Camping innovation

For two decades, we have strived to optimize our methodology and services for a wide variety of clients. In order to give you a better idea of what our current approach looks like and why we are so passionate about it, we compiled a case study.

It is conceived not only to give you a better idea of how we work but also to inspire you and provide answers to some questions you might have about innovation and why it is so essential. Thus, without further ado, we invite you to delve into the first chapter of our Next-big-thing case study.

Chapter 1

Companies need to stay ahead of the curve to stay competitive in today’s ever-changing world. That is why Creax has developed a new Future Thinking Methodology to help companies anticipate the future, and future-proof their business. Applying this methodology, companies can ensure that they stay ahead of the future and remain successful.
The Creax Future Thinking approach is made up of three “diamonds”, with each stage including a divergence (explore) and convergence (define) stage.
In the first diamond, future scenarios concerning your playing field are drafted and subsequently, future directions for the company are selected in accordance with the company vision and strategy.
In diamond two, current and future needs are researched and problem statements are defined, from thereon, concrete opportunities are identified based on the match with your company DNA.
Finally, in the 3th diamond, inspiring and future-proof solution concepts for the short, medium, and long term are imagined and translated into an innovation roadmap that fills your pipeline for the next decade.

1. Camping innovation – The case

Let’s apply the 3-diamond approach to a hypothetical company that specializes in butane gas-based camping cooking solutions.

The company has had stable annual sales, but with the emergence of sustainability trends, energy crises, and changing consumer needs, it faces an increasingly competitive field. In order to remain competitive, the company must consider other consumer needs and technologies that could be a game changer in the industry.

1.1. The future playing field

To effectively address future problems, it is necessary to have a vision of what the future might look like. The first step is to create a map of the future landscape by using various data sources, such as scientific papers, trend reports, web information, and various databases. In this way, we can derive a picture of the future landscape within and around a particular sector and then develop multiple potential future scenarios.

1.1.1. Getting the bigger picture

The PESTEL framework helps to assess how political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal trends can affect a company’s operations, as well as anticipate any potential future scenarios. With a PESTEL analysis, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of the external environment and make more informed decisions regarding potential opportunities and areas to avoid. Additionally, it provides insight into the changing competitive landscape. 
Infographic nanotechnology in plastics

Today, we live in a connected world, where every mobile device requires charging. Is this something we should factor into the development of a future camping experience?

Additionally, given the high number of refugees in the world, can we create a camping cooking solution that can benefit them? Lastly, in an increasingly service-based society, is there still a need for a camping stove when food can be delivered right to the campsite? Through PESTEL analysis, businesses can gain a better understanding of their external environment and more accurately assess the potential opportunities and areas to avoid.

1.1.2. Consumer needs

Creax used AI-driven contextual analysis to identify emerging trends and themes in the camping gear domain. As part of this research, a consumer forum study was conducted to gain insight into the needs of campers. This allowed for unbiased answers since there were no leading questions in the survey.

Upon extracting over 8,000 topics from a social forum and analyzing them with an AI algorithm, we were able to identify the needs, problems, and emotions related to camping gear. Notable patterns included the current hot topic of fire bans due to wildfires and the need for camping cuisine to switch to a fireless, renewable energy source.

In addition, there were negative sentiments about grills, heaters, power banks, and chargers, as well as suggestions for better charging equipment for electronic devices and combining multiple functions to reduce the number of necessary items.

2. Future needs

As our society progresses and matures, so do our needs. Whether driven by new customer preferences or by technological advancements, it is necessary to contemplate the effects of these ever-changing needs on the future.
That’s why we draft future scenarios, a combination of megatrends, consumer needs, and industry-specific drivers. To do this, we must think proactively and consider possible outcomes, rather than focusing on solving current problems.
Some of the scenarios, or statements, may be straightforward, while others may seem rather far-fetched and even conflicting with one another. However, it is essential to ponder a broad range of scenarios. On top of that, it is advisable to combine suitable scenarios to create a more exhaustive and distinct offering. Moreover, it is imperative to keep in mind that the future is not static and that we can work towards a certain expectation of the future.
Consequently, customers must select a future scenario that they are comfortable with, as they will be working in that context for many years to come.

