Ignition Bootcamp Utrecht: Tuesday March 21st, 2017 - Day 2

The first day of the bootcamp was highly inspirational. On the second day, the bootcampers were pushed out of their comfort zones to prepare for the Day After Tomorrow and...

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March 23, 2017
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Nexxworks Partner Steven Van Belleghem told our bootcampers on Monday that it is essential to know your customer. You have to know how they think, see and feel. On Tuesday, neuroscientist Roeland Dietvorst perfectly completed Steven's vision and explored the inner workings of our customers' brains. It's very important for companies to be aware of how people process information. If you don't know how your customers will perceive your communication, you might as well be shouting in the dark. And not only the formulation of your proposition matters, apparently three mediocre USPs will outperform 12 superior ones! Numbers matter! Small changes like these can dramatically increase customers' purchase intentions. But beware, if you don't trigger the imagination of your customers, there might be dramatical negative effects, too. Customers can instinctively sense the difference between an empathetic salesman and a sales shark.

To conclude, Roeland shared his insights into a new kind of brain: artificial brains and neural networks. These brains can already learn a lot about us based on 5 likes. Give them 50 likes, and they know more about you than most of your friends. After 150 likes they know us better than we know ourselves. Breaking news: apparently already today, when we connect these brains to our own, they can see our dreams. How creepy is that!


Lennert continued by sharing a very real application of everything Steven had been talking about on Monday. He works at citizenM, which you could describe as a hotel, but is as much a community of mobile citizens. The check-in in their hotels is a great example of 'when digital becomes human': you don't have to fill out a paper form to pass on information to a clerk at the desk. Their self-service computers can handle your bookings just fine. This empowers the staff to focus on you, the customer, rather than focusing on the processes and rules. That's why their staff are called 'ambassadors': every one of them is the face of the company. Unlike traditional companies, citizenM goes a long way to hire the right people. Just as Peter Hinssen said on Monday, they hire for creativity and agility, not for diplomas and experience. In New York, some of their ambassadors even used to be actors on Broadway!

And how do you incentivize these empowered ambassadors? At citizenM, performance is neither measured by revenue, nor occupancy. The main target for everyone is customer happiness. That's why citizenM went all the way to create a technology solution in which their main KPI, customer sentiment, can be measured in every interaction. And it works! The company is growing globally, from San Francisco to Shanghai. Their focus, however, is not building more hotels. They focus always remains on building a long term relationship with their customers.


After this, the nexxworks team took the bootcampers on an interactive workshop. They presented the case of a doors and locks company: an incumbent that has been working like a plantation for too long. Rik, Annick and Nancy inspired the bootcampers to think about new ways of engaging their customers, applying new technologies and leveraging the potential available inside their organization. They had to answer many questions: How were they going to test their assumptions? What are the risks of failure? How would they measure success? Of course, these learnings were not only applicable to the 'Doors and Locks' case, but also to the companies the bootcampers will be going back to on Monday!

This is the second of a series of five posts about the Ignition Bootcamp of the week of 20 March until 24 March. Stay tuned for more daily reports in the next three days.

We've made a short compilation video of our second bootcamp day as well. Check it here.

Want to join one of our next Ignition Bootcamps? Check them here

Frederik Simoen
Frederik Simoen
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March 23, 2017
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