NEWS: New Year Business Resolutions: 5 trends that will transform working practices in 2017

New and rapidly developing ways of working are set to transform businesses - both big and small in 2017. As technology continues to disrupt and advance, businesses must react to these challenges with both speed and agility and adopt the latest thinking and working practices, if they are to survive.

Market Gravity's co-founder and CEO, Pete Sayburn, shares his insight into the latest thinking and ways of working that businesses should be looking to deploy in 2017 and how he and the Market Gravity team have successfully been using these techniques to help their clients grow and transform their businesses.

Design sprints

“Sprints as a concept has gained fast traction in both the UK and US since three partners from Google Ventures published, “Sprint: How To Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days” earlier this year.

Design sprints enable companies to go from an idea to a launch that’s live in customers’ hands in days and weeks, rather than months. Let's say you have a business challenge that needs to be addressed. From experience you know that it will take weeks- if not months- to mobilise the business into action. But instead of creating a massive programme and stretching out the work, you launch a proposition in days. You make decisions quickly and within ten days, you move from idea to prototype. From a prototype you find rapid ways to go live and experiment. You learn from real customers, with real data. This saves your business time and unnecessary cost. And it gives much needed confidence to invest before you scale.

Market Gravity recently worked with Standard Life on 20 day mission-based design sprints which explored ways to increase the retention of one of Standard Life’s customer segments.

Steven Ingledew from Standard Life said, “We wanted to launch a disruptive solution quickly, but one that would have minimal impact on our core technology systems. By using the sprint method introduced to us and run by the team at Market Gravity, we have found one. A small empowered team, or squad as a sprint team is called was brought together to respond to the challenge we’d set, with a constraint that was time boxed. The result of the experiment was the development of The Financial Butler, a new smart chat interface which were able to get in the hands of a small number of customers, in a real environment with real data before scaling it.”

Mission culture and mindsets

“Alongside the sprint technique, organisations need to pursue a mission in 2017, not simply set a scope. They need to adopt a 'mission culture', which focuses on empowering people to make decisions and organises people around a business challenge, with a constraint that’s time-boxed.

This group of people takes on the ‘mission mindset’. The mission mindset enables expedited decisions, not long committee-led debates. Culture should be at the heart of any company's transformational change. It is people who deliver change, not processes.

Mission culture is already driving change and real innovation within the new breed of challenger brands in the financial services market such as Clydesdale Yorkshire Banking Group with their digital banking platform- B, which launched earlier this year.”

Squads

“Simply forming working teams is old hat. The new approach for choosing an effective group that will be charged with achieving a mission within a certain timeframe is “squad”. They aren’t just a team, they’re a squad whose mission it is to deliver the sprint and build a new proposition, without being distracted by their day-today job roles.

Ideally, the squad will be built from a diverse group of people of differing skillsets, genders and diversity. The more diverse the group are, the more likely they are to bring about positive innovation outcomes for the business.

A squad has a high degree of freedom (agility) with the choices they make within the mission. They can make quick decisions and flex the process as much as they need to in order to achieve it and they aren’t constrained by the normal rules of the business.”

Customer co-development

Customer co-development means involving customers at every stage of the journey when creating new propositions. It’s not enough to just generate one set of customer data at the outset for research and insight purposes. We’ve identified that constant communication and partnership with customers brings better results for businesses in the long run.”

It’s about creating the right culture where consumers are at the heart of propositions. The more exposed your customers are to every aspect of the design stage and prototyping, the more likely the project is to succeed when it goes live.

For example, at Market Gravity we did this successfully with AA recently when we asked a selection of customers to keep diaries on behalf of their cars throughout the year. This enabled them us to help their team design a new service informed by a steady stream of live customer data related to their vehicles.

Sandboxing

“Sandboxing is about creating a safe place where you can innovate and create new ideas for your business - without consequences. It gives you the space and environment to create something and experiment. Creating “a sandbox environment” often means physically removing businesses from their office environment or HQ in order to achieve success.

But why sandbox part of your business? Businesses are not always set up to allow for innovation. Or they have the ideas but lack the mindset, speed, skills and environment required to get them out of the door quickly. In addition, there’s an ongoing business to run which can mean there isn’t always internal resource available to work on these types of ideas. That’s where companies like ours come in – we effectively create start-ups within their companies. Sandbox environments that allow us to play, reinvent and re-imagine projects.

Sandboxes are becoming increasingly important in the financial sector as it is subject to frequent regulatory changes. Sandboxing creates am environment for financial services firms in which to play and develop their proposition using customer data.

 

Read about the 10 benefits of sprints here.

