Business models are being challenged and society has been turned upside down but a crisis can also be the driving force behind innovative initiatives and ways of working. Companies right now have a unique opportunity to differentiate themselves from competitors, introduce something new and gain new market share during the corona crisis.
Tech solutions have become a new everyday life and we are seeing that Webinars and such are becoming the new normal. People, businesses and organisations are thinking out of the box more than ever! Some because they are forced to and others because they see a good opportunity. One thing is clear; we have never been more dependent on technology and each other. Penneo has already been a part of the digital universe for a long time but how do we get everyone else ready to adapt and change in the most organic way?
This blogpost is about the different innovative initiatives and solutions that we are seeing emerging from the current given circumstances in many businesses. Examples being used are based on our own initiatives as well as Penneo customers from different business areas. It will focus on how marketers, in particular, can innovate and be optimally structured to create cultures that encourage innovation.
So perhaps the innovative approaches should be viewed as a positive challenge. Just like the first eyeglasses were introduced to help people become more productive, maybe these times are igniting a spark of innovation that alters the shape of how we live. At Penneo we are making changes in something that is already established; presenting new methods and ideas in all areas, such as creating more accessible tutorials and guides to the public and trying out different ways of being extra transparent on Social Media (investor relations video). Our sales department promotes video calls and chat with customers to stay connected with them – whereas before they would often propose face to face meetings.
Beyond our product services, our company culture is continuously transparent and we share photos of everything behind the scenes at the office and we share photos of our employees (this is optional for them of course) on instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook, because we are proud of them, of us, and want to share talent, uniqueness and charisma! Innovations can involve simply taking something that has long been utilized or enjoyed in one market, such as offering bright colors to items previously only white, black, or monochromatic.
Support Your Locals initiatives: Service Industries
One of the major industries that has been forced to adapt is the service industry. Not being able to have guests seated and served is a big issue and finding ways to still generate a profit is difficult but necessary in order to not pull the plug before the market opens up again. Restaurant owners, such as Penneo user Simon from Restaurant OMAR, had to be creative and act fast. He takes care of most financial sheets and overviews himself but also collaborates with a personal accountant. Now they handle annual reports online, and all correspondence between the two is done online, which means that documents shared are already created on the computer or scanned and less time is spent on handling important documents as they are permanently saved and stored now also. Turning an idea into a solution that adds value from a customer’s perspective as well in the sense that Simon now has time to greet customers when they pick up their takeaway food and has additionally had time to make tote bags and t-shirts for customers to enjoy. A complete digital transformation and so far the engine is running ok!
Leasing innovative initiatives
Another example are the Leasing companies using Penneo. Their businesses are still going strong and consumerism hasn’t slowed down from home, so they continue to offer their services – but with a twist. They are seeing an opportunity in the fact that many Scandinavians will be spending their vacation inbound and local getaways are rising higher than normally. Most can’t go abroad now and have decided to explore their own country by renting cars and avoiding crowded transportation facilities. A way of thinking out of the box is by offering customers to fill out everything beforehand and online. From there, the only interaction that occurs face to face are the keys and car being handed over. Before, papers and drivers license verification would not have been done online, nor would the return process.
Today’s digital world demands a more flexible and responsive solution and in the european union a digital signature is just as valid as one made with ink. This allows agreements and deals to be closed in matters of minutes – not weeks- and people can rent cars and do getaways fast and easy. So perhaps these new initiatives can open up doors for the way of doing things going forward as well.
Realtors innovative initiatives
Lastly Real Estate. We can’t predict the future and know what will happen to this market but our sources say that it is still going strong in most places. So the business continues and realtors still welcome customers to meet face to face. A personal connection is crucial in order to understand their needs and requirements, however the “drop by” way of handling the process is over for now and meetings will have to be planned ahead of time, using digital platforms of arranging it. All documents involved in the process are now done digitally and should a deal happen then the closing stages and signing from all parts is all completed digitally.
We can expect to see these transformations continue to impact how we think about real estate, business interactions and collaboration, leading to a set of innovations to facilitate these evolving trends and make them permanent. An innovation is a feasible relevant offering such as a product, service, process or experience with a viable business model that is perceived as new and is adopted by customers.
Document management including digital signatures, online processes and automated workflows benefit everyone. From regular citizens and enterprises and all the way up through governance. It raises productivity and efficiency, helps reduce our impact on the environment and most importantly a digital signature is equivalent to a handwritten signature (learn more link). If the history of pandemics is a guide, this contagion, like all others, is sparking a wave of innovation that will proportionally alter the shape of society’s way of handling business digitally and our lifestyle changes, which were already in the making, will be even more highlighted recently with the special events occurring around the world. Similar moderations and changes, as the above mentioned, will evolve, and continue to design our new way of living and working and historians may likely mark today’s coronavirus as the spark for long-term societal change.