Zero-Party Data: the Revolution is On with Kevin Legavre
This is no brainer: data is the new oil. While consumers are the originators of this gold mine, most are unaware of its value, and are not rewarded for sharing it. Even worse, this data is often collected in a highly opaque manner. For this reason, Kevin Legavre, a seasoned professional with over a decade of experience in Retail, Tech, and Data, ambitions to revolutionize the digital landscape with a groundbreaking venture. He wants to push for the Zero-Party Data revolution and change the rules.
To put the odds in his favor and initiate this revolution, Kevin joined the HEC Paris 'Scaling for Success' program, a 4-day executive short program complementing the online Executive Master in Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Let’s dive into his product, and journey at HEC Paris aimed to bring a transformative shift in how data is perceived, shared, and valued.
Redefining consumer data collection and empowering users through the Zero-Party Data revolution
Kevin's journey, shaped by consultancy roles at Nielsen for major companies such as Pernod-Ricard, Nestlé, Barilla or Reckitt-Benckiser provided him with a deep understanding of consumer and retailer data. Transitioning to adtech in 2020 and subsequently joining LiveRamp, he identified a critical gap –the lack of a solution that collects and integrates different types of consumer data to cover multiple marketing purposes from insights to activation. With the app he is set to launch, Kevin aims to empower consumers to intentionally share data through an app, ushering in an era of transparency and fair rewards.
“With my associates, we want to give consumers back a substantial role by allowing them, through an app, to create any kind of consented data for which they will be rewarded,” he explains.
Indeed, Zero-Party Data entails consumers willingly and proactively sharing data with companies. “I believe that by putting consumers in control and providing fair rewards, my venture can reshape the dynamics of data collection, especially in the face of impending disruptions like the third-party cookie depreciation.”
What sets Kevin's venture apart is its holistic approach. While several companies offer solutions through surveys, panelists, or retail media, none integrate these into a single customer-centric platform. Since his venture’s model focuses on Zero-Party data collection, this not only positions consumers as active contributors but also mitigates dependence on negotiations with retailers and data silos.
Getting equipped to successfully launch and scale up a business
To fully understand the startup game and mindset, Kevin decided to join the 'Scaling for Success' program at HEC Paris. “The course provided a comprehensive exploration of topics crucial for scaling efficiently and securing funding,” he affirmed. Insights on innovation accounting, consumer-centricity, HR orientation, and governance establishment also offered a solid foundation for his startup journey and the scale-up phase.
For Kevin, the highlight of the program, but also the most challenging exercise, was by far the Pitching contest.
“Though I am familiar with speaking in corporate settings, the pressure of condensing a complex idea into a three-minute pitch was harder than I had imagined.”
Amidst considerable stress, this pitching experience underscored the undeniable necessity of thorough preparation for a successful pitch. The pitch session, however, proved to be a valuable learning opportunity, emphasizing the importance of clarity and detailed preparation. The exercise was a great opportunity to put into practice the valuable tips on how to master the art of pitching taught by Mridula Palat-Becker during the program.
In addition, Kevin stated that the constructive feedback from the jury, made of Venture Capitalists, not only highlighted his pitch’s weaknesses and optimizations needed but also reinforced the promise of his venture. “Pitching for the very first time taught me two things: first, you need to be sure of everything in the slightest detail. And second, you need to practice a lot before even thinking of pitching in front of VCs.” The clarity with which Kevin explained the challenges in the digital data landscape made his pitch stand out, resonating with the VCs.
Nail it before you scale it!
One of the biggest lessons Kevin has learned from both the program and pitching session is the conviction that, in the innovation and entrepreneurship world, the motto “Fake it until you make it” doesn’t apply. “Nail it before you scale it” works better, according to him.
He also shared key takeaways from his learning experience at HEC Paris:
- The importance of balancing vision, strategy, and execution;
- The necessity to focus exclusively on one beachhead segment to cross the chasm;
- The strategic importance of playing the exit-reverse game.
Additionally, he emphasized the value of derisking business models through experiments and underscored the pivotal role of governance in young startups. “The program exceeded my expectations! The fascinating range of topics covered by the passionate professors and experts will help me change assumptions I may have had before, save me time and energy, and most importantly avoid premature scaling throughout my entrepreneurial journey,” Kevin concluded.
What the future holds for Kevin’s venture will be known soon… Kevin feels confident his team will undoubtedly leverage the insights gained from the 'Scaling for Success' program to navigate the challenges of launching and scaling a startup successfully.