Competition winner: Lytt: Determining a Go-to-Market Strategy

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Who – the protagonists

Lara von Petersdorff-Campen and Marvin Homburg, co-founders of digital assistant start-up, Lytt (now known as Evermood).

What?

Lytt, a Norwegian expression meaning “to be heard”, was a digital assistant that helped employees communicate difficult topics safely and anonymously. The start-up’s vision was that every employee should be able to speak up about bullying and misconduct at work without fear of retaliation or disadvantage. Therefore, through their online platform, Lytt helped companies to understand their working climate and sustainably promote employee satisfaction.

keyboard toxic

Why?

Lytt was born when Homburg was compiling whistleblowing policies during a consulting internship at a large firm. He realised that many employees were unaware of such policies and found speaking up against bullying behaviour and misconduct was difficult. Indeed, incidences of harassment or bullying at work were recorded as 17.4% in Germany and even higher in other EU countries. Lytt could not only help firms to strive for a better work culture but could save companies money in handling such situations.

In August 2020, von Petersdorff-Campen and Homburg were considering a venture capital investment of €1.1 million which would offer Lytt new opportunities. They were, however, still in the process of developing the right go-to-market strategy. They had initially targeted the manufacturing, hospitality and retail industries as these experienced the most significant problems, but they needed to reconsider this in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. They also questioned how best to market the service, whether they should approach the decision makers directly or indirectly via encouraging employees to promote their services. Now that Lytt had secured investment, these decisions were critical and needed to be made imminently.

Where?

Lytt had recently moved to new premises in Berlin, Germany’s start-up capital.

When?

The case is set in August 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Lytt was founded a year earlier in 2019.

Key quote

Lara von Petersdorff Campen
“It’s hard to speak up. Even though I was infuriated, I felt discouraged to openly say something. An anonymous reporting platform definitely would have empowered me.”
Lara von Petersdorff-Campen, co-founder, Lytt.

What next?

Von Petersdorff-Campen and Homburg viewed the €1.1 million VC investment as essential for financing Lytt and providing new opportunities in developing and implementing a go-to-market strategy. But it also presented them with challenges. They had, thus far, operated their business independently, with a clear mission and focus and they hoped that involving an investor would not hinder Lytt’s long-term goals in the pressure to reach profitability.

AUTHOR PERSPECTIVE 

This is the first award win for Kai and Simon and the University of Münster.

Winning the award

The authors said: “Winning this competition is both totally surprising and overwhelming for us. A few years ago, we were both students at case study competitions and subsequently coached student teams. Later on we started writing case studies for our own competition in Münster. However, we had hardly any experience beyond this case which we wrote according to our best knowledge and conscience.”

Case popularity

They reflected: “Firstly, the case is about a very relevant and recent topic that is important for all businesses. Furthermore, we tried to include the challenges for the founders had arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And lastly, we tried to write the case in a very engaging way, so the readers really got a feeling for the founders’ situation. We believe these could have been some of the reasons why the judges liked our case.”

Writing the case

The authors commented: “We already had a finished case at the beginning of 2019. Over the course of 2020, however, we felt more and more strongly that it would be worthwhile to include the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on a young start-up. Our biggest challenge was then to classify the COVID-19 crisis appropriately at the time when the level of knowledge was lower than today.

“One highlight was the close exchange with the two founders of Lytt. Both used to be students of Kai's who participated in several case competitions together with Simon. Because of the shared past, we were able to understand very well what was going on in the founders' minds - and they in turn were able to understand very well what information was relevant for our case study.”

Case writing advice

They continued: “When writing the case, we tried to put ourselves in the shoes of the future case solvers. We knew what kind of information we wanted to convey and tried to package it in a way that made the case fun and interesting to read and really makes you want to work on the case problem.” 

footsteps beach sand

Teaching the case

The authors explained: “When we taught the case, we were twice able to motivate the two founders of Lytt to act as judges to evaluate the students' performance. For the students, we noticed how much added value and recognition it brought them to present in front of the real business owners.”

Final word

They concluded: “If you are interested in cases and like solving them, we can only encourage you to make the first step and try writing one of your own. It is a really interesting and fun process, and you can really learn a lot.”

Judges VIEWPOINT 

The competition was judged by Bettina Bastian, Royal University for Women; Steven Sweldens, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University; Vanina Farber, International Institute for Management Development (IMD) and Vicky Lester, The Case Centre.

Judges 2023

"This is an interesting, well-written case on the interface between marketing and entrepreneurship, situated in the timely context of MeToo/harassment/workplace culture issues."

“The case presents interesting go-to-market questions and avenues to debate them. Some questions in particular contain several interesting angles that are not immediately obvious and could lead to rich student learnings."

“The case protagonists and their situation are easily relatable to students, and this should allow them to quickly and easily immerse themselves in the case. The questions asked in the case are open-ended and could lead to a variety of interesting classroom discussions.

“The learning objectives in the teaching note are covered very comprehensively and there is no doubt that students will learn a lot from this case and probably enjoy doing so too!” 

THE CASE 

The case

Who – the protagonists

Lara von Petersdorff-Campen and Marvin Homburg, co-founders of digital assistant start-up, Lytt (now known as Evermood).