 

If you’d like to understand more about these trends and how you can use them to grow your business, get in touch.

peter.sayburn@marketgravity.com


The ‘Secret Sauce’ series: Island Beers

Market Gravity look for something different in the people they recruit. They look for an ability to inject an entrepreneurial spirit into the innovation projects and propositions they’re working on. We call it the ‘secret sauce’ – it’s what makes our approach and the way we help our clients deliver projects that makes us different to other consultancies.

 

But how do we know if someone can inject an entrepreneurial spirit into a big company? Well. A lot of the team at Market Gravity are entrepreneurs in their own right. They’ve started their own businesses outside of Market Gravity – something the company advocates and actively looks for. They know the work it takes to get something off the ground. They are passionate about ideas in the same way as our clients are passionate about theirs. They're able to draw on their experiences in client projects.

Because we love to share, celebrate and support our team's entrepreneurial passions, we're creating a series of blogs about them. First up we chatted to Dan Avery who's one one of our Senior Consultants, about his business – Island Beers.

Tell us a little bit about Island Beers

"Island Beers is a craft beer business, creating beers brewed with interesting spices that complement the beer style. The result is a subtly unique and great tasting product (I am biased here obviously). We sell to a range of customers, most of which are passionate restaurateurs who like the interesting flavours we produce."

 

Dan and the Island Beers team

 

Where did the idea come from?

"We wanted to create a beer that complemented great food, in a way that not many current beers do. There are plenty of very good hoppy craft beer companies around, but not so many crafting delicate flavours to accompany meals and specific dishes."

What did you find most rewarding about the experience?

"Starting with nothing but an idea is a daunting place to be. With work and commitment, you gradually build this into something you are proud of that is beautiful (to you at least… and to others if you’ve done your homework) and when you see this on shelves or being drunk by diners (that actually chose to purchase your product) it is a very rewarding experience. But the best bit has to be ordering and drinking your own beer at a bar/restaurant."

What lessons would you give others?

"Be prepared to commit plenty of your energy, time and resources but commit them very wisely. Never commit to anything big until it is needed, until there is a definite demand or pull for it. E.g. create the smallest batch you can get away with, make the most basic visuals needed and so forth. You’ll find you can do less and achieve more with it. Premature scaling of any sort is an easy way to kill a good product company and it is the easiest way to kill a good product idea."

 

"With work and commitment, you gradually build (an idea) into something you are proud of that is beautiful (to you at least… and to others if you’ve done your homework)."
Daniel Avery: "With work and commitment, you gradually build this (an idea) into something you are proud of that is beautiful (to you at least… and to others- if you’ve done your homework)."

 

What was most challenging?

"There are some big moments where you find yourself far from your goal despite having travelled so far on your start-up journey. This feels demoralising and it is certainly demotivating. It is a little like rowing across a sea (stick with the metaphor here)- there is a point in the middle where you are miles from the shore you left and miles from the shore you’re headed to and things feel bleak. For Island Beers, this was when our first batch failed and we had to tip 3.5k bottles down the drain. This is where you must dig deep for your determination and commitment in order to drive things forward until that shore comes into view, complete with swaying palms and a beach bar."

Funniest anecdote?

"Lots of these… usually at our own expense! It always puts a smile on my face thinking about one of our batches that went a little bit wrong. A small flaw in the process led to around one in six of our beers being far too fizzy, to the point where it became quite comical. Every sales pitch, sample and drink after a long day was transformed into a game of Russian Roulette. If you won, you’d enjoy a smooth pitch or drink. If you were unlucky, you or those unsuspecting around you would receive a frothy deluge of delicately spiced craft beer. Whoops. Thankfully this little issue has been solved now!"

How has the experience helped you at Market Gravity?

"There are many things that can distract you when developing and launching something new. I think one of the most valuable things is to understand, or have an appreciation of, is the value of knowing what to focus on and what is a distraction e.g. Do you want to design for all those customer segments now? Do you really need to launch across all channels? Is there really a need for branded mugs? China??... But we’ve not even cracked the UK!"

If you’d like to talk about ideas you have to launch a new proposition or how to overcome some challenges you’re facing- get in touch.

daniel.avery@marketgravity.com.

Find Dan on LinkedIn

And take a look at http://island-beers-uk.com/ - you can order online!

 


NEWS: Market Gravity predicts business trends for 2017

Technology will continue to be one of the biggest disrupting forces in big business in 2017, with innovations such as Blockchain and robo-advice finally breaking through. In 2016, we saw the time it takes to go from breakthrough technology to mass market application reducing as technology disruptors reshaped big business practice, and this breakneck pace doesn’t show signs of abating as we enter a new year.

