Monday, August 15, 2011

New thinking for old business models; Drivers on Scoot and Coles Collect

Two fliers dropped into my letter box captured my attention recently because they were advertising new ways of thinking about existing business models.

The first was a flier for Drivers on Scoot.  As their leaflet probes..."Had a little too much to drink and need to get home safely with your car?"  Ah ha! A solution to the vexed issue that compounds big-night out regret - having to get your car the next day.  The system involves four steps. 1. you make a booking 2. a driver meets you at the agreed time 3. the driver folds the motorised scooter they used to get to you into a bag and slips it in your car boot, and 4. they drive you and your car safely home. The driver then trundles off on their scooter to the next appointment..

Why did I think this business was interesting?  It challenges the conventional thinking around how to get you and your car home (most typically a taxi home and then a logistical negotiation the following day to collect the vehicle).  Promoted as cheaper than a two-way taxi trip,  Drivers on Scoot have attempted to resolve a common issue for people based on these insights: control and convenience.  Control because leaving your car means you cannot control what happens to it, and convenience because you do not have to waste time the following day reclaiming your vehicle.

The second flier I received was for Coles Click & Collect.  This is a new service model that Coles have introduced in Windsor, Victoria whereby you order your groceries online, but instead of having them delivered they are hand packed and you collect them at a service station depot with fancy secured fridges.  It's the "new express way to shop" according to the brochure.

Why did I think this was interesting? Coles are tackling a problem that I myself have experienced with online shopping - I simply do not want to commit to being at home for the 3 hour delivery window on a particular day.  But I would happily shop online if I had control over when I could collect the goods.  Have you noticed that control and convenience have reared their heads again?  Control because I have control over when I collect the groceries and convenience because it fits in with my plans. 

So have I tried either system? Well, no.  I have been too well behaved to need the services of Drivers on Scoot (plus I think they need to target the spontaneous after-work drinks crowd rather than planned-nights out crowd). And for Coles, I do not travel through Windsor and so would need to wait for the service to be offered locally.

But what's interesting is that both Drivers on Scoot and Coles Click & Collect are based around control and convenience.  They have crafted business models based on fitting in with the lifestyle of the customer.  Here's the opportunity for your business: look for the problems that your customers are grappling with to get stuff done. A problem related to having a few drinks? Getting your car home.  A problem with online shopping? Being home when the delivery is scheduled.  Looking beyond your usual assumptions may give rise to a new thinking about your business, so give it a shot.  I look forward to seeing your flier in my mailbox soon.

PS For an excellent practical step-by-step on this type of disruptive thinking, check out Disrupt! Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business by Luke Williams.

1 comment:

  1. So many business's fail to se the need of the consumer