Don't adapt, shape! Use the crisis to shape your minimum viable system - And the wider market

Suvi Nenonen, Kaj Storbacka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


In addition to being resilient and adaptive, firms should also utilize shocks such as COVID-19 to generate new business opportunities. Two processes make markets and other economic systems more malleable during times of crises: (1) as the stasis of the market system is interrupted, it forces the system “into movement” - and it requires less effort to nudge an already moving system in a specific direction; and (2) as deeply-rooted mental models are challenged during crises, any market-shaping initiative which promises a credible end to current instability with a new equilibrium will appeal to the natural human craving for stability. This malleability, in turn, creates multiple opportunities for firms to shape their markets and hence drive the market's development in favorable directions. We outline a generic process of market-shaping, comprising eight steps: (1) determining whether to act now or actively wait, (2) deciding whether to be a shaper or a supporter, (3) developing a scalable vision for the future market, (4) recognizing the minimum viable system linked to this vision, (5) driving changes in market-level properties, (6) securing that value is quantified and shared, (7) inviting actor engagement for implementation, and (8) defending against possible retaliations from threatened market systems.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalIndustrial Marketing Management
Pages (from-to)265-271
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 02.07.2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Market shaping
  • Shaping strategies
  • Market systems
  • Crisis
  • Timing
  • Minimum viable system

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Competition economics and service strategy - Service and customer-oriented management


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