Evolving Business Offerings
Small to medium businesses rarely consider their vendors’ true partners. The “ideal” partner connects their business with the help they need when they need it, including pointing to vendors, and other businesses for support. Our client sought to gain a deeper, more intimate understanding of micro, small, and medium businesses to help transform themselves into a trusted partner. The outcome of this research created a comprehensive strategy to evolve our client’s business into a go-to resource for essential business connections.
Stepping outside of core competencies is difficult. We started by exploring and hypothesizing the small to medium outsourcing space – revisiting what we know from previous work as well as talking to a number of employees who had previously owned a small business. We then followed our innovation model, framing our challenge and empathizing with our targets through interviews and summits. Given the pandemic, we utilized digital ethnography to allow these businesses to give us a better peek into their day-to-day.
Together with the core business team we collaboratively defined the customer experience, including value drivers, barriers, expectations, and potential outsourcing opportunities through ideation sessions. Prototypes were developed as “sketchy” storyboards that conveyed an easy-to-follow visualization. These prototypes were then shown back to target customers for validation.
We identified a number of potential services and products that displayed high-level market engagement and interest in the market. The top solution was further explored through an expedited prototype test – providing a messy, but real-life solution, that provided valuable feedback. Ultimately, the prototype test allowed us to refine the offering while also identifying a number of high-entry operational needs that were not considered in the earlier phases.