Market Gravity's co-founder Gideon Hyde shares his predictions for 2017 and advises what big businesses should be doing to recognise 'tomorrow's business' and ensure they enhance their offerings to stand out in this increasingly competitive marketplace.

Blockchain 

Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen cites Blockchain as “one of the most fundamental inventions in the history of computer science". Put 'simply', Blockchain uses complex cryptography to ensure that financial transactions can be verified and can’t be tampered with, with minimal third party involvement.

Bitcoin is the best known application of Blockchain so far, but its potential extends far beyond digital currencies. The Blockchain process makes error and fraud easier to spot and it can remove the need for a middleman, thereby reducing costs. Indeed, experts say it is set to disrupt every industry where transactions and trust are key.

Robo-advice

An increasing number of businesses are developing and launching Robo-advice services for customers. Robo-advice involves replacing face-to-face advice with online, automated guidance and execution – not from an actual robot, but from an algorithm which engages with customers to create an improved experience. The savings and investment sector, in particular, has adopted this new technology to engage with their customers in a way that adds values and helps create an improved brand experience. Take the Standard Life Financial Butler, for example; an automated chat-based app that provides customers with a new way to explore and interact with their pensions and investments, make changes to their account information and get quick and easy access to Standard Life experts.

Whilst its growing popularity could mean the beginning of the end for traditional face-to-face advice, there is an opportunity for advisers who are willing to consider incorporating these automated services into their offering. Major banks are already beginning to do this by targeting potential customers considering their first steps into financial advice. This low-cost stepping stone can help get customers on side ready for when they may require more comprehensive guidance.

 Chat Bots – the rise of the chat interface

More and more companies are using Chat Bots to hold automated conversations with potential customers to help them make decisions that eventually lead to sales or bookings. The advantages to businesses considering using them are that they are less expensive to produce than apps, they help raise brand awareness and they can save human resourcing costs, effectively replacing the work of customer service agents and personal assistants. The prospect of Bots actually replacing human jobs is still a way off, however. Businesses should look at augmentation rather than replacement.  Bots can help make employees' lives easier by taking away some of the strain but, when enquiries become more complicated, customers will still require the help of a human being.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT), also known as 'connected devices’ or ‘smart devices’ has seen new products and services being launched and developed at a fast pace in the past couple of years. The continued development of connected devices, wearable tech and enhanced connectivity means the IoT is progressing into every part of our lives, potentially changing the way we live forever. From smart meters to automated lighting, customers are increasingly embracing these new technologies into their lives. These new, connected technologies are also changing the way we shop. Take, for example, the new megatrend known as 'frictionless retail', which could make wallets, checkouts and queues things of the past. To take advantage of these developments and create new growth opportunities, companies need be open to changing their traditional systems, procedures, processes and ways of communicating. They must embrace technology to maintain a competitive edge, enhance customer experiences and drive business growth. There are a wealth of companies embracing the technology, with further developments expected in the next year within utilities and energy, automotive (connected cars) and retail, as well as consumer electronics.

Voice and motion control interfaces

Recent developments in user interface (UI) - the way human beings interact with a device - are now offering us much more attractive options than a simple keyboard and a mouse.  Take voice recognition technology, for example, Apple's Siri - a personal assistant application designed to work through IOS. And, launched much more recently, Amazon's Echo. Using advanced voice technology, 'Alexa' can tell you the time, deliver news updates, play your music choices, notify you of your day's appointments and much more.

Another emerging UI was first foretold by Tom Cruise in the 2002 sci-fi movie, Minority Report when he was seen donning his magic gloves and gesturing at a screen to manipulate images and datasheets on his computer system. Now motion control, or gesture interface, is actually beginning to show us a future where computer systems will be able to interpret human hand gestures and emotion recognition from the face via mathematical algorithms. Users of the Blippar app will soon be able to scan people’s faces with their smartphone cameras to reveal their personal information as reported in the Evening Standard just this week.

VR and AR

Immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have started to hit the mass market (see Facebook’s Oculus Rift) but the way in which they will affect businesses has yet to evolve. In 2017, the consumer and business content and application of VR and AR will become clearer. VR and AR has huge potential to control a flow of information to the consumer, integrated across mobile, wearable technology and IoT etc. allowing rooms and spaces to connect with consumers, virtual worlds and conversations. It’s possibly one of the most exciting areas to be working in for brands right now.

