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Five takeaways from our B2B innovation panel
Our latest WF Talks was saw some of the best minds in design come together to discuss how to make innovation the way of doing business in…
Our latest WF Talks was saw some of the best minds in design come together to discuss how to make innovation the way of doing business in B2B organisations. Our great panel shared insights that are pertinent for anyone concerned with creating excellent customer experiences.
By Sorcha Daly, Associate, Wilson Fletcher
1. “There’s no such thing as B2B — the people who use our services are just consumers.”
Karen Waldron, Head of Product Development at legal publishing firm LexisNexis, spoke about how her organisation had transformed its processes simply by doing away with the B2B label. Instead of focusing on buyers and budgets within customer organisations, this mindshift change ushered in a new era of user-centricity.
2. “What we sell to customers was only important to them 10% of the time. Talking to them opened up the other 90%.”
Karen’s team were able to understand their products much better by talking to customers. Finding out which aspects of their offer customers valued meant they were also able to identify opportunities in how to make the rest of the experience more desirable. Happy users mean happy buyers, and those happy buyers will keep coming back.
3. “Always make user appetite the first gate.”
In his talk about service-led strategy, Mark Wilson echoed Karen’s sentiments by making a case for organisations to build themselves around services and, in turn, customers. He talked about flipping the traditional budgeting model, making user appetite — rather than board ambition — the first gate. If you can’t prove active user potential, move on.
4. “Organisational strategy is impossible to execute upon: the gap between it and customers is too huge.”
Mark shared lessons in innovation from Upstarts — the startups-come-good who had turned their services into successful organisations. In contrast to a traditional ‘pillared’ approach to organisational strategy, these Upstarts put the service at the centre. Every experience has strategic impact, so build a strategy that starts where it’s enacted — that is, in the experiences customers have with your brand, rather than in the boardroom.
5. “When profit becomes something you have to keep doing, you forget to grow.”
All our speakers spoke of a need to push the innovation agenda. With boards to answer to and the need for instant results in a competitive climate, it can be easy to take a short-sighted approach to business and forget about growth. All had different ways of dealing with this pressure: some spoke of isolating innovation projects while others shared stories of hiding budget. Our panel was united by a dogged determination to not shut up about innovation, customer-centricity and business growth. And their organisations are reaping the rewards.