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The challenge in their case, was turning around a business that was declining and was at risk of being delisted in the near future. The heart of the issue lay with the base value proposition being offered by the category, in which our client was a generic undifferentiated player. Having identified this, we were able to explore where to start looking for some Outside-in inspiration.

This was a local market centric challenge, so our Outside-in approach looked at the issue from different perspectives:

  • From Outside the geography: what could we learn from what had already been done further afield? What had worked and what had not worked in other markets. Looking at this gave us a good sense of what “a different outcome to our problem” might look like, especially as the markets matched key dimensions: maturity level, income, etc. We spoke to manufacturers of branded frozen meals, but also to retailers who managed their own in-house brand of frozen meals – but all from outside our client’s base geography.

  • From Outside the company: we ran a custom-designed crowdsourcing challenge, looking to create category firsts in frozen meals, exploring various territories, including the ones we identified had worked in other markets.

  • From Outside the category: we set up a series of exercises, exploring dimensions that were relevant to the problem at hand, which included asking questions around the role the product played in people’s lives, asking ourselves what it would mean to target customers with specific functional needs (such a long lasting energy and satiety), or asking what it would mean to insert a strong emotion into a category mainly associated with apathetic meal consumptions for shift workers looking to grab some easy food when they reached home after a long shift.

This allowed us to progress in a number of different ways. Looking at the problem from Outside our geography allowed us to interrogate the local data & consumer insights in a different way. Drawing conclusions about the fundamental issue, facing us.

The fresh perspective from creators, injected not just inspiration but also hope in the future of the category, because unconstrained thinking enabled the team to push the internal thinking. Last but not least, exploring aspects outside of our own category, enabled the team to really stretch the thinking and question some internally held beliefs.

The outcome was truly ground-breaking for the team and enabled them to shape a different outcome for the brand’s future.


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