 

Gideon is one of the co-founders and a partner of Market Gravity and is passionate about creating growth and innovations businesses across the UK and beyond. He is an expert in helping big businesses launch significant new ventures into the marketplace and take them to scale. He led the programmes to develop and grow npower’s home energy services business, to launch B for Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group and to design and launch Retiready, Aegon’s digital retirement service.

If you'd like to understand more about these trends and how you can use them to grow your business, get in touch.

gideon.hyde@marketgravity.com


10 benefits of Sprints

You have a business challenge that needs to be addressed quickly. From experience you know that it will take weeks- if not months- to mobilise the business into action. But instead of creating a massive programme and stretching out the work, you launch a proposition in days. You adopt a mission mindset, make decisions quickly and within ten days, you move from idea to prototype. From a prototype you find rapid ways to go live and experiment. You learn from real customers, with real data. This saves your business time and unnecessary cost. And it gives much needed confidence to invest before you scale. What’s more this new way of working starts to change the way you do ‘business-as-usual’ (BAU).

Welcome to the world of sprints, a concept that is gaining traction in both the UK and US since three partners from Google Ventures published, “Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days”.

We've been using the sprint technique with some of our clients over the last year and these approaches to business challenges have transformed the way we deliver projects and launch new propositions for our clients. For big businesses, sprints bring together the best of both worlds; the tools and ways of working that digital pioneers such Spotify and Google Ventures apply with the scale and deep domain expertise of big companies.

 

10 benefits of Sprints:

1. Reduced costs
Small teams working to tight deadlines minimises investment cost. They simplify decision making and are more likely to deliver real impact versus large big project teams that generate lots of process, governance and PowerPoint presentations.

2. Rapid growth
Organising sprints and small teams around growth opportunities as they present themselves allows businesses to quickly go after new opportunities.

3. Improved team morale
Removing hierarchy and empowering people to get things done creates a feeling that they can affect change in their company, despite how big it is.

4. High productivity
Time boxing responses to business challenges simplifies decision making and focuses the team on an outcome, not a process.

5. High energy levels
As team morale improves, adrenalin kicks in and everybody focuses on getting the job done within the timeframe.

6. Less risk
By creating a culture and environment that enables teams to experiment before- and as they scale- ensures that decision making is informed at all stages by real customer data, not hypothesis.

7. Competitive advantage
As business environments become faster and more uncertain, the ability to mobilise teams of talented people to start and deliver projects quickly is critical. This helps organisations become more resilient.

8. Better outcomes from diversity
The most successful sprint teams embrace diversity. Diversity of culture, experience and expertise. This helps them solve modern, complex challenges.

9. Seed cultural change through delivery
Sprint teams are empowered to define their own working practices and make their own decisions, stripping out layers of unnecessary bureaucracy and reporting that can slow progress down.

10. More agility
Being able to pivot quickly to the challenges of our rapidly changing world is vital. Sprints bring talented and diverse people together to solve problems. Once the challenge has been met, they disperse or kick off the next challenge.

 

Sprints focus on real business challenges- not blue sky thinking- which means that new opportunities and innovations are delivered quickly, refined, validated and tested before they are scaled. We've used sprints to transform ideas into breakthrough propositions at speed whilst unleashing entrepreneurial talent that exists in big companies.

We recently worked with Standard Life on 20-day mission-based sprints which explored ways to increase the retention of one of Standard Life’s customer segments.

Stephen Ingledew from Standard Life said, “We wanted to launch a disruptive solution quickly, but one that would have minimal impact on our core technology systems. By using the sprint method introduced to us and run by the team at Market Gravity, we are able to find one. A small empowered team, or squad as a sprint team is called, was brought together to respond to the challenge we’d set, with a constraint that was time boxed. The result of the experiment was the development of “The Butler”, a new smart chat interface which we were able to get in the hands of a small number of customers, in a real environment with real data before scaling it.”

 

Get in touch if you'd like to talk about how Sprints can work for you!

paul.bowman@marketgravity.com


NEWS: Exploring AI innovations in finance

A workshop aimed at financial services organisations is taking place in London to help business leaders understand and explore opportunities within artificial intelligence.

The session, ‘AI in finance: exploring innovations in machine learning and automation for financial services’, will be held at Atlantic House, on Wednesday 9th November and will see 15 speakers deliver practical and educational presentations and facilitated discussions.

Expert speakers include Peter Sayburn, co-founder and CEO of proposition design consultancy, Market Gravity, who will deliver a facilitated discussion on robotics for manual process automation. He will lead debates on where the human touch is and isn’t needed, outlining potential cost-savings associated with robotics and how it can improve service quality, accuracy and scalability. He will also consider how it can become an alternative to standardising business processes and facilitate integration among disparate systems.

