Innovation is to meet customer needs in the best possible way

The Swedish Innovation Index ranks which companies are best at innovation according to customers. Seventy companies were ranked by 13,000 customers, and Clas Ohlson was ranked the ninth most innovative company in Sweden in 2018.

The Service Research Center and Karlstad Business School, that developed the index in collaboration with the Norwegian School of Economics and Fordham University, asked customers how they perceived innovation in the various companies, i.e. whether a company can develop and offer useful solutions and how attractive customers perceive the company in relation to other alternatives. Factors like the company’s offer, delivery, treatment and interaction space were also taken into consideration.

What is innovation according to Clas Ohlson?

“Innovation towards a customer is not always about advanced, revolutionary solutions, it is about meeting customer needs in the best way possible. We clearly see that needs are changing while at the same time, technological developments are affecting the retail industry and the customer interface. The most important thing we can do in order to be innovative is to understand the real needs of customers, and how those needs are changing. The better we can meet that, the more innovative we will be perceived,” says Jacob Sten, Chief Growth Officer at Clas Ohlson.

Simplifying life in the home

Clas Ohlson helps simplify life in the home by offering smart solutions. This requires plenty of innovation. Customers are placing ever-higher demands on accessibility, convenience and solutions that are more adapted towards individual needs. According to Jacob Sten one must dare to be innovative.

“There are no given solutions; in order to succeed at being innovative, we have to dare to try and dare to experiment. In addition, there is no master of innovation specialist at Clas Ohlson, instead our 5,000 employees can all contribute with suggestions, so we have to work across departments and share ideas. Sometimes we will make mistakes but we must keep on trying. I am convinced we will find strong solutions as long as we stay close to our customers’ needs. Our collaboration with MatHem and our Clas Fixare offering are great examples of innovation where we clearly meet changing needs in terms of accessibility, convenience and adaptation towards needs,” says Jacob Sten.

The Swedish Innovation Index is a joint project developed by the Service Research Center at Karlstad University, Karlstad Business School, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) and Fordham University. The results of the Swedish Innovation Index were presented at the ‘Tjänsteinnovationsdagen’ (Service Innovation Day) on March 7, 2019. The entire list is available here.

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