Creo² is rooted in the following societal trends:
- Digitalization of the economy: beyond the explosion of ecommerce, smartphones and tablets, our economy is increasingly going "Phygital" (physical + digital). This means that people more and more use the Internet in real physical places, to improve specific situations in their daily life. An extensive report from Nielsen, a global marketing firm, highlights that this is hapening to stores as well. The stores' challenges will be to use digital technologies to differentiate and make the shopping experience enjoyable. That's what we do at Creo²: in a store or restaurant, a simple click on a tablet will provide you a smile and a positive impact.
- Towards a community-based economy: Our human nature is to talk and relate to others, and technologies make that easier than ever before. That's why social communities arise everywhere (facebook, twitter, etc.). Creo² surfs on this trend, and is building a community about positive impact. It's not only about the individual impact of stores and shoppers, but also about the collective impact of the whole community.
- The rise of the purpose economy & social business: When Mohamed Yunus earned the nobel prize in 2006 for his achievements with the Grameen Bank (microcredit), the concept of social business got more widespread. These are businesses aiming at solving societal problems by being financially sustainable, and therefore also able to scale their positive impact. Social business has now been acknowledged as an important tool to solve global problems, and an imperative for the future.
In terms of size, there are more than 110,000 shops and restaurants in Belgium (source: eurostat). Creo² estimates that in the long run at least 5% of them (5500) can easilly be seduced by the Creo² concept.
The Creo² concept is unique in the world. However, we identify a series of "subsitutes" targeting similar clients with digital technologies, as shown on the graph below.
Creo² operates in a niche between two types of services:
- Marketing services: The online advertising market has more than doubled in less than 5 years (source: statistica, 2016). Many large and small players offer mainly online marketing services to shops. However, in-store "touchable" solutions are still very rare. With its tablets offered for free to the shops, Creo² has a clear differentiator.
- Loyalty services: in the last 2 years the number of in-store loyalty services has soared. These solutions tend to replace traditional paper loyalty cards by a smartphone app, often with a tablet on the counter. Creo² does not aim to replace loyalty cards. If the loyalty program is working well, no need to change it. We prefer to integrate Creo² into an existing loyalty program: e.g., "5 stamps = get a free coffee or plant a tree". Moreover, Creo² does not require a smartphone app. This makes it super simple & fast, which is highly appreciated by the shops and the users.
Don't forget it, our biggest differentiator is about who we are: a social business concerned about societal impact. This makes us different and complementary to the services above. We do not consider these players as direct competitors, but rather as potential partners.