BM.6 Generate marketing ideas for the value proposition block

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OVERVIEW

This activity aims to generate ideas to address hotspots or strategic changes in the value proposition block, making use of the People, Profit, Planet template.

INPUT

Hotspots or strategic changes related to the customer segments block from the activities ST.7 Do a SWOT Analysis, BM.2 Gather additional data on the business model, and BM.3 Gather additional data on operational performance.

OUTPUT

Specific ideas for how to change the Customer Segments block to address the hotspots or strategic changes, used in the activities BM.4 Generate business model concepts at the big picture level – if taking a ‘Bottom-up’ approach, BM.15 Evaluate the benefits, and BM.16 Evaluate the costs and BM.17 Evaluate the risks.

TEMPLATE

HOW TO GO ABOUT IT

1.

Introduce the session by explaining that the People Planet Profit (PPP) template is used to identify opportunities for product innovation that will result in benefits for ‘people’ (i.e. the customer or society), ‘planet’ (i.e. the natural environment), and ‘profit’ (i.e. the manufacturer).

2.

For an existing product or service, list the main requirements on sticky notes – one requirement per sticky note.

3.

Draw three very large overlapping circles on an A1 flipchart sheet or whiteboard and label them ‘People’, ‘Planet’ and ‘Profit’, as per the example below.

4.

Ask the participants to position the sticky notes they have created on the PPP template according to which of the three stakeholders the fulfilment of that requirement will benefit. Requirements that benefit all three stakeholders are placed in the centre of the template and are referred to here as ‘tri-synergies’.

5.

Once all the requirements have been placed on the template, try to generate new eco-innovation product and marketing ideas by considering:

  •  Have existing tri-synergies been fully exploited?
  •  What could you change to create new tri-synergies?
  •  Where are the major conflicts?

6.

Setting a target for the number of ideas generated in a time-limited period can help to expand the range of ideas suggested e.g. “Generate 20 ideas in 20 minutes”.

7.

End the session by asking the participants to decide on what they believe to be the top three ideas from the session that should be considered for implementation.

Tips & Tricks

HELP WITH TECHNOLOGY

To support the development of a new value proposition you may identify a need for some amount of new technology (including expertise in the use and maintenance of that technology). This new technology may need to be developed in-house, but can also be acquired through other means (e.g. licensing, open innovation, technology transfer etc.). Further advice on how you as a Service Provider can support the company throughout all the stages of acquiring the technology they need to deliver their eco-innovation is provided in the report ‘Technologies for Eco-innovation’ (UN Environment, 2016).

SHIFTING IMPACTS BETWEEN SUSTAINABILITY ASPECTS

Take care to avoid implementing solutions that enhance environmental sustainability while worsening the social aspect – similar to the previous point, it is important to check that
when making aspects to
one aspect of sustainability that performance in other dimensions is not create new problems in other sustainability dimensions
(i.e. more environmentally sustainable products that come with a price premium and so become too expensive for poor, female- headed households).

IGNORE EXISTING SOLUTIONS

Generating ideas for new eco-innovative product concepts can be challenging as the tendency will be to try to optimize the existing solution. Unfortunately, this type of small refinement of an existing product is unlikely to yield the radical improvement in sustainability performance that is the aim of eco-innovation. To help with this issue, structured idea generation tools that encourage more radical thinking can be used.

GENDER-BALANCED WORKSHOP

If you organise a workshop try to ensure that you have a gender balanced group of staff to participate in the session.

SHIFTING IMPACTS ACROSS LIFE CYCLE

Take care to avoid implementing solutions that simply shift the sustainability impacts from one phase of the product life cycle to another – before implementing a solution it is important to consider if the total life cycle negative impacts have been reduced. This check can be performed quickly using the Life Cycle Thinking, or more thoroughly using Life Cycle Assessment.

CONSIDER HIGHER SYSTEMS LEVELS

When you encounter a problem, the natural response is to try and tackle the problem at the level at which you experience it. However, reformulating a problem to consider the wider system in which the problem occurs can give much greater scope for innovation, leading to better solutions. For instance, instead of trying to reduce the energy and water consumption of a domestic washing machine, could you investigate the possibility of a community laundry service?

FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY HOTSPOTS

When generating ideas for ways to reduce the sustainability impacts of a product it can be very easy to become side-tracked into tackling issues that do not have a major sustainability impact. To ensure that the ideas that you generate deliver the maximum benefit in terms of reducing sustainability impacts, it is important that you take the sustainability hotspots previously identified as the starting point for your idea generation activity.

ENHANCE POSITIVE SUSTAINABILITY IMPACTS

It is important not to forget that many products have some positive sustainability impacts. The Tasty Tuna Company is providing healthy, nutritious food to lots of people for example. Enhancing these positive impacts is just as important as reducing negative impacts, but is an issue that is often overlooked.

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