Service Flip

Imagine how you might turn common products into a service model. Could your product be transformed into something that takes on a new or unexpected service experience?

Increasingly, companies are shifting from selling a product to turning that product into a service. Why? Because it can be a powerful way for an organisation to become more effective and circular. Do you need an office or just a place to get work done?  Do you need to buy a new set of clothes or have access to a never-ending wardrobe? The shift starts with understanding the underlying user needs and thinking more creatively about how they can be met.



Download the Service Flip Worksheet and start by identifying the core needs the three product examples are trying to meet: a DVD player, a washing machine and clothes. (The core need of a car, for example, might be “to get me from point A to point B.” It’s not about owning the vehicle necessarily, but providing mobility whenever someone needs it).


Now brainstorm other ways to meet those needs that go beyond having to own that individual product. For each of the three examples, try to come up with a few ideas.


For the last box, flesh out what the new service experience might look like for each. (For mobility, the solution might be car sharing enabled perhaps by an online platform, GPS technology and maybe even driverless cars).


Now, do steps 13 for your own product, starting with the core needs you’re trying to meet, a few ideas about how to solve for these in a new 'circular' way, and a description of a service model approach that could be beneficial for both users and producers.


To wrap up, ask yourself: if I was to offer a service, what systems would need to be in place to ensure a positive result? Which partners would I need to support this change? What feedback or data would be important to have (and which technologies might you rely on to collect it)? Could the data be of benefit to others (e.g. might someone want to buy it)?



Pioneering jeans for life

Mud Jeans provides organic cotton jeans to customers through a leasing model. The company repairs them when needed or recycles the material to create new jeans.


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The Circular Design Guide is a collaboration between the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and IDEO. To give your feedback, email us directly or join our linkedin group.

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