future of stuff Alice Labs

What is the future of stuff?

What is

the future of stuff?

What was done

In 2016, Alice Labs worked with 4 global brands to understand consumers’ changing relationship to physical goods.

As part of the Stuff in Flux project, Alice Labs also collaborated with SITRA, the Finnish Innovation Fund, to produce a sustainability specific publication on the study findings.

The work involved studying consumers in three continents by using multiple methods:

  • Qualitative exploration, consisting of in-depth interviews and hack fests
  • Quantitative exploration, consisting of a seven-market study
  • Collaborative work, consisting of two workshops with key individuals from the participating companies

Key insight

Amongst consumers, fast consumption is increasingly seen as old-school or “passé,” particularly among the leading-edge consumers. The desire to acquire items as trophies of economic success gives way to a desire to possess items that tell a story about one’s personal knowledge, experience and acquired skills.

Impact

The impact of the work has been wide ranging; from input to strategy processesto informing new sustainable sub-brand positioning, to providing inspiration for new circular service development. The open-source version of the project is used across the globe in sustainable innovation circles.

Inquiries

Alice Labs 
contact@alice-labs.com
tel. + 358 (0)50 483509

Contact us

foresighting process Alice Labs

How to develop a foresighting process that can support strategic business transformation?

How to develop a foresighting process that can support strategic business transformation?

What was done

Since 2016, Alice Labs have worked intensively to set up, advise and partly run the foresighting and exploration process for a global consumer brand.

The work has included the following:

  • Setting up the foresighting process for the company
  • Creating annual STEEP analysis process
  • Creating annual input for strategy process
  • Supporting the development of a network of experts across different expertise areas

In addition, Alice Labs has also worked with understanding the impacts of different macro level phenomena on behavioural change, exploring, amongst other things, what evolving consumer expectations and demand regarding urbanisation and sustainability mean for the brand.

Key insight

The objective of foresight process and capability development is to improve the organisational ability to anticipate relevant changes. Therefore, it is most impactful when accompanied by changes in the organisation’s process landscape – ensuring an appropriate landing place and interactions with key stakeholders at the right moment in their strategy or product development.

Impact

The insight process, of which foresighting and exploration are foundational elements, has been put into the core of the digital transformation of the company, and the demand for insights has increased over time. The foresights process outputs have been used as inputs to strategy development and strategy stress testing.

Inquiries

Alice Labs 
contact@alice-labs.com
tel. + 358 (0)50 483509

Contact us

offline shopping

How are consumers’ expectations evolving towards offline shopping?

How are consumers’ expectations evolving towards offline shopping?

What was done

In 2019, Alice Labs worked with 3 global brands to explore the future of physical retail as a part of evolving urban landscape. The project was called Retail in Flux.

The work involved studying consumers in three continents by using multiple methods:

  • Qualitative exploration in the USA, UK and China consisting of in-depth interviews and hack fests
  • Quantitative exploration, consisting of a 6-market study
  • Collaborative work with each of the participating companies to develop the research insights further, keeping in mind the market realities of the individual brands   

Key insight

While it is essential for global retail brands to develop new and innovative ways to merge offline and online shopping into a more seamless omni-channel shopping experience, they should remain highly sensitive to the differing expectations of consumers in different markets. One-size-fits-all approaches for building omni-channel shopping journeys across different markets may fail.

We also see that the role of the physical space and real-world interactions have extremely high value if approached in the right way. The urban landscape is set to change as people (even pre-COVID) have begun to focus on neighbourhoods and proximity.

Impact

The work has been successful in pointing to future opportunities and elaborating on key evolving consumer requirements for omnichannel models.

The quantification of opportunities has permitted participating companies to prioritise and focus development efforts and resource allocation.

Inquiries

Alice Labs 
contact@alice-labs.com
tel. + 358 (0)50 483509

Contact us

customer centric Alice Labs

How to drive growth in a customer-centric way in the telco industry?

How to drive growth in a customer-centric way in the telco industry?

What was done

In 2016-2021, Alice Labs worked with a Nordic telco to drive customer intimacy and growth in a customer-centric way.

The work has involved an on-going intervention to build up an in-house capability for customer intimacy. The work has included the following aspects.

  • Definition of a core target for brand and growth
  • Process planning to drive change from strategy to execution 
  • Projects to work on individual product areas of which several has been launched or iterated based on the insights

Key insight

Opportunity to drive customer intimacy without increasing complexity in the company. Identification of opportunities to disrupt the existing logic in the industry.

Development of a core target audience definition that functions as “north star” for the company, and helps in creating focus, and drive impact in the market. The core target audience has been used as a starting point and source of innovation across many different service categories and customer service. 

Impact

The company is going through a significant transformation, and showing continuous progress in becoming customer value focused. The company has performed consistently well in comparison to the industry benchmarks and has increasingly moved towards higher value services. 

Alice Labs has provided support across all levels of the company, from top management strategic thinking to the execution of new ways of working.

Inquiries

Alice Labs 
contact@alice-labs.com
tel. + 358 (0)50 483509

Contact us

Will the COVID-19 lockdown experiences boost more sustainable lifestyles?

Will the COVID-19 lockdown experiences boost more sustainable lifestyles?

