Blog article

Customer-centric venture building

Afonso Rebelo de Sousa
February 5, 2024

Customer-centric venture building is what we do! We innovate digital transformation and customer-centric trade finance solutions.

Why? Our customers, SMEs, hold the key to all future trade finance solutions we need to build.

How? Let's explore an iterative approach and beat time to market.

Insights from customers work just like a flashlight in the dark and provide us with the wide spectrum of where we need to start looking. This is ideal to kickstart validation, because where the flashlight’s beam ends we find the limits of the sandbox we're working in.

AREA42’s recent report, ‘European SME Landscape 2024’, highlights what some customers says about reliability checks when selling in the B2B context. When it comes to reliability checks for transactions it’s indeed a field of interest for us at MISSION42, AREA42’s venture-building studio. We rely on our customers' insights to help us shape and craft new digital trade finance solutions. In this case, the responses indicate that companies are insufficiently equipped to all perform checks confidently – or even at all.

What do we do with customer insights?

When it comes to acceleration, what do we actually do with this sort of data? In general terms it works like a diverge-converge-diverge-converge conundrum. So, by digging deeper qualitatively and quantitatively into market and customer we slowly unsurface the actual underlying pain points that need to be relieved.

To be concrete, we take steps to retrieve data points that support these claims in the form of market trends, tech trends, and customer trends. This allows us to further minimise our sandbox into market movement and customer adoption.

Read the full report to discover more insights about European SMEs. 

Download your free copy here!

Getting ready to experiment and innovate

We then embark on two avenues to further distil where we can experiment and innovate:

  • through qualitative interviews and surveys providing a finer understanding of problems, needs, benefits, and desired features; and,
  • subsequently a quantitative measurement of which solutions serve these desired benefits and features. 

Achieving win-win

Of course, we need to scrutinise these solutions where we, AREA42, are able to not just serve the customer, but also win. That means that although we are solution agnostic, we remain aware of the ones where we have a competitive advantage in terms of feasibility and/or time to market.

Going back to customer insights, I couldn't be more excited about how invaluable it is to ALWAYS start with the customer voice first! And, then only produce products that prove to be desirable for our market and support AREA42’s mission.

Photo credit: Photo by Jacqueline Munguia on Unsplash.