In spring 2018, Sitra’s Fiksu arki (“Smart everyday living”) development programme provided a well-functioning framework for supporting growth companies’ product development and growth through trials. Products and services facilitating sustainable everyday life gained momentum. Now we want to harness the programme to support Finnish growth companies in their efforts to plan internationalisation and develop their understanding of customers.
“The Fiksu arki programme format implemented last spring was very successful from the point of view of growth companies,” says Saara Rimon, the specialist responsible for the development programme at Sitra. “The Large Finnish consumer goods companies that participated were also satisfied with joint development work with small companies. The programme gave the companies an opportunity to plan customer-oriented trials and to measure and assess the development of their activities based on these trials. The companies also improved the ways they communicated about their products and services and marketed them.”
The development programme now launched is aimed at enabling companies to better assess the potential of their sustainable services or products from the internationalisation viewpoint. The development programme provides a good way to find out through trials how the international consumer market differs from the Finnish market and how marketing and communication should be conducted in practice.
During the “Fiksu arki goes China” development programme, companies will gain an understanding of what internationalisation requires and an understanding of the Chinese market in particular. The trials will support the market entry of the solution and its further development and help to expand the customer base.
The programme will help companies to identify the most critical problems regarding their business and investigate what would be required for them to be successful in China. Work will be done in co-operation with business strategists and service designers by trialling the companies’ solutions in conditions that are as similar to genuine market conditions as possible. The trials will be carried out both in Finland and in China. During the development programme, the companies will learn an agile way to develop their business with the help of trials.
“At the end of the programme, the companies will have an understanding of whether it is worthwhile for them to aim at international markets and what would be required for them to be successful internationally. They will have learned about customer-oriented design and the culture of experimentation and will have modified their product or operation to solve the most critical problems regarding their business,” says Rimon.
How can I get involved?
The call for applications for the “Fiksu arki goes China” development programme is open on the website “Fiksu arki goes China” (in Finnish) until 12 March 2019. Three companies will be selected from the applicants to join the development programme that will be launched in March. The trials in China will be carried out in May.