New Business Model Wanted
In 2006, at a time when the company was still fully owned by Deutsche Telekom, Scout24 was the umbrella brand for a number of digital marketplaces, the result of organic growth as well as a few acquisitions.
Initially, digital marketplaces functioned almost like the digitized version of newspapers’ classified sections: topics were organized by searchable categories, with little additional functionality or intelligence. These marketplaces had built individual systems and Scout24 wanted to integrate them into a common platform in order to better align their service offerings to specific customer needs. In addition to creating greater clarity for customers, such an organization would allow the company to detect high-value opportunities for future growth in the e-commerce industry, and so Scout24 approached Vivaldi.
We identified the strategic levers for Scout24 that would increase customer relevance across their verticals. This way we supported Europe’s largest group of online marketplaces to continue their profitable growth.Markus Zinnbauer, Partner, Vivaldi Partners
Digital Brand Seeking New Consumer Connections
We started by conducting consumer research with our proprietary outside-in, DemandFirst™ methodology. By exploring digital consumer behavior, we were able to identify new strategic growth platforms and opportunities for business transformation. Specifically, we identified seven opportunity platforms at the intersection of different consumer needs and offering features. Most of Scout24’s vertical brands, we found, were positioned on the consumer needs “control and support / security” by offering “efficient problem solutions”. Scout24’s brands were overlapping each other by targeting similar consumer needs, all within the two opportunity platforms we had named “Effective and Efficient Finding” and “Security Through Partnerships”.
We pulled apart the subbrands to give each one its own role in the portfolio, and defined the overarching Scout24’s brand identity as “Simply Found,” which resonated strongly with internal audiences. It made clear the brand’s functional and emotional core benefits as well as its character and expression.
Building up from our initial customer insights, brand analysis, and brand strategy definition, we finally defined the strategic vision. Here, the challenge was to adapt the business model. Customers’ needs were becoming increasingly sophisticated and the explosion of competing offerings hampered the ability of Scout24 to claim to be a complete “online marketplace”.
Instead of trying to connect the individual sub-brands with its customers at separate touchpoints, we recommended that Scout24 connect the dots into a holistic customer journey accompanied by its various vertical sub-brands. The goal was to achieve a broader relevance within customers’ life contexts and accompany them “from cradle to grave”. The database was expanded using a flexible, adaptive matching technology that understood customer needs and found or created a suitable solution for them.
Additional products and services were created to address customer needs from a broader set of opportunity platforms including “Enable Access” thus being constantly available, “Enrich the Core” of Scout24 through added services, and “Engage in Relationships with Customers”. With that, we laid the foundation for Scout24 to evolve from an online marketplace to a “best match” across all offerings, from a product perspective to value-added services, from pull to push & pull, and from a unilateral relationship to a bilateral multiple connection across different needs and offerings.
The big added value of Vivaldi was that they got us digitally prepared. Thanks to this transformation, we were placed well ahead of any competitor.Dr. Martin Enderle, former CEO Scout 24 & SVP Digital Services at Deutsche Telekom
Preparing Scout24 for the future
As a result, we optimized the company’s demand-driven digital services offerings to ensure future growth and relevance. With the introduction of clear top-level decision guidelines, Scout 24 had a clear roadmap for brand and sub-brand expansion and a plan for a radical digital business transformation.
Der Experte/ Die Expertin