What will future customers want in terms of paper, quality, feel and form? That is probably the industry’s million dollar question and it might be an impossible one to answer. But Holmen Paper is never afraid to tackle big, difficult or complex questions.
So how can we go about determining what future customers will want from their paper and what other useful knowledge and criteria customers have in reserve?
The Future Lab is a concept that combines market surveys and round table discussions with interested parties from various industries. A key aspect of the Future Lab is also the scope to build and expand the network of people who like paper. The requirement for being involved is therefore that participants must have a shared interest in paper and its properties and benefits.
Together, the participants discuss everything to do with paper; what good paper feels like, future needs, the position of paper, the importance of paper – basically what is expected of paper. Questions that are tackled include: How can we become a better supplier? What would customers like to see? How can we generate customer loyalty, create partnerships? Other questions for which joint answers are being sought are: How can we refine our products to meet customer needs? Can we adapt our products and create new products in line with customer wishes?
The Future Lab allows the company to see its business from a different angle and with a different focus. Since the discussions are based on the intended users, it is possible to see the needs and requirements from the perspective of those customers and users.
“The challenge for Holmen Paper going forward is to expand its knowledge of trends and find out about users’ opinions, future requirements and needs regarding paper and its development. The Future Labs are an excellent means of doing this,” says Mikael Selling of Opticom.
Opticom has almost 20 years’ experience of this type of survey. Some of the key tasks of a Future Lab are to identify what will be required and expected from the supplier, to create and build up relationships, and to test and discuss new products and services in a constructive manner.
Read the full article, originally published in Holmen Paper’s customer magazine Holmen’s Paper, here:
“What will future customers want from their paper?”