Peter is an entrepreneur, investor and author who has worked with some of the world’s foremost financial services businesses. He is passionate in the belief that if large companies are to live and grow in the digital age they must create a culture of innovation and embrace new technologies, such as AI, to stay ahead in the competitive marketplace.

Peter says: "Artificial intelligence represents a huge opportunity for the finance sector and it’s important for organisations to get involved and embrace the technology. It can improve the efficiency of their processes, meet consumer demand for speed, personalisation and convenience, and allows businesses to launch innovative new products and services to compete with new challengers and entrants to the financial services sector.

“This event brings together experts to share knowledge, experience and predictions on what’s coming up in the near future for AI and where the market is going. I’m delighted to be presenting alongside leading innovators from the financial services and tech sectors and look forward to some lively discussions.”

Marie Walker, director and co-founder of Event Creation Network, designed and organised the AI in Finance event. She says: “London is a hub of fintech innovation with hundreds of organisations developing exciting new products and services and AI is one of the technologies driving these innovations forward. Research from TABB Group Services highlighted that over two thirds of financial service firms believe AI will become hugely important in the coming years and around 34 per cent of businesses are carrying out proof concepts in the space. The event promises to be informative and compelling, giving attendees practical steps to explore regulatory compliance, customer service, financial forecasting and manual process automation.”

The workshop will feature an impressive line-up of additional speakers including Devika Thapar from IBM Watson, Hamish Leiper from Standard Life, Guillaume Vidal from Walnut Algorithms and Clara Durodie from Cognitive Finance.

The AI in Finance workshop takes place on Wednesday 9th November at Hogan Lovells, Atlantic House, London EC1A 2FG. For a list of sessions and workshops and to book your ticket, visit http://ai-finance.com.


NEWS: Europe’s top innovators celebrated at the Corporate Entrepreneur Awards

Virgin Money, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group, HomeServe Labs
and Close Brothers Retail Finance scoop awards in what has been an extraordinary year of innovation.

Market Gravity has announced the winners of the seventh annual Corporate Entrepreneur Awards – celebrating big business innovation and the individuals and teams behind these exciting new projects, with organisers remarking that 2016 had been “an extraordinary year of big business innovation”.

The proposition design consultancy opened the nominations and voting out to the UK corporate entrepreneur community with shortlisted entries from big businesses in sectors such as fintech and banking, retail, utilities, automotive, media and wider technology.

Virgin Money scooped the award for Innovation Culture for The Mortgage Lab. This award recognises strong innovation culture and leadership from a big business and Virgin Money overhauled its intermediary mortgage proposition, creating a manifesto for its brokers to deliver on a series of commitments and enhance the mortgage experience for intermediaries.

Iain Gibbons and Dan Ilet from Virgin Money collect the Innovation Culture award
Iain Gibbons and Dan Ilet from Virgin Money collect the Innovation Culture award

The award for New Challenger was presented to Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group (CYBG) for the launch of B – a new digital banking app that uses artificial intelligence to help customers manage their finances. With the rise of challenger banks disrupting the financial sector, CYBG demonstrated how an established player can become a challenger, attract a new audience, while still keeping its heritage and loyal customer following.

Laura Davidson, David Judic and Emma Ramsay from CYBG pick up the New Challenger award
Laura Davidson, David Judic and Emma Ramsay from CYBG pick up the New Challenger award

HomeServe Labs, one of the UK’s leading home assistance providers, secured the award for best new product or service with Leakbot – a smart water leak detector that detects leaks in the home using intelligent technology without the need for professional installation. Part of HomeServe, HomeServe Labs is a smart home technology developer that designs products and services which makes consumers’ lives easier, and is currently working on more exiting new products for connected homes.

Kerry Horton, Greg Reed, Mo Mahmood and team collect the award for best New Product or Service for HomeServe Labs Leakbot
Kerry Horton, Greg Reed, Mo Mahmood and team collect the award for best New Product or Service for HomeServe Labs Leakbot

The new business launch award went to Close Brothers Retail Finance, a new business that helps retailers of all sizes to grow through an exceptional new finance offering that allows their customers to easily spread the cost of their purchase over time. It aims to help drive innovation in the retail sector to make retailers of all sizes more competitive and to help them grow and adapt in an increasingly digital world.