What was done

In 2020, Alice Labs worked with the Finnish Innovation Fund SITRA on an extensive analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the Finnish society and people’s everyday lives.

The project report highlights “systemic opportunities” for the Finnish society, including the state, companies and consumers, on how COVID-19 can be an opportunity for adopting more sustainable ways of life. It discusses opportunities around people’s changing relationship to home, city life, work, travel, and food.

The research was conducted by using a mixed methodology approach, including

  • In-depth interviews with circa 20 leading-edge people, covering specific themes in the everyday life during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • A quantitative study amongst the Finnish adult population, including longitudinal data, to provide a broader context and to validate and measure the learnings from the qualitative research
  • Expert interviews on the key themes of the study

Key insight

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed people to redefine what it means to live a good life. The changes span different aspects of everyday life and concern what people eat, how they live in their homes and cities, how they work, how they travel, how they relate to nature and the environment, and what they expect from each other, their institutions and from companies.

The demand for solutions that help people to live a sustainable good life is there, but companies and organizations need to have new capabilities and ecosystems to leverage this demand comprehensively. 

Impact

The opportunities identified in the research report have been discussed across all news media in Finland. New approaches to travel industries presented in the report have already to some extent been promoted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Finland.

The impact of the work cuts across political decision-making, companies/commercial entities, and non-profit organisations in Finland.

Inquiries

Alice Labs 
contact@alice-labs.com
tel. + 358 (0)50 483509

Contact us

How can we build socially more sustainable AI-powered consumer services?

How can we build socially more sustainable AI services?

How can we build socially more sustainable AI services?

What was done

Since 2020, Alice Labs has collaborated in a nonprofit research project on selected AI-powered consumer services.

During the project, we have studied voice assistants and streaming services in the context of home and leisure use. We have identified common situations where these services currently repeatedly fail to respond to users’ expectations. Based on this understanding, general-level design recommendations have been developed.

The research project focusing on selected AI-powered consumer services, is a collaboration between Alice Labs and the Centre for Consumer Society Research, University of Helsinki in partnership with Reaktor (a Finnish technology company with expertise on existing AI solutions).

In 2020, the research and collaboration included

  • Conducting qualitative interviews online with respondents from the USA, China, and Finland
  • Elaborating and developing the research findings in collaboration with data scientists, designers, and industry experts

Key insight

In order to create more value, AI-powered consumer systems ought to be more capable of providing users with a different degree of agency and different ways of interaction. Currently, AI-powered systems often “force” users to intervene in algorithmic decision-making when they would want to be passive or make them passive when they would want to guide or collaborate with the system.

Impact

A public report on some of the first-year findings was published in 2021. The work continues in 2021, and the goal of Alice Labs in the project is to drive impact by working in close cooperation with industry experts to develop recommendations for designing socially sustainable AI-powered systems and encouraging public discussion.

Inquiries

Alice Labs 
contact@alice-labs.com
tel. + 358 (0)50 483509

Contact us

asian market

Is our Asian market strategy future-proof?

Is our Asian market strategy future-proof?

What was done

In 2021, Alice Labs worked with a global fashion brand to do macro driver and trends analysis in a specific Asian market.

The client company is currently successful in the market but wants to anticipate change to better prepare for the future and understand how to sustain growth over time.

To increase the future readiness of the company, Alice Labs identified key areas of focus to understand drivers and barriers to the company’s present and future business in the country. The work was based on the analysis of data from:

  • Macro level multi-source scanning of consumer attitudes and behaviours
  • Industry-specific market sources 

Key insight

A company can be present and successful in a growing market, but by anticipating market changes, accelerators and barriers to growth it can develop a resilient strategy and focus future growth efforts on areas with highest probability of success and least likelihood of disruption.

Impact

The work is on-going, but it will be an essential part of fine tuning market strategy for the companyIt has impacted core target identification, understanding and development of future focal points.

Inquiries

Alice Labs 
contact@alice-labs.com
tel. + 358 (0)50 483509

Contact us

creative industry

Can the Finnish creative industry find and create more business in China?

Can the Finnish creative industry find and create more business in China?

What was done

In 2021, Alice Labs worked with Business Finland to map new, under-explored  business opportunity areas in China for the Finnish creative industry.

The goal of the project was to build an understanding of how the Finnish players within the creative industry could benefit from changes in consumer behavior in China and actively shape the market demand with their own actions. 

The work was based on the analysis of

  • Desk research of macro level sources 
  • Longitudinal analysis of socio cultural change 
  • Industry-specific market information 
  • Expert interviews of selected Finnish creative industry representatives

Key insight

To tap the under-explored business opportunity areas defined in the research, there needs to be a consistent effort of building new types of collaborative ecosystems between different players within the Finnish creative industry.

The goal of these efforts should be to develop the capacity of providing Chinese consumers with uniquely Finnish experiences which resonate with broader changes in consumer behavior in urban China.  

Impact

The work is on-going and has potential for broad ranging impacts even beyon the creative industries. It has inspired multi-stakeholder discussion on the need to apply “market shaping” as a methodology to drive competitive advantage in Finnish society. The long-term impact will be measured against the objective of significantly increasing the share of GDP generated by the creative industries in Finland.

Inquiries

Alice Labs 
contact@alice-labs.com
tel. + 358 (0)50 483509

Contact us