Kariyon: From an Ephemeral, Solidarity-based Initiative to New Consumer Behaviour Habits

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CASE STUDY. This case describes the launch of a company during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Kariyon: From an Ephemeral, Solidarity-based Initiative to New Consumer Behaviour Habits: Abstract

In March 2020, when Swiss citizens were subjected to semi-confinement measures to protect them from the rapid spread of COVID-19, Oliver Price, a young entrepreneur in the canton of Fribourg, decided to launch a web platform to support local businesses that had been forced to close. The goal of this platform, originally called Support for Fribourg Merchants, was to serve as an intermediary between those businesses and consumers wishing to help them by purchasing vouchers that could be redeemed when normal life resumed. This solidarity-based initiative was a resounding success, and when the semi-confinement mandated by the Swiss government came to an end, the platform professionalized and continued to innovate. But could a spontaneous act of solidarity be transformed into a sustainable local business?

Teaching objectives

By the end of this case, students will

  • Understand basic marketing concepts, such as offers, value, and customer segmentation.
  • Understand how an offer can be launched during a crisis. Here, the crisis is the COVID-19 pandemic, but it could also be studied in the context of other crises such as global warming or armed conflicts such as Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
  • Become familiar with platform business models.
  • Understand how consumer trends can generate business opportunities.
  • Understand the concept of a local, sustainable, solidarity-based economy.

Additional information

Also available in French.

Teachers’ notes are available for university teachers only. Please contact the HEC Montréal Case Centre.

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