Crossing the borders on our Community Innovation Day

At InSites Consulting we have a vision of innovation and of never standing still. It’s in our DNA to always be ahead of the curve and ‘forward thinking’ is one of the 7 company values we live by each and every single day. And it’s that specific value that guided the 3rd edition of our Community Innovation Day.
Last week, on a bright and sunny morning, more than 25 enthusiastic InSiters attended the Community Innovation Day. Rather than long lectures on ‘what’s new’ and ‘how can we leverage the current tools’, the day was completely co-created to prepare us all for the future. The format was clear from the beginning: the day would not be about sending but mainly about giving back: sharing, brainstorming, pitching and discussing were the keywords. Our guide throughout this process, Anouk Willems, challenged us to discover new horizons, walk through untapped territory and take on the daring challenge to make our Consumer Consulting Boards (also known as online research communities) future-proof and avoid the commodity magnet.
Community Innovation Day Team pic
The whole day was built around innovation, through incremental change inside our own business as well as through ground-breaking actions, both already implemented and also during brainstorms on current challenges and how to structurally tackle them. In order to show that innovation is not a state but rather a continuous way of thinking and doing things, in order to show that we are challenging the status quo each and every day, the day started with several #communityconfessions. Each consultant confessed what they had never done before that made them proud. Interesting to see so many different confessions already: Henri told us about his first-time using all types of different activities (blogs, discussions, idea storms, polls) in one single community; Renée and Patricia shared their enthusiasm about experiencing a full-day ‘Connecting the Dots’ workshop at the start of their project and Nouschka revealed more about her successful community where no less 4,500 posts were shared in less than 3 weeks. This team is on fire!
Next to that our R&D team also shared what they have been working on, such as paired blogging, ‘Do it now’-tasks, Recruitment through i-seeding, Detective games and much more.

Colleagues, Clients & Consumers

The day was built around brainstorm sessions to tackle challenges on each project’s holy triangle: Colleagues, Clients and Consumers. Four teams were challenged to embrace the start-up mentality, holding the name of a passionate, purpose-driven start-up which fuelled courageous ideas and models. Team Uber, Snapchat, AirBnB and Tinder were up for it. Three different challenges, three break-out moments, three pitches and only one winner: game on!

1. The Consumer of Tomorrow

A first challenge involved the changing consumer: a consumer who knows what (s)he wants and constantly searches for new experiences. If we think about this ever-evolving state of mind, how should we then make sure we still stay ahead of expectations and ensure the engagement of our Consumer Consulting Board participants?
The biggest challenge lies in standing out amongst all other messages which consumers receive. How can we make a good #firstimpression? The online start-up atmosphere brought us new ideas: why not incorporate the same principles as those which these start-ups are built upon? For example: Tinder-like recruitment. Just swipe and answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the projects or profile questions shown. Or why not incorporating YouTube-like movies in our invitations and already show an impression of what’s coming or involve the client for a welcome message?

2. The Community Team of the Future

Next future challenge: the Community team. The shift to structural collaboration also brings #bigdata and efficiency is key. Then question is: how do we get the most out of our participants and the team without losing ourselves in endless mail streams and to do-lists?

Mobile solutions may help: where planning and key tasks for everyone in the team (also the client) are too often scattered, a shared mobile app could be the easy solution. But of course, there’s more: ambitious plans to make Monday morning the most popular moment of the week was introduced, or was it Friday afternoon?
Time for a break… or not? Our Project & Method Managers (PM² or our even super project managers, we could call them) Oana, Alexandra and Alina gave us another battle: which team knows the most about current project management changes? From Silicon Valley to Westeros: it was quite a step. But this also puts us in a better position to embrace the Community Team of the Future by daring us to master all the ins and outs of the Project Management team, which also includes a platform administrator, a panel manager, a process manager and many more. Yes, it takes quite a team to make sure our Consumer Consulting Boards are top of the bill.
Back to structural collaboration: Hakim Zemni, Managing Director Belgium, shared his success story about our latest new structural partner Danone. “The best project kick-off session ever” and a promising year ahead, but there are still two questions to tackle: how to keep our Lounge (the bottom-up room where participants can share their own personal questions and stories) alive throughout a whole year and how be as flexible as possible and make sure participants with different profile variables can be involved in a Consumer Consulting Board, even for a short period?
The Participant of the Week was introduced: each week we will nominate a different participant who will be put in the spotlight in the Lounge, motivating the others to talk about hobbies, interests and other ‘faits divers’. Besides that, the Community Party with the Guestroom could embrace sporadic participants into the project: the fixed group of participants are the Hosts and every now and then our Hosts can invite Guests. Consumer Consulting Boards: always the life of the party, right?

3. Customer Activation

Last but not least: the Customer. We believe that impact is what clients are looking for. It’s not about thinking consumer-centric, it’s about becoming consumer-centric. Client activation is all about bringing the consumer to life and making sure every stakeholder involved thinks about that consumer every single day. Involving clients, online and offline, and making sure research results have a long #afterlife: that is the challenge.
And once again, our teams showcased their creative masterminds. What about the co-created and co-presented presentation? Or why not create the participant toolbox, shared during the last workshop and handing the tools to the client to use the findings during meetings and in daily tasks?

Let’s have a #sneakpeak!

We coped with our challenges, brainstormed along and produced quite some innovative ideas… So you think that is it? A last hint of innovation… let’s start with quoting the one and only Tom De Ruyck, our Head of Consumer Consulting Boards: “It’s the biggest innovation since we started with Consumer Consulting Boards”. What are we talking about?
In the coming months, we will start up several pilot projects on the newly developed ‘Consumer Activation Studio’. Insights from our research will be brought to life on a Pinterest-like interactive insight board, which will be used by internal stakeholders as a source of inspiration, every single day.

Want to learn more? Stay tuned about the latest happenings in Consumer Consulting Board land by reading our blog posts! More interesting news will follow soon!

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