Important note: The evolution of needs and technologies is the same for all players on the "camping cooking" playing field. However, the question arises as to what role as a company you want to play in this evolving playing field.

Camping cooking will be flameless & powered by renewable energy

Scenario 1

With the growing popularity of camping comes a demand for convenient cooking devices. While lightweight camping stoves powered by propane and other fuel sources are currently the norm, the future of camping cooking devices could be very different.
In the near future, camping cooking devices will be enforced to become flameless and will preferentially be powered by renewable energy sources. This will make camping safer, more sustainable and more enjoyable for everyone.
In the future

Camping cooking will be flameless & powered by renewable energy

Scenario 2

In the future, the idea of camping will be revolutionized. We won’t have to compromise our comfort and food quality while camping. We’ll be able to enjoy all the amenities of home while out in the wild. Likewise, we will have the most comfortable tents ever, with (passive) air conditioning, heating, and a host of other features. We’ll also have access to all the best camping gear, from portable stoves and grills to solar showers and flush toilets.
We’ll be able to cook our own meals with a variety of tools, from campfire grills to Dutch ovens and even electric hot plates.
In the future

We won’t have to compromise our comfort & food quality while camping

We won’t have to compromise our comfort & food quality while camping

Scenario 3

In the future, people will want to bring their digital tools with them when they go camping. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops will be essential tools for campers to use for a variety of purposes. For starters, these devices will enable campers to stay connected, no matter where they are. They will also be able to access important information about the area, such as weather forecasts and hiking trails.
Moreover, these digital tools will be very useful for learning about the surrounding nature. Campers can use them to look up information about the local flora and fauna, as well as to identify stars and constellations at night. They can also use their digital tools to take pictures and videos of their camping adventures, to document and share their experiences with others.
Of course, the biggest challenge with bringing digital tools on a camping trip is keeping them charged.
In the future

People will want to bring their digital tools with them when they go camping

Scenario 4

This customized nutrition should be available and adopted to specific dietary requirements, such as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and low-fat. In addition, campers are very likely to request meals that are convenient and easy to prepare, and meals that fit their budget.
They also request meals tailored to their activity level, such as high-energy meals for those who plan to be active outdoors and low-energy meals for those who sit more often.
In the future

People will want camping nutrition that is tailored to their individual needs & preferences

People will want to bring their digital tools with them when they go camping
The need for cheap & sustainable cooking solutions will only become more pressing

Scenario 5

In the future, as the world’s population continues to grow and resources become increasingly scarce, the need for cheap and sustainable cooking solutions will only become more pressing. Refugees, who may be displaced due to natural disasters or war, and those living in poverty around the world will all need a way to cook food in an affordable and efficient manner.
Solar stoves are already being proposed by people as possible solutions. Solar cookers use the energy of the sun to cook and heat food, eliminating the need for expensive and polluting fuels. Despite the initial cost of purchasing and installing a solar cooker, they are seen as an effective and cost-efficient way to prepare food. In addition, as solar cookers can be used in any climate or season, they are an attractive choice for those who live in different environments.
In the future

The need for cheap & sustainable cooking solutions will only become more pressing

3. Time to choose

After reviewing the possible future scenarios, it is time to make a choice. You can consider all scenarios, as they all reflect the drivers of the playing field. But each scenario entails different types of solutions to offer or caters to a specific type of customer. You can choose based on what best fits your current business strengths. This “safe harbor” lies at the intersection of customer needs, technology enablers and your company’s DNA. But often, it’s not what your company needs to maintain a competitive advantage.
It’s critical to choose the scenario that also excites you the most. Consider your company’s ambitions and vision for the future and make sure the future scenario you choose is consistent with them. The idea is appealing because it opens up the space for innovation. But you can imagine that this disruption may impact the business in some way. So, it’s not an easy task. That’s why it is essential that the chosen future scenario(s) are translated into a “mission statement“: “we want to…”. By having a clear ambition, you can focus your efforts and resources on achieving this broader goal.
In the next chapter we will dive deeper in the chosen scenario, or future context and discover opportunities that fit your company within that context.

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