etventure in the dpa news ticker: “Wüstenrot & Württembergische uses startup methods”
23. December 2015
Philipp Depiereux, founder and managing director of etventure and Rüdiger Maroldt, member of the Board of Management of Wüstenrot Bank, met in early December and talked with dpa, Germany’s largest news agency. The subject was the digitization strategy of W&W and the joint venture recently founded by etventure and W&W, which is called W&W Digital GmbH. The interview has since been taken up by a number of regional and national media.
In the article, author Annika Grah describes how Wüstenrot & Württembergische, with the help of etventure, is developing a digitization strategy that systematically modernizes the business model and makes it fit for the future. In November, etventure and W&W deepened their cooperation by founding the company W&W Digital GmbH. The first joint online business model has already been launched. It takes the form of a service called Wüstenrot Wunschmieter, and it aims to put tenants into contact with prospective landlords [Wunschmieter means “ideal tenant”]. Three similar prototypes will be published by the spring of 2016.
Online services like Wunschmieter reach new, younger target audiences, says Rüdiger Maroldt. “We have to think like the customer and think about where the customer is going […]. In the past, the whole financial services sector developed products and then sold them to customers. Now, it’s the other way around.” The prototype Wunschmieter app, for example, was developed with customers.
“It’s important to us to develop products that are focused on the user 100 percent”
“At the beginning, the prototypes might not look great and just have the most basic features, but right from the beginning, they immediately give an idea of the possible success of a business model,” says Philipp Depiereux. He adds: “The customer doesn’t necessarily want something revolutionary all the time. For instance, we tested the idea of a flexible pension scheme, and the customer response showed that, at least at this time, that isn’t well received enough as a digital business model. It’s important to us to develop products that are focused on the user 100 percent. That means products and services that fit the customer’s situation in life perfectly and eliminate a specific, existing problem to the greatest extent possible. In certain cases, this could very well be a new channel of communication to the customer, for example.”
The digital transformation is also associated with a cultural transformation at companies,” says Rüdiger Maroldt. “This aspect of playfulness is something very different. We see that in the people returning from the joint startup.” Both men agree that there is no other choice but to focus on digital technologies. The true danger, according to Depiereux, comes not from competitors but from large digital brands or fintechs.