Arline Sperryn-Jones, Charlie Gibson, KevinWard, Michael Aydeniz, Nick Harkin, Paul Barclay, Samantha Mc Carthy and Simon Hayter from Close Brothers pick up the best New Business Award
Arline Sperryn-Jones, Charlie Gibson, Kevin Ward, Michael Aydeniz, Nick Harkin, Samantha McCarthy and Simon Hayter from Close Brothers pick up the best New Business Award

Innovation has been the buzzword of 2016 with the launch of hundreds of exciting new products and services from big businesses around the UK. With the rise of the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, omnichannel retail, challenger banks and Pokemon Go, technology is advancing the way businesses and consumers interact, operate, and live their lives.

Robin Scarborough, Partner and Managing Director of Market Gravity in London, says: “These awards recognise game-changing products and services delivered by large organisations. It’s been another impressive year for big business innovation and great to see how they’re using the latest developments in technology in their new ventures and propositions. It’s really exciting to see so many New Challengers coming through and stepping up to the mark, in areas such as fintech, connected homes, and retail.

“The finalists in each category demonstrated creative thinking in response to them identifying a gap in their market to meet their customers’ needs. The level of innovation was so impressive and showed a real commitment to evolving existing business models to better cater to the needs of their customers.”

“Corporate entrepreneurs, or intrapreneurs, are bringing new concepts and ideas to large organisations, injecting a startup mentality, and introducing agile working methods to design and launch new products and services to allow them to maintain a competitive edge. We work alongside some brilliant teams across a range of sectors, helping big companies to create and launch new products and services for commercial growth and it's always great to get together with these innovators at the awards. Our congratulations go to all the winners and their fantastic projects as well as to all the shortlisted companies.”

The award ceremony took place on 20th October at Kings Place, London, and around 200 of the UK’s most creative, disruptive and entrepreneurial business leaders attended the unique event. Checkout the two minute highlights video below!

 

For more information about the awards - visit the website corporateentrepreneurawards.com

 


NEWS: Showcasing big business innovation at the Corporate Entrepreneur Awards 2016

Innovation has been the buzzword of 2016 with the launch of hundreds of exciting new products and services from big businesses around the UK. With the rise of the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, omnichannel retail, challenger banks and Pokemon Go, technology is advancing the way businesses and consumers interact, operate, and live their lives. Big businesses are starting to behave in new ways, pushing boundaries even harder to get new propositions launched in market and are challenging the status quo.

To celebrate big business innovation and recognise the individuals and teams behind these exciting new developments, we are preparing for our seventh annual Corporate Entrepreneur Awards. Entries are now open for the awards from multiple sectors including fintech and banking, retail, utilities, automotive and wider technology. Categories include: New Product or Service, New Business Launch, Innovation Culture, and New Challenger.

KLM, Virgin Money, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group, RBS and o2 have already entered and past winners include Dyson, Castrol, Barclaycard, Pearson and LEGO.

The Corporate Entrepreneur Awards recognise ground-breaking ideas and game-changing products and services delivered by large organisations. The standard of big business innovation and new developments in technology is outstanding and often goes unrecognised. It’s really exciting to see New Challengers coming through and stepping up to the mark, in sectors such as fintech, connected homes and cars, and retail.

Corporate entrepreneurs, or intrapreneurs, are bringing new concepts and ideas to large organisations, injecting a startup mentality, adopting agile working methods to design and launch new products and services to allow them to maintain a competitive edge.

The awards event takes place from 6pm on Thursday 20th October at Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, and we will announce and celebrate the winners in each of the four categories. During the evening, around 200 of the Europe's most creative, disruptive and entrepreneurial business leaders will enjoy an informal party offering a great networking opportunity and the chance to learn from other innovation experts as well as see some of the propositions showcased by the nominees.

To enter the Corporate Entrepreneur Awards, or to vote for your favourite nominee, visit corporateentrepreneurawards.com

The deadline for entries is 19th October 2016.

We wish all entrants the very best of luck and we look forward to seeing you there!

 


NEWS: Challenging the challengers

Market Gravity’s Paul Bowman shows banking industry how to act like a challenger.

The banking industry is facing a challenging time as established high street banks attempt to re-find their niche in the marketplace and keep up with today’s fast-moving digital trends. The new breed of challenger banks is turning banking on its head but Paul Bowman from Market Gravity believes big banks can also bring their offerings into the digital age by embracing new, disruptive technologies and changing their ways of working to think and act like a challenger.

Paul, partner and Edinburgh managing director at the proposition design consultancy, will present at the RFi Group Global Digital Banking Conference on Thursday 16th June along with Helen Page, propositions and marketing director at Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank. He will outline why a traditional long term strategy is no longer relevant and how organisations need to think in weeks, not years. His presentation will cover the concepts of proposition sprints, mission culture and empowering people, learning how to pivot and how to encourage progress over perfection. He will discuss a breed of ‘new challengers’ and explore how bigger players can combine their experience and heritage with innovation and technology to stay ahead in this competitive marketplace.

