For over 10 years, Froghop has provided new product development services to the food industry. Its impressive client list spans everything from luxury retailers like Fortnum & Mason to small-scale passion projects. And the thriving start-up has gone from strength to strength.
A portion of its revenue comes from developing high-end human-grade dog food products, a service which has developed organically through word of mouth with minimal marketing.
CEO Melanie Loades recognised the growing opportunity in this area and was keen to invest time to develop the offering. But she was concerned about how focusing resources and attention on Doghop could damage the existing food business.
We proposed a Decision Sprint to spotlight and weigh up these potential threats and to help the team make the most of Doghop’s market position.
After warming up by focusing on all the assets Doghop brings to the table and its huge potential for success, the sprint moved on to Go Ugly Early. This exercise gets a business to zero in on its deepest fears – helping confront the worst that can happen, consider what is genuinely a threat to success (rather than an irrational worry), and to set the wheels in motion for avoiding failure.
Like a shih tzu with an impressive underbite, this process can be a little gnarly. But it helped Doghop to recognise the internal strain on the existing business and ask: ‘How can we expand without piling even more pressure on our people?’ It also got them talking about external brand confusion and to consider how Froghop customers might react knowing they were also developing products for dogs.
With the worst-case scenarios taken care of, the next step was to find practical solutions to drive towards success. To address the issue of embracing expansion without causing implosion, we used Blockers and Unlockers. This exercise saw the team come up with as many expansion routes as possible. The only caveat: the ideas couldn’t overload the existing business.
In just 15 minutes they managed to examine, organise, and prioritise their ideas, resulting in six core areas and two clear priorities to focus on.
Next, we took a closer look at the issue of external brand confusion and how to avoid negative customer connotations. Returning to the findings from Go Ugly Early, we used a tool called How Might We? This required the team to drill down on potential problems and figure out how to overcome them. In the process they learned that a lot of their perceived problems weren’t real issues they needed to worry about.
To put fears to bed, the team decided on making sure Doghop would continue to be marketed as a separate brand with its own identity.
'Doghop is emerging now as a brand, and we see this as a great way to grow the business further. '
Melanie Lodes CEO
Confident they had the building blocks in place to expand, there was still some concern about the team’s ability to stay on track while simultaneously keeping up with the demands of Froghop. And they’re not alone – lots of businesses struggle to take big leaps with new ventures when they’ve already got so much on their plate.
We used two tools to address this issue – Bitesize Actions and Sprint Sync. The former encouraged them to identify achievable steps to build momentum, and the latter provided them with a clear schedule to keep on top of everything.
The key takeaway was the importance of progress by degrees – you can’t achieve everything at once, so why try? They discovered that maintaining manageable progress was much more important and meant that Doghop’s development wouldn’t stall.
With expertise and a head start on the market, Froghop was already in a great position to drive its new business forward. The Decision Sprint gave the team the much-needed opportunity to raise concerns and think about them more deeply, examine the pros and pitfalls of forging ahead, and to organise their thoughts into a realistic action plan for progress.
Why not get in touch for a non-salesy chat and see how we can help your team too?