Insights into EARLY BRANDS Innovation & Technology Scouting

In the digital age, business success strongly depends on the premature identification of new technologies and innovative business opportunities. How to keep one finger on the pulse of time? How to recognize business opportunities on early stages? How to make impulses usable for my company?

In the following EARLY BRANDS insight interview, Kamil one of our scouting experts finds answers for these questions.

Mann am PC wertet Innovation und Technologie Impulse aus dem Scouting aus

Worldwide scouting: identifying innovative business opportunities is essential for success in the dynamics of our digital age.


EARLY BRANDS Insights: Kamil, how can you easily explain Innovation & Technology Scouting?

Kamil: Innovation & Technology Scouting summarizes all activities to prematurely identify relevant market developments and trends – cross-market, world-wide. To recognize and utilize business opportunities for our expedition partners. Thereby, impulses can be very diversified: from innovation and technology trends to startup activities and new tech companies through to new findings in sciences. In sum, by scouting we conduct very different business-relevant innovation and technology impulses for our expedition partners.

EARLY BRANDS Insights:  What makes the identification of innovation and technology opportunities a critical success factor in the digital age?

Kamil: Today, our markets are characterized by high dynamics and complexity. In short, market intervals, new technologies and market developments turn whole business models upside down and permanently challenge the status quo. Kodak and Nokia are only two of many examples for that. On the contrary, our clients are willing to anticipate future and do not want to join the group of “former market players”.

EARLY BRANDS Insights: Which attitudes and perspectives are needed to identify early stage innovation opportunities?

Kamil: First of all: an open mind + broad perspectives. Cross-market and cross-industry. Competitors of today might be not competitors of tomorrow. Thus, resting on one’s laurels is not enough. Continuity is essential to identify innovation and technology developments at early stages. In short: companies need to broaden their horizons by opening valuable playing fields for the future. All our partners have a clear understanding about that. They are willing to proactively create their future success.

EARLY BRANDS Insights: How do you and your colleagues support all that?

Kamil: We are an innovation consulting with strong expertise relating to early stage innovation. Thus, we support our expedition partners precisely and individually. From identification of business relevant innovation and technology impulses such as startups or market trends to creative design of business opportunities together with employees and users through to coordination and realization with potential technology partners.

Scouting is an essential starting point and one key success factor for that. We continuously realize worldwide scouting with our clients and integrate topic areas and objectives of management and employees. On the same project, I often collaborate with very different departments from R&D, engineering, venture capital to purchase. Their different interests and topic fields were continuously being incorporated into our scouting. In sum, a consistent and continuous understanding about relevant innovation and technology opportunities is our focus.

EARLY BRANDS Insights: What distinguishes EARLY BRANDS approach for Innovation & Technology Scouting? What’s different?

Kamil: The formula for success: passionate, creative innovation and technology experts + latest IT tools + strong network of experts + positive, interactive collaboration with our clients. Also, our expedition partner’s employees and corporate management are vital. We combine our knowhow and experiences with external scouting impulses.

Thus, we create business opportunities with high relevance for our clients. Our real-time scouting solutions facilitate identification of new developments: more than 150 Mio. sources are continuously being searched for appropriate innovation and technology impulses relating to our clients’ topic areas – worldwide and in real-time. Moreover, ideas and thoughts form our economic and science expert network are continuously being incorporated. Topics such as blockchain, artificial intelligence or robotics are only a few examples. Our scouting approach requires a clear understanding about our client’s needs and topics of interests. Thus, we closely collaborate with our expedition partners from day one.

Scouting Team arbeitet kreativ

Besides latest scouting tools and agile innovation methods, EARLY BRANDS focuses on humans, their ideas and thoughts. Thus, market-relevant business opportunities were created.


EARLY BRANDS Insights: What is the value of your activities for EARLY BRANDS expedition partners?

Kamil: Our expedition partners pursue the goal to successfully develop their future business. We support them by identifying and creating short- and long-term innovation and technology opportunities. The value perspectives are varied: from efficiency and productivity benefits to improvements of product quality through to innovative opportunities for new income streams.

We quantify values of innovation and technology opportunities prematurely. That supports decision-making: if an R&D manager can quantify potentials of material savings, he or she will get support for implementation. If a board member can assess how many users are willing to pay for a new innovative subscription offer, he or she might become interested to realize such services.

EARLY BRANDS Insights: What are best practices? How does economic success become measurable?

Kamil: Together with my EARLY BRANDS colleagues and partners, I realize Innovation & Technology Scouting for many leading brand companies and tech corporations. Thus, value estimation for potential as well as for realized innovation opportunities is easy for us. In some cases, we reach high single-digit to two-digit million € per company per year by implementing new materials, innovative services or new processes in products and supply chains. For example: the sewage from product manufacturing can be treated directly. Valuable ingredients can be filtered and costs for sewage disposal were saved. At the same time, recovered ingredients might be able to be produced to valuable by-products. In a nutshell: less costs + new income streams.

Also, most of our expedition partners benefit from strategic investment / cooperation options that were identified within our scouting. How? Reduce time for research and development, facilitate access to knowhow, develop innovations that would not have been possible without partners. Two examples: a leading construction company that makes use of valuable digital services for their property marketing. A tourism enterprise that increase customer activation and experience by using augmented reality. Both cases generate added customer value and lead to higher reach and price acceptance.

Our expedition partners generate competitive edge. Our approach is very valuable for that. At the same time, we are distinctly aware that success is made by humans. That means success is self-made by companies, their employees, suppliers, users and partners. A very positive and motivational thing.

EARLY BRANDS Insights: How do you combine results from scouting with ideas from your expedition partners?

Kamil: For this purpose, regular interaction, cooperation and communication is crucial. We have a keen intuition to capture and incorporate expectations, topics and ideas among different organizational levels – precisely, cooperative, productive, considered. This is exemplified by our expedition dialogues as a starting point for our projects or by our regular stakeholder jour-fixes.

Depending on the project’s objectives, we support our expedition partners with further activities, e.g. workshops or creative sessions by which we jointly create and shape ideas. Moreover, innovation and technology business cases are very helpful as profitability of business opportunities become transparent. Another example: EARLY BRANDS Design Sprints with users. Thereby, innovations of tomorrow become transparent today. That helps steering innovations into market- and user-relevant directions.

Last but not least my personal wrap-up: Identify business opportunities of tomorrow already today – proactively, creatively and jointly – for competitive edge and innovation success in the digital age.


Catch the Future…!