Market Gravity demonstrated how this is achievable on its work with Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group on the launch of B – a customer-design-driven current and savings account that works within a smart app. B is a UK first and promises the fastest account-opening process and a host of features designed to enhance customer engagement and retention. Existing customers can make the transition into mobile banking and younger, tech-savvy users will be attracted by the new experience.

Helen Page will discuss the importance of digital banking to the future of retail banking and how listening to customers and offering new, fresh approaches can help to drive new digital banking experiences.

The RFi Group Global Digital Banking Conference takes place on Thursday 16th June at The Banking Hall, London. For full details on the conference, visit the website.

Read the story on how we helped Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank create B to become a new challenger.

Want to become a new challenger?

Paul and the Market Gravity team can help you become a new challenger.
Get in touch to find out how.

Email Paul Bowman

NEWS: Market Gravity brings digital disruption to Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank with the launch of B

Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank have teamed up with proposition design consultancy Market Gravity to design and launch a pioneering new smart digital banking service – B.

Market Gravity worked collaboratively with the team at Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank to develop what is believed to be the UK’s first customer-design-driven banking service, specifically for mobile and tablet devices. Launching on 3rd May, the unique B app promises to bring in new users and create long-term value for the bank and its customers with the fastest account opening process in the UK and a host of features designed to enhance customer engagement and retention.

The Banks aim for the new technology to encourage existing customers to make the transition into mobile banking and bring in new younger, and tech-savvy users from other retail banks who will be attracted by the new experience. This investment in disruptive technology represents an opportunity for the Banks to appeal to customers across the UK and increase their reach beyond its traditional heartland.

Designed and developed following customer feedback, and in collaboration with Market Gravity, the B proposition is built around an app, available for free for the first 12 months, then for £2 a month. It features intuitive smart tools to help consumers take control and manage their money much more effectively. As well as allowing users to sweep cash between current and savings accounts and make payments at the touch of a button, B will offer multiple savings pots, tagging and tracking of spending and tailored messages, and hints and tips to help customers. Plus dedicated support is always on hand either at the touch of a button on the app, through the branch network and via a free UK-based dedicated call centre. The new technology brings cost-effective, instant digital and virtual support to customers and allows them to become their own money expert on their own devices - something the bank recognises as greatly appealing to the new tech-savvy generation of banking customers.

B aims to have a broad appeal to encourage new customers looking for a convenient way to bank, remotely, on the go, 24/7. It will be matched within branches with specially designed B branded areas that will support customers in exploring the new functionality B offers.

Peter Sayburn, CEO and founding partner at Market Gravity, says: “We were delighted to work with Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank on the development and launch of the new B platform and it’s exciting to see the concept come to life. It’s great to work with such a forward-thinking team looking to bring innovation and disruption to a traditional sector.

“We are seeing the emergence of new entrants to the sector and it’s great to see an established banking organisation become a New Challenger and bring their offering into the digital age. It’s important for businesses within the banking industry to stay one step ahead and transform themselves into digital banks.

“Today’s consumers want banking options that are built around the lives they lead now; convenient, easy to manage and use technology in an intelligent way to practically help them achieve the things they want in life. New technologies from apps and wearables, to Facebook messenger bots will change the way consumers bank, shop and manage their money. With new legislation, such as the Payment Services Directive 2, we expect to see even more developments in payments and finance as well as more challengers entering the marketplace. Established banks have to develop their products and services to meet the demands of the consumers of today and the future.”

The launch of B represents the first major initiative for the Banks since the company’s IPO in February this year and signals the importance of innovation in the company’s growth strategy. It forms part of the group’s wider omni-channel strategy across the business using digitisation to deliver better, sustainable services for customers.

Helen Page, Customer Experience Director at Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank, says: “We worked in collaboration with Market Gravity to devise a new banking experience for our customers and to disrupt the category. B represents a challenge to other banks and is based around an app that has been extensively tested and trialled - we know it’s what people want.

“As part of our background research, over 10,000 people told us what they wanted from a bank; to take the hassle out of money and make life a bit easier. We listened, learned and took their advice throughout the process to create B - a product designed by customers for customers.”

 

To find out more about B, visit www.youandb.co.uk.

 

See what the press are saying about B.

