Case study

Building an Innovation Strategy for a Major Retail Brand

4 months

Time taken to implement the innovation framework

16 areas

Number of identified prospective innovation areas

4 solutions

Number of relevant solutions addressing business needs

Żabka is a chain of convenience stores in Poland with more than 8,000 outlets across the country, as well as some in the Czech Republic.

As of 2022, Żabka has more than 15,5M clients and is planning further expansion. The retailer is keen to keep innovating and adapting to market needs.

Challenge

Żabka Future is the innovation arm of the retailer. Żabka already had the idea of building an internal Venture Studio, which would not just to cultivate and drive innovation, but also to speed up the implementation of all the initiatives that had already been agreed on.

Some of the key challenges which Huge Thing were tasked with included: 

 

  • Building up this internal team responsible for innovation at the company, 
  • Supporting the team leader in creating a strategy of working with an innovation framework: assessing how innovation was approached in the company, choosing the best ways of bringing it to fruition, describing the key competences needed to implement the innovation strategy (including the roles of individual team members), setting KPIs for measuring its effects. 
  • Mapping the innovation needs with business owners and key stakeholders.

Solution

The project was conducted in three phases: Research, Creation and Implementation. The Huge Thing Team began by conducting a process of internal research, interviewing relevant stakeholders about what was most important to them when it came to innovation, what their individual and team goals were, and how they envisaged that the company would develop. It was also important for us to define how innovation had been approached at the company to date. We also looked at innovation benchmarks in the retail sector and beyond.

It was also important for us to define how innovation had been approached at the company to date. We also looked at innovation benchmarks in the retail sector and beyond.

With all of this in mind, we defined some key criteria: 

  • What the definition of innovation was for Żabka.
  • What were the innovation goals.
  • Which innovation categories made most sense for the business – was in the ones related to the ‘here and now’ which would provide solutions to immediate challenges, or ones that were far-reaching but removed from the core business.
  • We used the partition coefficient between the different innovation categories, based on the McKinsey 3 horizons approach (around the current, near and distant future).

The next important stage was implementation. We mapped out the steps that needed to be taken to bring the highest priority innovation plans to life.

We also defined some strict KPIs, which would enable the company to track how it was performing against its targets.

Impact

The process lasted 4 months but we’re still working with Żabka to implement the process throughout the organization.

We’ve now built out our Innovation pathways and we’re regularly checking in on progress against KPIs. We’re here to help the company adapt to the new process and to make sure that everything is working as it should.

So far, the internal feedback has been highly positive and it has meant that innovative ideas can be implemented so much more quickly!

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