Success in a Time of Crisis

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Jakob Normand
Success in a Time of Crisis While the South of Europe gets truly bogged down in its swamp of public debt and the western banks switch off the lights one after one despite massive tax-payers support, you can be tempted to have a pessimistic outlook.But in both domestic and export markets there is a surprising amount of growth and progress. This time DNLab looks at just a few of the many opportunities that are open to innovative companies in the corporate world and on the consumer market.We have to add with a smile that most of the examples of successful growth also include good design – but we let the results speak for themselves.


Bali as the site for your next export office?

The latest stats from the IMF show that there are several markets with solid growth rates in double figures. ASEAN countries, China, India and Sri Lanka are obvious target societies for products and services from ambitions companies.East Europe, Turkey and the Middle East are following quickly as well.


COS’ it´s better value

DN-Lab_5-introviewThe disreputable culture of buy-and-throw-away has been changed out by the “less but better” movement. Value for money is the new mantra in business  and for consumers alike.This new strategy is used by the global Swedish clothing chain, H&M. In 2007 the company opened a selection of new shops under the banner of COS [Collection of Style]. The brand is designed for the new fashion and quality conscious costumer over the age of 25. COS retail prices start where the H&M brand prices ends.With the new COS brand, H&M are following the consumer trend upwards to more quality, value and price consciousness. In doing so COS also appeals to a market segment that H&M didn’t have earlier.COS has extended its existing target groups, increased quality and price and achieved remarkable success in this very competitive market.The Danish designers Michael Kristensen and Rebekka Bay, have created the new COS lines.


Rich kids play best

WitcheryKids“Fortunately, we are not a part of the household budget.
People normally don’t want their kids to suffer under the
crisis” says Henrik Gjoerup, the CEO of Top Toy.

Parents may save on their own personal budgets, but they are still buying masses of toys and clothing from the top brands for their kids.

Northern Europe’s largest distributor of toys, Top Toy, which is behind the BR and Toys “R” Us retail chains, are completely unaffected by the economy crisis.Last year the concern increased its turnover from 336 m € to 400 m € and bought up two other toy retail chains in Europe.

At the same time, the fashion industry’s big name brands are increasing their collections of children’s clothes.

Even though a woman might not buy an haute couture dress for herself, it doesn’t mean that she wouldn’t buy one for her daughter.

In other words, you should not only look to export markets for your products but instead also consider that existing designs can be adapted to other target groups and markets nearer to home. 



APP-ealing design better service


DAnske Bank App Vertical

Providing the best possible service to all kinds of customers and using the fewest possible resources seems to be an impossible struggle. But sometimes the best solutions come from the most improbable situations.

The biggest bank in Denmark, Danske Bank, is not alone in having problems with its economy and customer image. A string of bleak annual accounts, a retiring CEO and a somewhat stiff tradition-bound image had to be turned around.

An important step from bust to recovery was the launch of the bank’s new award-winning smart phone app. The new smart phone service has made online banking incredibly more accessible, light to use and hugely popular with the younger population – blowing away many of the layers of dust from Danske Bank’s image.

Easier access to online banking means fewer customers in each branch and a reduced need for personal assistance.

Bank staff can concentrate much more on real service development and banking than on routine tasks. The bank is now seen as moving from being one of yesterday’s actors to a knowledge based service company. 


Just Do it

JustEatNot only is the ”Online industry” dealing with the latest technology, but it is also creating innovative and functional solutions in this time  of economic crisis. The solid progress of the Online industry is obvious not least in the number of sales now being made by internet. Right now it is about 15% per annum. The Danish company Just-Eat is a good example of a business based entirely on new net technology.Customers can choose from a vast number of independent restaurants with a wide choice of menus from pizza to sushi on offer. The food is ordered and paid for on the Just-Eat website – and delivered to your door, either by the restaurant’s own service or by a Just-Eat delivery. Each individual restaurant benefits from having lower marketing and delivery costs. Just-Eat is responsible for running the website and not the operations of the restaurants themselves.So there are benefits for everyone in the system.A service chain like this is also possible in industrial markets. Spare parts, servicing and customer relations can be organised in the same way to maximize value for your customers The Just-Eat concept has spread to 16 countries and profits in Denmark have jumped from 30 m DKK in 2009 to 35 m DKK in 2010.