Odense Zoo: the bare necessities 48 hour innovation challenge
An understanding of consumer needs is central to all successful innovation, whatever the size or type of challenge. When Odense Zoo came to Happen Innovation Agency, looking to develop a growth strategy, we knew the focus shouldn’t be on the animals but on uncovering visitor needs.
Happen was tasked to work with the fixed asset of the zoo and its grounds, and to develop innovation concepts which would drive more visitors, more regularly and get them to spend more while on site. In addition, our team had just two days to complete the task as part of our inaugural 48 Hour Innovation Challenge… no pressure!
Our team spent two days working and sleeping on site around the animals, allowing us to get to the heart of the visitor experience and understand the customer journey.
We also interviewed visitors to help us find out more about their unmet needs and unlock what was missing, as well as discussing what sorts of activities and experiences would encourage them to visit more regularly and enhance their time at the zoo.
What we found was that visitors weren’t looking for more exciting animal exhibits; they were using the zoo as a vehicle to enjoy family time together. There are many different generational relationships at play here, including grandparent Boomers, Generation X and Y parents and their children, the new Gen Z. This meant the zoo needed to cater for all generational needs and family dynamics; from engaging play parks to comfy seating areas and open picnic spaces.
On day two our team worked alongside the zoo team and developed a pipeline of commercial innovations, ‘sweating’ the zoo’s existing assets (i.e. the land and its current infrastructure), which would also appeal to local funding bodies for investment support.
The deep understanding we achieved of Odense Zoo consumers enabled us to help the zoo refocus their brand positioning around giving visitors the best experience on the basis of the animals and their surroundings and helping families create lasting memories in the zoo.
Check out our video to see the Happen innovation consultants in action at the zoo and hear from the Odense Zoo MD about his experience of working with us…
“It’s been fabulous working with Happen. The focus throughout the project was on consumer needs over animals, which has been really interesting for us to unlock.” Jens Odgaard Olsson, Odense ZOO MD
For more details have a read of this project case study here.