Living our values: Forward thinking [1/7]

In this short blogpost series, I would like to share the InSites Consulting company values, the values our team members live by every day to make a difference for our clients. Every one of our values offers a way to differentiate ourselves and our business, to stand out, and to guide our team and clients to the future. Let’s kick it off with ‘Forward thinking’.

Change is here to stay

My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.” – Charles Kettering

Looking at the economic context of the past decade, it’s fair to say that change is here to stay and is accelerating at an ever-increasing pace. The COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a tailwind, supercharging the already existing change. New business models have been and are still arising, and old ones are being destroyed ruthlessly. More than ever, businesses and brands need to anticipate upcoming change and transform their current ways of doing things accordingly. Companies need to be prepared to change all the time, moving from a static approach to a more continuous and dynamic one: the moment they stand still and lean back, someone will catch up with them. Keeping a close eye on the future or, even better, crafting that future, is an essential condition for survival and long-term success.

Examples abound. Just think about Kodak that failed to predict how digital photography would transform its market’s landscape and to supply suitable answers to that, despite having invented the core technology used in current digital cameras. Nokia is a great example of the need for companies to keep on reinventing themselves: it shifted its business activities from wood pulp and paper production in 1865 over electricity generation and tires to mobile technology. They grew to become the world’s largest vendor of cellphones but then suffered under Apple’s and Samsung’s dominance in the smartphone market, taking their market leadership for granted. Tesla redefined the business model of the entire automotive industry, not only by manufacturing high-performance electric cars, but also – or even more so – by tearing down our current assumptions on buying, servicing or ‘fueling up’ cars. Zappos transformed consumers’ mindsets when it comes to shopping for shoes. By enabling consumers to access the largest possible warehouse of shoes and offering free ‘return shipping’, they managed to take away shoppers’ perceived needs for in-store trial sessions before actually buying shoes. It resulted in phenomenal growth figures and Amazon acquiring Zappos for $1.2 billion in 2009.

A sustainable future

Our brand promise is to help our clients get to the sustainable future first, by enabling them to craft strategies and business models in an ongoing manner. It is our firm belief that consumers are in a unique position to help organizations realize this goal. Companies simply need to start ‘hard listening’ and collaborating with consumers – because all the answers are out there. The ultimate key to competitive differentiation is to start co-creating these answers and giving back faster and better than anyone else.

That is where we come in, as an agency. It requires our embracing and laying the foundations for that future. Our vision of the future is that brands will increasingly act as consumers and vice versa, with an ever-narrowing gap between the consumer and marketing worlds. Translating that vision into daily actions brings us to our ‘Forward thinking’ company value, described below.

Ever since 2005, we have been investing in a continuous stream of R&D activity, being at the forefront of method innovation allowing consumers to become part-time marketers and brands to become part-time consumers. Evidently, we are thrilled to be among the most awarded and innovative agencies of the world as a result of the energy we have invested. Our focus on marketing thought leadership embedded in our bookzines should help our clients to better deal with tomorrow’s marketing reality. We work hard to help our team members breathe innovation, day in day out. Their core reason to be part of our team is to learn new things and to be able to contribute to an exciting future. Luckily, we are not alone in this endeavor. Through co-creation with our clients, consumers and partners, we all contribute to that same goal, driving relevance, strengthening solutions, and moving from insights to foresights.

One concrete example of forward thinking is the yearly InSites Consulting X-Sessions, a live, digital, interactive and vibrant congress created for and by all employees across all our offices. With our upcoming congress theme ‘CODE’, we are looking forward to reshaping our DNA and build a truly global business.

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