Innovation Spaces - Starting Out.
An innovation space can give you and your customer a place to get under the skin of each other’s’ businesses and to demonstrate how your joint expertise can help innovate better solutions.
Once you’ve identified a need for such a facility, creating a space that creates the right environment, the right tools and getting the right people involved is essential. These elements will make the difference between a thriving innovation space where you can collaborate and innovate more effectively not just have a pretty meeting space in which business is as usual.
Understand your audience.
To start off on the right foot you need to understand who your visitors and customers will be, are they clients, suppliers and partners or even employees? Siemens factory in Congleton opened their Innovation Centre in April of last year. Before any plans were created they looked at not only the role and function of their visitors but also how they would embrace the space - would they come as deciders, enthusiasts, persuaders or sceptics? Once you look closely at the personality types of your visitors, and what each needs from the experience you can start to build customer journeys that provided each visitor with a tailored, agile experience.
Why customer journeys are important.
The key to a successful customer experience is not just a set of clever interactives in a slick environment. The best are built on a deep understanding of your brand and propositions teamed with in-depth research and knowledge of your different customer types, their business objectives and their journeys before and after the day.
Siemens wanted to take their visitors on a journey through their heritage, to explore how they have arrived where they are today, to look at where they are heading and importantly to have two way conversations through workshops that accelerate co-creating and innovation.
What relationship does the physical space have with the customer journey?
Every turn and angle, every surface and finish of the space is there to reflect support your customer journey and articulate the stories.
The space ultimately is the physical embodiment of the customer journey mapped out within the physical confines of its allocated footprint.
Create software tools that adapt and last.
A solid technological base and content management system gives us the flexibility to change content and software to keep messages up to date and refresh journeys to reflect our evolving offerings.
Bringing technology and simple digital tools into their innovation space allow Siemens to sure their stories shine through, keep their content up to date, immersive and entertaining and allow them to create meticulously planned customer focused journeys for each visit.
Don’t forget your people.
Even with the most effective space planning and design and intuitive tech, your staff are not pre-programmed to discover new insights from the customer, or ignite conversations. Ensuring that your facilitators can read the room to steer and guide the experience and to change conversations from transactional to consultative may require specialist training.
Reaping the rewards.
Finally, with the right customer journeys in the right space, with the right stories and delivered by the right technology you will be set up to have very different conversations with your customers and other stakeholders. The ABPM (Association of Briefing Partner Managers) carries out an annual survey to understand the efficacy of Executive Briefing Centres. The latest survey found that 83% of customers said that their briefing contributed to strengthening their relationship with the host company and 87% said they would recommend the company, based on their briefing experience.