How the COVID-19 outbreak incubates disruptive thinking – three levels to design the future of your business

How the COVID-19 outbreak incubates disruptive thinking – three levels to design the future of your business
SparkOptimus Team
Written by
Alexandra Jankovich, Tom Voskes & Sophie Heijenberg
The SparkOptimus Blog Team
June 5, 2020

Over the past decade, SparkOptimus has nurtured “disruptive thinking” to make disruption work. The crux of this thinking is to let go of daily routines and think out-of-the-box about how to better serve (existing or new) customers, putting their needs first rather than products or services. Interestingly, the COVID-19 outbreak forced us all to apply disruptive thinking, maybe without even noticing. Jobs that couldn’t be done from home suddenly could and supply chain gaps were filled by local sourcing. Digitization is further accelerated, with new challenges but also opportunities ahead, as we are moving towards a “1.5-meter-distance-society”.

The COVID-19 outbreak as incubator for designing the future of your business

Positive side-effects of the COVID-19 outbreak – such as eliminated reservations against digitization, opened minds, accelerated adaptability, and re-prioritized schedules – create a perfect environment to incubate disruptive thinking. In this thinking, we distinguish three levels to design your business’s future:

  • Expanding your current proposition
    The rise of digital has changed customer relationships and enabled businesses to expand their proposition at scale. Consumers have rising expectations and require something in return for their loyalty. Businesses unlock new value through consumer interaction via digital channels and ownership of end-user data. SparkOptimus is currently supporting a pet food producer in extending their product proposition into a fully digital service proposition. Through a digital platform, the brand wants to engage customers from their very first day as pet owners and share the brand’s expertise throughout the full journey. This service is expected to be a profitable separate business, but could also prove instrumental in acquiring new customers for the existing product offering.
  • Disrupting your current proposition
    Major trends like job automation, virtualization, and sustainability could affect your business’s future right of existence. The exercise of disrupting your own business helps you prepare for this as well as explore new ways to create value. SparkOptimus is currently supporting a food & beverage producer in re-evaluating their soft drinks business by launching a proposition solely based on healthy, functional, and natural ingredients. This proposition disrupts their current offering of sugary and plastic-packaged drinks. With this exercise, the producer wants to build a D2C platform to understand consumer preferences, thereby unlocking the potential of upcoming product categories.
  • Designing a new (non-core) proposition
    A large share of today’s biggest global businesses might no longer exist in their current form in the future. Already today you should start thinking what parts of your business could be the fundament of a completely new proposition, or what new proposition is required to become future-proof. SparkOptimus supported in the proposition design and launch of Hely, a mobility-as-a-service platform initiated by NS (Dutch Railways). The idea was transformed into a pilot in only six months. Towards launch, the four-person founding team was scaled to fifteen people with Hely operating three locations (read more about it here).

When ‘Sparking’ disruptive thinking together with our clients, SparkOptimus uses several formats such as inspirational masterclasses, ideation sessions, workshops, and agile pilots. Driven by the current circumstances, we fully virtualized our approaches, leveraging digital collaboration and communication tools. Greatly appreciating the positive feedback we already received from clients, we keep challenging ourselves to exceed expectations and maximize the relevance and output of these virtual sessions! Read more about our tips for digital workshops here.

We are here to help

For a decade, SparkOptimus has supported her clients to achieve concrete results in areas that are now more relevant than ever. This has resulted in our fourth #1 position in digital consultancy in the Netherlands. Especially in these days of turmoil, we are determined to help you navigate current- and post-Corona times, setting up your (online) business for success. Feel free to reach out, we are here to help.

This article is part of our series “Accelerating digitization & organization in times of Corona”. Also read:

  • Article 1: “Why your ‘future’ online B2B platform is needed now: How to start, scale, and not miss out”
  • Article 2: “How to virtualize your (B2B) sales engine to keep your salesforce working effectively from home”
  • Article 4: “How to start boosting ‘direct-to-consumer’ sales today – even without a D2C platform”
  • Article 5: “How to transform your organization for digital success in these times – leveraging the momentum of drastically changing routines“

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