Continuing our innovation journey last week, we were moving into the ideation phase on Wednesday in order to improve the customer’s experience at Aquatis Aquarium-Vivarium in Lausanne. In the days before, we had formed our tribes and gathered customer information by exploring Lausanne’s most visited cultural institutions. Furthermore, our team had gathered as much info as possible from locals through our online survey, which got surprisingly over 150 responses within 24 hours.

In order to get creative, the whole class was transported to Inartis, an innovation incubator in Lausanne. Here, each team was provided with white boards, post-its, colored pens and flipcharts. The goal of this ideation phase is to come up with as many ideas as possible in order to narrow them down to a specific list of preferred ideas.

Our team started with a total of 84 individual ideas which we narrowed down to three combinations. In order to have a better understanding of which direction to take, we pitched the three options to our classmates who have children. They are our ‘target customers’: families with young kids, who are looking for a bonding activity to build great memories together. Several classmates got creative in their own way 😊.

On Thursday the ideas were brought to life by building prototypes of the main ideas. In our case we wanted to take the customer on a journey and built our story in 3 steps:

  1. Engaging our customer by triggering curiosity with a story about a message in a bottle, recently found in Lac Leman (Lake Geneva). The message refers to a treasure box which can be found at Aquatis.
  2. In order to crack the code of the treasure box, parents and kids must work together and interact with the staff at Aquatis to find the answers to specific questions and receive back the right numbers.
  3. Reward time: kids receive well deserved chocolate and a drawing of one of the fishes they saw on their journey. Now they can color their own fish, which will be scanned and added to a digital aquarium. With interaction projections, the kids can bring their own fish to life, while the parents have some relaxing time at the bar.

The final step for every group was to present their innovation in 7 minutes to the management team of Aquatis. After a very entertaining and inspirational pitch from the 18 groups, the Aquatis-team gave feedback for every group and selected their three favorite ideas.

Three completely different projects were selected as the most creative ideas. One team stood out with a remarkable solution to include immobile or physically challenged people. Two other teams, of which our team was one, were chosen for the great story behind the innovative ideas.

Team1 (left): Dennis, Kostantinos, Stephanie, Eri, Natalia
Team2 (right): Ruchi, Viktoria, Sejal, Mina, Emon

Herewith I would love to thank my teammates: Thuan, Aurore, Haichen, Matteo and Hannah. We had an amazing week together and I enjoyed the creative moments and challenging discussions, but also the personal feedback session and celebration drink!

Nick Geldhof

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