top of page

How This Vietnamese Startup Plans Its Corporate Innovation

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

"If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” –Peter F. Drucker

6 months ago I met this very inspiring founder who was selected by Forbes as part of their 30 under 30 list Asia 2019. Based out of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam - his startup connects brand specialists with music producers to create emotional communication campaigns. This startup is called BrandBeats and was founded 4 years ago by Thinh Le Tan Thanh.

When we met, I mentioned that at The Scalelab our goal is to unlock the innovation potential of every person, team and company. We do this through a series of trainings and inhouse projects. It's truly corporate innovation meets startup innovation and we realised that most of the companies we work with, be it large corporates, SMEs or startups, all face the same 2 challenges:

1/ How to involve everyone in the company's innovation efforts.

2/ How to plan and measure innovation.

This article showcases the example of how at The Scalelab we collaborated with Thinh, co-founder of the Vietnamese Startup BrandBeats, to elaborate on an innovation plan.

Innovation Planning, The Essentials

When planning your innovation trajectory, first look at where you're coming from. This may sound simple, but it's the key to draw your plan in detail and here's how we do it.

1/ Starting with the 4Ws

- Who is your dream customer?

We're talking about the ideal customer, it may or may not be an existing customer type. Think about who you really want to work with.

- Where can you find them?

This is about understanding their behaviors and where they spend they're time (i.e what channel will you use to get their attention). Let's put yourself in the shoes of your dream customer.

- What entry product will you offer to attract them?

A simple product or service you could offer that is either free or low cost and will generate a first bit of value for the customer. It's about testing and building trust.

- What result do you want to offer them?

We're not talking about what product or service you want to offer, but rather what is the highest possible outcome you can provide your customers with. Think big, VERY big.

Once we have covered the 4Ws, you should have a strong idea of where your company should go and what you want to offer. But to define the various steps you need to get there, we use a concept called the Value Ladder.

2/ Defining your Value Ladder

The Value Ladder defines the products and services you can offer your customers to lead them to the highest outcome (the last stage of the 4Ws). It's a ladder, and your customers will climb it if what you offer provides tangible value.

To simplify here's an example:

A successful coffee chain (which we won't name) will offer free coffees in front of their shop (that's the entry product to get you in). Let's say you liked the taste and you go in to buy a coffee. They tell you about their nice lunch option, so you come back the next day to try it out. It's great and you enjoy this place so you start coming regularly. As you become a regular customer, it will offer you to join their paid VIP membership where you have access to exclusive products and events. And so on...

The value ladder applies in innovation planning to understand what else you can offer or improve that will provide an increasing value to your customers.

To remember: The more value you offer to customers the more you can grow.

The next step that's remaining is to allocate the resources in order to materialise your innovation plan (budget, teams, time...). Though we will leave this aspect out in this post.

Short time, big results

We use Design Thinking during innovation planning workshops to allow you to quickly define your 4Ws and develop your Value Ladder. To give you an idea of time commitment, our innovation planning workshops last from 1 half day up to 2 days.

With Thinh and BrandBeats it took one afternoon to come up with clear actionables and a roadmap of projects to focus on for the next months.

Within that timeframe we were able to know:

- What ultimate goal the company can achieve

- What projects to focus on

- What resources are needed to complete these projects

All in all, working with the Vietnamese Startup BrandBeats was a very inspiring experience. What we got out of it is a true understanding of the possibilities not only for startups but also for corporates in Vietnam. With rising customer expectations and growing competition, corporate innovation is taken very seriously and we are very excited to be able to support in this time of change.

Let me leave you with 2 questions:

Do you want to ensure that everyone in your company can innovate? Are you looking to draw a successful innovation plan for the next months or years?

If so, then you can reach out to me on or subscribe on our website here. We're happy to help!


Founder at The Scalelab

238 views0 comments


bottom of page