-businesses in order to offer more suitable products.
In/situm proposed to engage the small-business owners, who were mostly Mexican and from Central America, to get a closer and better understanding of their needs, challenges and values.
Unveil the emotions and problems Hispanic small-business owners face to work around finding the solution, and design a product and a strategy for this market sector.
Interviews with the owners were carried out in LA and Chicago, as well as participative design sessions to help them build an appropriate solution for their needs. We also conducted a workshop for transmitting the information to the client’s team.
Based on the findings, we designed possible and feasible ideas to create a tailored and suitable offer for these kind of business.
Helping shape and adapt a worldwide successful beverage product to the Latin American culture, needs, lifestyle and social dynamics.
Our client is building the foundation for developing a new category in the region, ready-to-drink low alcohol beverages in order to compete fully with beer (which actually holds 90% of the business). However, products and brands need to be adapted to the specific characteristics of the segments for which this new drink is being designed.
The objective of this project was to help design the product, packaging, value proposition and positioning of this new product by gaining a deep understanding of the drivers, consumption occasions, social dynamics and perceptions of the youth market in Brazil.
We have an simultaneously on different phases of the innovation process from doing exploratory ethnographic research, co-creation sessions with users, ideation sessions with clients, rapid prototyping, and even usability studies around specific product concepts.
We started by understanding the nascent world of RTD’s, including developments worldwide, the brands and their positioning as well as conducting a comprehensive analysis of RTD’s and their strengths compared to beer in different consumption moments and contexts. This exercise helped us develop research and innovation hypotheses which were shared with the client in a strategy workshop and helped define the most appropriate research methodologies.
Primary research included point of sale and point of consumption observations and informal interviews with both RTD and beer drinkers in order to understand their motivations and expectations in regards to drinks. After mapping out these initial insights, we conducted participatory design sessions in which we invited participants to co-created the ideal RTD drink, packaging and positioning based on the motivations and situations described during the informal interviews and their own experience.
This resulted in a projective exercise of the ideals, which we later transferred into specific implications and recommendations for our client