Revitalizing growth strategy

Innovault helps revitalize a consumer business’s Growth strategy

A big problem

A Watches business had been buffeted by persistent headwinds over the past few years. Despite a strong brand and formidable channel presence, revenue growth had come to a virtual standstill. While corporate teams had been working on a growth strategy, the leadership of one key Region decided to use innovation to discover what could be done differently to reignite growth momentum at the consumer level.

In our experience working with organizations of all sizes across the industry spectrum

The bigger the need for a ‘Pole-vaulting’ boost in a business, the more it pays to dig below visible activities to uncover and shine a ruthless spotlight onto the organization’s potentially limiting Perceptual Models: a self-created obstacle course of invisible but all-powerful beliefs about the business. Something that can silently limit the field of thought, short-circuiting new ideas & possibilities. 

In our experience working with organizations of all sizes across the industry spectrum

The bigger the need for a ‘Pole-vaulting’ boost in a business, the more it pays to dig below visible activities to uncover and shine a ruthless spotlight onto the organization’s potentially limiting Perceptual Models: a self-created obstacle course of invisible but all-powerful beliefs about the business. Something that can silently limit the field of thought, short-circuiting new ideas & possibilities.

In what proved to be a powerfully liberating exercise in self-reflection, an Innovation Team handpicked from within the organization recognized and faced up to several of their unconscious Perceptual Model boundaries worth seriously questioning. For instance, some of the top ones that had taken hold over the years were: The watch industry itself is not growing much in percentage terms, since watch purchases are not top priority for a customer anymore. Also, that it needed a minimum investment of Rs 50-70 lakhs to open a quality store.

Facing up to these boundaries of thinking slowly but surely began opening up new Strategic Questions for the team. One such was

“How much of a difference would it make if we became much better on customer experience? “

Wrestling with such strategic questions led to a hunt for fresh Insight into the workings of the Consumer’s mind. In a radical departure from established practice, in this case the entire Innovation Team went out to engage with consumers, investing energy in highly productive direct dialogues with them.

Some powerful Insights emerged. For example: A watch is an important accessory to create an impression and continues to be used as a time keeping device. Flaunt is a big requirement, but even the flaunt-able products they have are lost in the “sea of watches” in a typical store display.

Inspired by such discoveries freshly imprinted on their minds, the team generated several ‘Pole-Vaulting’ Ideas. One of the biggest ideas was Doing away with the ‘sea of watches’ in new stores: The team decided to move away from historical conventions of minimum store size & stock to much lower investment stores, forcing everyone in the system starting with the franchisee himself to be choosy about which products to keep. This had immediate impact on new store top-line & bottom-line: 10 out of 11 newly opened stores in the Region achieved from 110% to 170% of their first year targets, changing the buzz not only among existing but also potential franchisees.

In the Regional Head’s words (who took over as Country Sales Head within a year):

“As the Team dropped its blinkers & stopped pretending, we started becoming One United Mind with a collective view of where we were stuck & what we needed to do.  We LET GO of older patterns of thinking, and that LET IN a lot of powerful yet simple-to-do ideas!”

The momentum generated in this pioneering Region got carried forward to the National level, where it continued to inspire new ideas:

  • Large Format (LFS or modern retail) Stores as ‘Must Win’ battlegrounds:  LFS being the most hard-fought arena where the company stood eyeball-to-eyeball against competitors from all over the world, the  team decided “Here we must be in a Tuxedo!” So only high performing, high velocity products stayed; everything else was ruthlessly pruned. The layout was changed to allow better customer engagement with lesser staff.
  • Service integration with Sales: Earlier a service walk-in was a ‘problem’ to be handled by the service department.  The new approach shifted to the customer being taken through the fresh product range while he waited, creating opportunities for cross & up selling. 

 Impact

In the 2 years that it took the Pole-Vault ideas to be scaled nationally, there has been a powerful impact on the Watches business:

  • The Large Format Stores (LFS) business grew a whopping 33% in two years, up from a flat trajectory the previous 3 years.
  • Exclusive brand stores registered 8% revenue growth compared to being flat the previous few years.
  • Overall the Watches business succeeded in accelerating to Double Digit growth for the first time in 6 years.

With many more Innovative ideas rolling in, getting experimented with and eventually being chosen for scale up, the Watches business had truly recaptured its Growth momentum.

Impact

In the 2 years that it took the Pole-Vault ideas to be scaled nationally, there has been a powerful impact on the Watches business:

  • The Large Format Stores (LFS) business grew a whopping 33% in two years, up from a flat trajectory the previous 3 years.
  • Exclusive brand stores registered 8% revenue growth compared to being flat the previous few years.
  • Overall the Watches business succeeded in accelerating to Double Digit growth for the first time in 6 years.

With many more Innovative ideas rolling in, getting experimented with and eventually being chosen for scale up, the Watches business had truly recaptured its Growth momentum.