At the request of Standaard Boekhandel, we investigated the market for digital course materials and virtual learning platforms. Standaard Boekhandel is one of the major distributors of course syllabuses for colleges. Their current business model (with respect to course syllabuses) is a one-stop-shop model. They produce custom content for colleges and distribute it to students at campus shops, with the option for home delivery.

    There are a multitude of reasons for the need to radically rethink the production, organization and use of educational materials. This includes, but is not limited to, the rise of the sharing economy, the short life cycle of information, and high educational costs. Moreover, it is essential that today’s technologies enable a new way of collaboration between educators and students, transforming the sharing and usage of educational content.

    The specific challenges:

    The identification of startups, technologies, and business models that have the potential to disrupt the existing textbook market.
    Understanding the needs and frustrations of teachers and students, and exploring innovation solutions.
    Developing a selection of viable innovation projects for Standaard Boekhandel.

    Our solutions:

    We began with a report on the offerings on the current and international educational markets, combining business model analysis with a careful eye to trends and features.
    Through a focus group and a series of interviews, we collected input from decision-makers in colleges, teachers, and students to understand their needs, habits, motivations and expectations.
    Finally, we supplemented these insights with expert interviews, sourcing knowledge from industry players, academics, and practitioners.

    Next steps for this project

    Supported by these findings we are developing potential business models, which can help transform Standaard Boekhandel into a leading partner for digital learning for students and colleges.

    Our people

    Etienne Goffin

    Senior Economist

    Etienne is Senior Economist at Needle Strategy. He combines his experience in economics…

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