<trp-post-container data-trp-post-id='32338'>Mirror, mirror, tell me what is my product for the future ?

Being bold and choosing to enter a new category without having yet developed your product is a step that many brands have taken. But the competition for shelf space and the need to move fast are very real. These are the reasons why using a Scenario Building method is essential for innovation. Florence Hussenot, President of Adwise, gives us a practical explanation of the opportunities offered by Scenario Building.

Supporting innovation - through Scenario Building - is one of your long-standing areas of expertise. When do you use it?

It's true that there are different approaches to innovation depending on the situation. Scenario Building is different from Concept Lab, for example. In the latter case, the approach is one of incremental innovation. For example, one of our customers had developed a new absorption technology (baby nappy) and was looking to include it in a new product by telling a new story. In this case, we take the insights from the category and build a new story in a Concept Lab.

Scenario Building is different, because in this case the company is attacking new segments or categories in which it is not present, by bringing a more disruptive innovation compared with existing products. But you need to be truly differentiated and move fast.

The brand has a number of objectives: to strengthen its relationship with retailers and continue to occupy a dominant share of shelf space, to increase sales, but also to nurture and enrich its territory. Product innovation is not just about increasing sales; it's also about Brand content.

What is the added value of Scenario Building for brands?

As we all know, creativity and innovation are based on highly structured approaches. The Scenario Building approach involves mapping potential product or service development scenarios using matrices. We seek to "spot" the future (in the sense of landmarks) for each of the strategic targets that have been identified beforehand.

The brand thus has access to multiple dials of potential product universes, illustrated by product or functional principles borrowed from others, which it selects on the basis of its knowledge of its targets, the brand's territory and also feasibility, a criterion that takes on particular importance in times of supply difficulties. For example, we worked with 3 personas and thus 12 dials with a very serious, reliable and expert Brand Equity. It immediately set aside the dials that would lead to the development of products that were too 'superficial', too emotional to deal with the problem in question. In doing so, she concentrated on 6 dials that we worked on together with product designers. The choice was made on the basis of their KPIs.


In practice, how do you go about setting up a Scenario Building system?

As always, we start by gaining an intimate understanding of our targets, and in particular by identifying their personas. These personas can be derived from quantitative segmentation, but also from exploratory qualitative research with a high level of ethnography. And, of course, strategic planning, supplemented by market data provided by the company, to gain a better understanding of the overall context of the innovation.

We then work in full-day creativity workshops. Our team is passionate about innovation. Together, we go out into the shops on an observation safari and gather a wealth of information, samples, images and impressions, which we then use in the workshops. We generally provide a booklet of stimuli to feed the creativity of all the employees involved. We start with the dials and work together to develop ideas for products or solutions. Our approach to creativity is based on the trust we generate in a group, stimuli that make it easier to associate, and a highly structured framework for running the workshop, which follows a fairly constrained protocol. After all, constraints are often a source of creativity.

This is followed by Torture Test phases for each idea, where it is enriched, selected or abandoned. Finally, the product concepts are tested in several phases with consumers, in focus groups designed to stimulate their creativity. And finally, they are tested by quantitative research, or even at home.

Adwise conclusion

At Adwise, we use the Scenario Building approach to innovate rapidly by involving employees and mapping the universe of possible and desirable outcomes. For us, this is a key element of expert quality.

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