Community-based innovation - Case: Danske Bank

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Community-based innovation - Case: Danske Bank

The largest bank in Denmark, Danske Bank, participates in the innovation consortium Community-Based Innovation to improve their consumer driven product and service innovation. With an analysis of a campaign on their facebook community Danske Idébank as point of departure they were able to gain new knowledge of how to increase user involvement in value creation.

The process:
Input – focus og conscious decisions:

• Ongoing mobilization and activation of users and customers who can share knowledge and disseminate statements
• Facebook campaign where the bank sought ideas and feedback in relation to their online banking application for iPad
• Aim to get a better understanding of the world of their users, so that their business developers will be able to better evaluate the ideas
"The difficult part is that you do not know enough about the  user you are having the dialogue with. We do not really know who we ask, and who we get input from. What is the basis then for taking this input further, i.e. the truthfulness of it."
(Business Developer, Danske Bank)

Community-Based Innovation, case omkring Danske Bank - billedet er taget fra workshop med idéudviklingInput – focus and conscious decisions
At a time when banking business to an increasing extent move from the physical to the virtual world, Danske Bank has begun to communicate with their customers through new channels. By using Facebook as a platform, the chances of getting a large amount of input will increase, since the users seem to feel at home and comfortable there.
The challenge in this type of idea competition is that you are somewhere between marketing and innovation. The hope is to reach as broad an audience as possible and refrain from identifying the potential contributors in advance, but, on the other hand, it is definitely not irrelevant which sources the ideas come from. Indeed, it is the hope that the bank may get to know its customers better through using online communities. A prerequisite for this is an interaction or dialogue between bank and user, and in this respect it was therefore a priority to find out why these players participate and engage themselves.
The activities are accomplished in order to uncover the motivations of the various players for participating and engaging in a dialogue with the bank and the world around it. In addition, the users' communication has been analyzed with a view to mapping what sort of contributions and community interactions the existing platform catalyzes. Last, but not least, a workshop was held with some of the users of the Idébank with the aim to develop a concept for the ideal idea bank.

Throughput – activities and concepts:
• Interviews with external contributors and the bank’s employees
Critical analysis of the current design of Danske Idébank and the input and communication that is consequently expected
Workshop with users of Danske Idébankn

Throughput – activities and concepts
The primary motivation for users was an inner own interest in developing or improving a solution, which they themselves and many others need or use daily. At the same time, however, there was a desire to gain social and professional recognition.
The pool of ideas appeared to be based on individual contributions and not on cooperation, since the dialogue that took place on the platform mainly focused on supporting and ensuring support for certain ideas and also on sharing experiences and knowledge, e.g., about the function of similar apps from other companies.
The development of ideas on the basis of input from other people has happened only to a small extent, for example by defending or contradicting a proposal. It is also interesting that there was both factual, informal and personal communication, indicating that this community may develop in different directions. Specifically, it was found for example that 30% of the ideas that were collected in the iPad campaign already was part of Danish Bank's plans.
At the workshop was expressed a desire to co-design with other users and with the bank's staff and be able to provide visual input and feedback and not just linguistic comments. Users demand the opportunity to become a more integral part of business development, where they will regularly be invited to test and design new applications, products and services - both online and offline. The competitive element was still an important driver, but there need not necessarily be big cash prizes in view.

Output – learning and results:
The external users are primarily driven by the opportunity to:
• Influence solutions that they themselves and many others have an interest in
• Make a difference by creating something new
• Be seen, heard and recognized as good or better
Danish Bank's employees are primarily driven by the opportunity to:
• Get closer to the customer and feel that what you do makes a difference to the individual customer
• Get feedback and help to make your work even better

The kind of interaction inspired by the existing design of the IdeaBank, is characterized by:
• Individual user contributions - monologue
• Competition rather than cooperation
• Separation between bank and customer

The inputs are typically often:
• Easy to communicate in words
• Predictable
• Easy to implement

In the perfect idea bank it would be possible to:
• Co-design with other users as well as with the staff
• Provide visual input and feedback
• Receive recognition and feedback in various forms

Output – learning and results
Firstly, the IdeaBank is in itself always also a marketing effort, where improvements may result in more users/customers,  and more users with a positive approach, who can spread the word about Danske Bank's open and engaging attitude.
Next, the bank has found out that it has quite passionate and active users, who very much wish to become involved without the bank having to invest a lot of money, since their users are also susceptible to a more immaterial kind of rewards.
The bank's product and service innovation process can thus be enhanced through engaging in a closer dialogue with external people - especially, when it comes to getting more and better ideas and to supporting the decision making processes of the organisation.
All such developments take place in a cost-effective way and also help to increase the job satisfaction for the bank's business developers by providing a channel for continuous feed-back and help.

By reacting with initiatives within the identified priorities the innovation process has given Danish Bank potential business value in the following areas:
• Customer satisfaction and loyalty
• Optimized innovation process
• Employee satisfaction

The extent of the value may be estimated by the fact that 20% of the collected ideas in the campaign actually are new and workable. Imagine the potential of it, once the design improvements are realized and the interaction between business developers and active users has been strengthened? Due to the direct access to customers' specific experiences of problems, needs and desires, of which the campaign's winning idea "sharing the bill" is an example, certainly there are great opportunities for gain, just waiting to be harvested.

The innovation consortium Community-Based Innovation focuses on the ways in which the connection between groups of people and technology may create value for businesses and organizations. Based on this and other cases we work to create a systematic approach for businesses that wish to enhance their approach to communities. If you wish to know more about CBI or have comments and inputs to the work of the innovation consortium, you are more than welcome to contact us.