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Opportunity Mapping

Over the last few months, we’ve been working with some of the largest companies across South America to create innovation strategies and coach executives to stretch the way they think about engaging customers today. Most of this time was spent in Brazil; the coffee was really good.

Sometimes it’s hard for us to think about how to serve our customers, much less figuring out how to maintain a position of leadership in the market (code: avoid “disruption”).

So how do we begin to think about your current ways to serve and also gain value in the larger competitive landscape? Let’s map it! I’ll walk you through an example with a large restaurant/QSR in mind.


When you run a restaurant, the vast majority interactions happen inside the store when ordering / purchasing / consuming menu items are extent of the experience. Now this can be a pretty amazing experience while customers are in the restaurant, which means you’re doing great in some regards. Your customer has a life that happens before and after the enter the store, and creating value in more instances is always a good idea.

The golden question: How can you extend your organization’s reach beyond the restaurant and beyond the menu to create value for your customer in more instances?

If you’re a retailer, think of this as beyond the store and beyond your core products in the store. If you’re a hotel chain, think of this as beyond the hotel and beyond vacation/work trip. If you’re a car company, think beyond the dealership and beyond traditional car purchase/leasing*.

In this diagram, the top left would be your BAU activities, some operational improvements, and maybe some low-hanging fruit types of in-store improvements. As you move towards the bottom right of the diagram, the opportunities are more oriented towards value added services of the food/beverage industry such as a web-based nutritionist service to be used day to day.

For a company that serves fast casual food, creating this sort of service is actually revolutionary and creates an ecosystem of value for both the customer and the company.

The goal here is NOT to get your logo in more places. The idea is for established organizations with operational efficiencies to find ways to add value in new ways. It’s all about severing your customer and adding value to their lives in new ways.

While serving your customer is at the center of how we identify opportunities, let us not forget that anything that gets mapped onto the chart is also a value-add opportunity for your organization as well. It must have the opportunity to meet your organization’s core business goal. Creating a win-win is the name of the game.

*I hear Uber finances cars these days… just saying.

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