What?

Lytt, a Norwegian expression meaning “to be heard”, was a digital assistant that helped employees communicate difficult topics safely and anonymously. The start-up’s vision was that every employee should be able to speak up about bullying and misconduct at work without fear of retaliation or disadvantage. Therefore, through their online platform, Lytt helped companies to understand their working climate and sustainably promote employee satisfaction.

keyboard toxic

Why?

Lytt was born when Homburg was compiling whistleblowing policies during a consulting internship at a large firm. He realised that many employees were unaware of such policies and found speaking up against bullying behaviour and misconduct was difficult. Indeed, incidences of harassment or bullying at work were recorded as 17.4% in Germany and even higher in other EU countries. Lytt could not only help firms to strive for a better work culture but could save companies money in handling such situations.

In August 2020, von Petersdorff-Campen and Homburg were considering a venture capital investment of €1.1 million which would offer Lytt new opportunities. They were, however, still in the process of developing the right go-to-market strategy. They had initially targeted the manufacturing, hospitality and retail industries as these experienced the most significant problems, but they needed to reconsider this in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. They also questioned how best to market the service, whether they should approach the decision makers directly or indirectly via encouraging employees to promote their services. Now that Lytt had secured investment, these decisions were critical and needed to be made imminently.

Where?

Lytt had recently moved to new premises in Berlin, Germany’s start-up capital.

When?

The case is set in August 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Lytt was founded a year earlier in 2019.

Key quote

Lara von Petersdorff Campen
“It’s hard to speak up. Even though I was infuriated, I felt discouraged to openly say something. An anonymous reporting platform definitely would have empowered me.”
Lara von Petersdorff-Campen, co-founder, Lytt.

What next?

Von Petersdorff-Campen and Homburg viewed the €1.1 million VC investment as essential for financing Lytt and providing new opportunities in developing and implementing a go-to-market strategy. But it also presented them with challenges. They had, thus far, operated their business independently, with a clear mission and focus and they hoped that involving an investor would not hinder Lytt’s long-term goals in the pressure to reach profitability.

AUTHOR PERSPECTIVE 

Author perspective

This is the first award win for Kai and Simon and the University of Münster.

Winning the award

The authors said: “Winning this competition is both totally surprising and overwhelming for us. A few years ago, we were both students at case study competitions and subsequently coached student teams. Later on we started writing case studies for our own competition in Münster. However, we had hardly any experience beyond this case which we wrote according to our best knowledge and conscience.”

Case popularity

They reflected: “Firstly, the case is about a very relevant and recent topic that is important for all businesses. Furthermore, we tried to include the challenges for the founders had arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And lastly, we tried to write the case in a very engaging way, so the readers really got a feeling for the founders’ situation. We believe these could have been some of the reasons why the judges liked our case.”

Writing the case

The authors commented: “We already had a finished case at the beginning of 2019. Over the course of 2020, however, we felt more and more strongly that it would be worthwhile to include the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on a young start-up. Our biggest challenge was then to classify the COVID-19 crisis appropriately at the time when the level of knowledge was lower than today.

“One highlight was the close exchange with the two founders of Lytt. Both used to be students of Kai's who participated in several case competitions together with Simon. Because of the shared past, we were able to understand very well what was going on in the founders' minds - and they in turn were able to understand very well what information was relevant for our case study.”

Case writing advice

They continued: “When writing the case, we tried to put ourselves in the shoes of the future case solvers. We knew what kind of information we wanted to convey and tried to package it in a way that made the case fun and interesting to read and really makes you want to work on the case problem.” 

footsteps beach sand

Teaching the case

The authors explained: “When we taught the case, we were twice able to motivate the two founders of Lytt to act as judges to evaluate the students' performance. For the students, we noticed how much added value and recognition it brought them to present in front of the real business owners.”

Final word

They concluded: “If you are interested in cases and like solving them, we can only encourage you to make the first step and try writing one of your own. It is a really interesting and fun process, and you can really learn a lot.”

Judges VIEWPOINT 

Judges viewpoint

The competition was judged by Bettina Bastian, Royal University for Women; Steven Sweldens, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University; Vanina Farber, International Institute for Management Development (IMD) and Vicky Lester, The Case Centre.

Judges 2023

"This is an interesting, well-written case on the interface between marketing and entrepreneurship, situated in the timely context of MeToo/harassment/workplace culture issues."

“The case presents interesting go-to-market questions and avenues to debate them. Some questions in particular contain several interesting angles that are not immediately obvious and could lead to rich student learnings."

“The case protagonists and their situation are easily relatable to students, and this should allow them to quickly and easily immerse themselves in the case. The questions asked in the case are open-ended and could lead to a variety of interesting classroom discussions.

“The learning objectives in the teaching note are covered very comprehensively and there is no doubt that students will learn a lot from this case and probably enjoy doing so too!” 

THE CASE 

The authors

Simon was a student at the University of Münster when the case was written.

The protagonists

Marvin Homburg
Co-founder
Lytt
Read the case

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TEACHING NOTE - Reference no. W24917
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