How can a need-based approach boost sales abroad for health tech start-ups?
Health tech is one of our passions at walkerproject Scandinavia—in the form of integrating new technologies in traditional care organizations or by building and reengineering novel business models. This time, one of Sweden’s most renowned neonatologists took us offline: for Swedish start-up company Neobiomics, we worked on a Swiss go-to-market study. By Marie-Claire Lutters and Micha Kämpfer.
Neobiomics is a start-up company rooted in academia and neonatal medicine, based in Stockholm, Sweden, and working for the world. With ProPrems®, a multi-strain food supplement, Neobiomics has developed a high-quality product that serves an unmet need for newborn infants.
In its process of internationalization, Gustav Henriksson, Head of Trade Point Nordics, recommended that Neobiomics explore its opportunities in the Swiss market in collaboration with walkerproject Scandinavia. Given their access to a vast network of Swiss hospitals, the collaboration proved a perfect fit between the two companies, both part of the H2 Health Hub community located in Hagastaden, Stockholm.
Approaching new markets is exciting; you want to get it right from the very beginning. Healthcare markets are country-specific; in the case of Switzerland—a highly decentralized country—it could even be argued that every organization has its own way of working, its own peculiarities. What works where and why? Who are the potential customers in the market you are about to enter, and what do they need?
We believe that carrying out a Customer Insight Analysis is the answer to a successful start when approaching new markets—it helps position the business offering around the needs of users and decision makers. – Micha Kämpfer, walkerproject Scandinavia
Rather than adopting a traditional approach to studying new markets, we opted for a method that is rooted in value proposition design: by carrying out qualitative interviews, we sought to better understand what makes Neobiomics prospects tick. The foundation for this lies in identifying total market potential in the target market, in this case, Switzerland. The next step is to define Neobiomics’ desired customer segment and schedule interviews with relevant prospects. Through interviews, we gathered insights concerning what these prospects are hoping to accomplish, as expressed in their own words—including what obstacles they are facing (“pains”) and what benefits they are seeking (“gains”).
During collaborative workshops, we challenged Neobiomics to reiterate their value proposition based on the insights obtained from the interviews. The two main questions needing answers were: How does your product or service eliminate or reduce the customer pains we identified, and how does it create customer gains? In doing so, Neobiomics pinpointed their products’ so-called pain relievers and gain creators, which then allowed them to “match” or “fit” their value proposition to their prospective Swiss users.
Through walkerproject Scandinavia, we got an understanding of the values of our Swiss customer base. Establishing direct access is time-consuming and cumbersome for us. This process went smoothly, and the results enabled us to formulate a clear strategy on how to approach the Swiss market. – Stefan Johansson, MD PhD and Chief Executive Officer of Neobiomics
Customer insight analysis is an integral part of our business design and service design process. It is especially well-suited for companies or organizations that have a great idea but have not yet translated it into a concrete final product or service or are in the midst of the development phase.