Outside-in isn’t just about finding inspiration. It’s about relevance of that inspiration to the challenge. So, there are a few that we consider at Flying Fish Lab, when looking for Outside-In stimulus:
1st – What are the key dimensions of the issue that we are facing? Is it about new business model? Penetration? Excellence in execution? Working with crippling constraints? Simplifying a complex message? It’s important that we understand what we are looking for and why it is important to the problem we have in hands.
2nd – Where can we find a parallel? This can be a difficult balance to strike, because while the ideal parallel is an identical framework in a different industry, it’s not always readily available. Sometimes, we will have to explore adjacent parallels, in order to be able to trigger a good reflection and discussion.
3rd – Do we have enough information about how it was done, what worked, so that we can extract value from it? Perhaps we know a great example, but if we don’t have data or at least the “inside story” it might be difficult to use it in our discussions.
Let’s take a specific example in the Financial Services industry. Insurance products. We helped AXA to take a new product to market, so our challenge was how to create impact in a very saturated and competitive landscape.
Going through all the various aspects from the company, one of the issues was the complex and highly regulated sales model: in this particular market, Insurance companies are required to work through Insurance agents, who are not allowed to be company employees. This meant we had a very competitive landscape and limited control on key agents in the Go To Market process. How might we bring some Outside-in thinking?
One way to do it in this case was to look for other “intermediated relationships”. Markets where there is a key influencer between company and end customer, where the influencer can decide or strongly influence the end consumer’s final choice.
Looking at the problem this way, enabled us to explore other categories with useful parallels, such as Foodservice and Professional Saloons. In Foodservice, culinary professionals like Chefs choose to buy certain brands, which are then offered to consumers in Restaurants. So, in this case, winning the Chef over is key to having your product offered to end consumers. In a similar way, Hair Saloon owners choose to carry a limited number of Hair and Skin care brands. If you can’t win over the independent saloon owner, your end consumer will not have the option to buy your product.
This way, we were able to identify very inspiring examples that helped the team to reframe their perspective on the challenge and create new, category first solutions in Go To Market for the Insurance industry.
At Flying Fish Lab, we actively help you look for Outside-In stimulus so we can find opportunities to increase your chance of success. Contact us via the button below and we’ll help you out.