Blue Sky Thinking. Down to Earth Results.
Abbott Research


How does an electronic publisher find a different way to deliver and price expert information?

person with brain plugged into world of informationChallenge: Our client, an electronic publisher, needed to move to a different way of delivering and pricing the expert information they provide to lawyers, accountants, tax and HR professionals.

Approach: Team ethnographies were used to form an in-depth understanding of their clients’ needs across a wide spectrum. Customer labs were used to refine and validate new value propositions.

Outcome: The client was able to see a clear pathway forward for the development of new systems. A range of usage patterns from surface needs to deep research were identified and used to guide development.


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What products and services should we be working on today, to innovate for tomorrow?

A leading retail bank known for innovative products and marketing wanted to kick-start an innovation process. We began by identifying the target demographic: a middle income consumer that had seemingly average needs for transactional banking products.

To immerse the team in the customer experience, we started with a bus trip through a major city, visiting ethnically diverse shopping areas, and leading retailers from other industries.

Team members participated in advance “homework” exercises that ranged from household budgeting on a limited income to understanding the “freemium” model of pricing in other retail categories.

Initial idea generation sessions created far too many ideas to develop. So we created a Delphi process using online survey tools to help the team rank ideas.

Winning ideas were then taken into a concept development phase, before joining the innovation pipeline.

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How should a future tax-information service approach technology design?

A client expert joined me in the offices of tax specialists working in a wide variety of environments. One participant took us into his filing room and showed us his challenges in dealing with foreign language subsidiary financial statements, and how he was solving this issue.

After decoding these insights, a sub-group of the same individuals, and some new faces, were invited to half-day Discovery Labs.

Beginning concepts were stress tested and refined, and approximate price tolerance for new services was gauged.

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