The FT - Clydesdale and Yorkshire develops artificial intelligence app

The Guardian - Bank accounts: to B, or not to B – that is the £2-a-month question

ThisisMONEY.co.uk - Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks take on Atom with launch new app-based challenger bank called... B

Scottish Business News - Market Gravity develops pioneering new app for Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank

Finextra.com - Yorkshire and Clydesdale Bank launch digital challenger bank B

bankingtech.com - UK's CYBG to launch-new-digital-banking-platform

Market Gravity can help you turn an idea into a breakthrough proposition.

Get in touch with Nick Sherrard to find out how.

nick.sherrard@marketgravity.com


How to turn on customers to connected homes

Despite the hype about connected homes, the market hasn’t taken off. Yet.

The focus to date has been on the basic, rational features – turning lights on. Turning the heating on. But what’s going to turn the customer on? Deutsche Telekom’s market analysis report, ‘How to create growth from the connected home’, states that connected entertainment, energy, appliance, security and healthcare systems were predicted to surpass 100 million in number worldwide by the end of 2015, and will triple in the next ten years’ time to over 300 million, more than breaking $100 billion in revenue on the way in 2020.

The opportunity is huge. But what’s key to connected homes success? We raised the challenge with industry experts as part of a series of roundtables events. We spoke with consumers. We bent our brains to the problem. And here are our three recommendations for success in the connected homes space.

#1: Solve a real problem in your customer’s life
Pick your target customer, and understand their needs. Customers are emotional about their home: the people, the design and the decoration. Their emotional needs must be addressed. Customers want to know their loved-ones, especially the elderly, are safe. This is a great example of a problem that can be solved with connected technology. And one for which customers are likely to pay a premium. Dolmio’s “Pepper Hacker” campaign aims to help improve interactions during family meal times. The wellbeing and safety of pets, plants, and family are all emotive.

Switching your lights on remotely and saving 10% on energy aren’t emotive. It’s not features or rational benefits that customers will buy into.

Design a simple and intuitive customer experience. Customers want instant gratification, not interference from technology. They want feedback from their devices. Consider how the experience can remove tasks and information. Consider how to ensure that the product or service can demonstrate that it is adding value, and has received a command, in an unobtrusive manner. The Nest thermostat does many of these things well (despite their recent promotional video focusing on saving money – a rational benefit).

Time it well. When designing your proposition, plan how and when a customer will be persuaded to buy your service. Are they more likely to purchase as part of a regular upgrade? When they move home? Or following a key event? Learn from the data you have at your disposal.

#2: Be brave with your business model
Be brave when designing and building your business. The connected homes market is still in its infancy, and the model that has worked in the past will not be that of the future. ADT took a bold step when they de-coupled their home monitoring service from their technical products to create their ADT Canopy subscription service, which supports smart devices that compete with their own.

Use data to drive benefits for your business. One example is to drive out cost through pro-actively identifying and resolving issues before they happen. Provide enhanced value to your customer, through understanding and serving them better. We see insurance companies providing bespoke policies based on customer data, and faster response times. Data will be a critical asset for any connected homes business. We’ll be watching to see how different organisations leverage that data to create unique and compelling business models.

Prepare for the next phase for the connected home, which we believe will be services. The media sector provides a good precedent in services such as Netflix or Spotify, which are product agnostic, and future home services will emerge to weave together the newly smart home devices.

#3: Build partnerships – you can’t do this on your own
Embrace collaboration. Combinations established to address customer needs will be stronger than the sum of their parts. No single organisation will be able to address customer problems in this space on their own. Companies will need to work together. We have seen Nest and Hue being co-promoted around solving customer problems. Audi and DHL have created a joint solution to allow parcels to be delivered to customers’ boots.

Inter-operability of the technology will be key to allow sought after services. Having just one or two common technology standards across the sector will allow different products and services to combine simply and easily. Standards are consolidating. The Allseen Alliance has driven one set of common standards, with Apple and Google driving their own ecosystems.

There are lots of tech savvy consumers who have combined devices to make their lives easier. We’re now ready for mainstream consumers, who will need simple, easy, and seamless solutions before they are persuaded to invest in the new technology. They will be impatient of barriers between products and services. As such collaboration and partnerships between businesses will be critical.

Conclusion
There's exciting opportunity in the connected homes space. The market will continue to transform and grow rapidly. We see the first wave of products such as Sonos, Nest and Roomba being swept forward by a tide of products and services. They’ll need to simplify customers’ lives. And respond to emotional needs. And have the wonderful design needed to embed themselves in our homes.

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If you’d like to chat through challenges you’re facing or understand more about connected homes opportunities, get in touch with me.
toby.wood@marketgravity.com