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30 Innovators to Watch 2021

Market-Leading Consulting and Content Experts, Providing the Right Knowledge to Allow Companies and Organisations to Improve their Decision-Making Processes: 20blue

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“We conduct many studies and deliver research papers for all current debates that influence corporate and political strategy.”

20blue, formerly known as NIMIRUM, is an independent research service provider and consulting company, offering a network of interdisciplinary and international experts, who provide independent, informed answers to urgent social debates. The company works with over 200 handpicked specialists in as many as 60 countries. It serves worldwide.

20blue was founded in 2010 and is based in Leipzig / Berlin, Germany.

To highlight and further understand what 20blue stands for and seeks to explore in this segment, I sat down with Anja Mutschler (owner), who founded the company.

Below is an excerpt.

As a journalist, I find 20blue quite striking. From the emotional branding standpoint, it has that appeal. How did you come up with the brand name? And please brief us about the history so far.

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The part ‘20’ in the brand is our symbol for taking a stand and bringing about change. In the 21st century, objectivity, academia, and expertise are under threat. We need change to get our political and economic systems back on track. When fighting for the truth, we must bring together diverse opinions and perspectives, and be methodical in our approach. The 1920s were a time of cosmopolitan open-mindedness. Yet the brutal end to that decade in Germany shows us just how fragile a system can be. 20blue believes in keeping decision-making grounded in facts, not fear.

The part ‘Blue’ reinforces our mission to take a far-sighted view and seek clarity and balance. The colour blue reflects the breadth of our expertise, with its vast array of connotations: the blue economy, blue-chip mindsets, sky, water, clarity, diversity, and unity. Blue is even associated with certain clothes: from the Virgin Mary’s blue mantle to a workman’s overalls. And ‘Blue’ is a nod to our past: I founded 20blue as NIMIRUM more than 10 years ago. As NIMIRUM, we worked with the image of a fish diving into an ocean of knowledge. And blue is also about looking to the future.

Finally, we chose a name that would resonate with our many international clients.

Q. What makes 20blue great? And how do the company-featured insights allow organizations to improve their decision-making processes?

What clients can expect from us is to get unique and adaptable insights with scientific proof in a reasonable time. Why it’s unique? Thanks to our hand-picked expert community, we can ramp up individual expert hubs by inviting scientific advisors and creative consultants who perfectly meet the clients’ needs. How do we deliver scientific proof? Since we are very experienced in moderating interdisciplinary and intercultural teams, we can ensure that each of our experts finds a secure space to contribute his or her knowledge in a way he or she would do in academia. This freedom to think is not something you can expect when you work with clients from the economy or politics. On the other hand, our clients will benefit from scientific expert knowledge without interference. Why adoptable? It’s our core strength to compile the research in the desired depth and length, and to add recommendations for action to help the client resolve a concrete issue.

Q. What can you tell us about your ‘Rent an Expert’ service?

20blue has an Expert Community comprising several hundred experts across different countries, sectors, and disciplines. Through our service ‘Rent an Expert’, their expertise is at our clients’ disposal. No matter whether our clients are looking for industry, academic, or communication experts, or experts in other languages than German or English, 20blue can build tailored, interdisciplinary teams of independent experts and bring the right expert(s) together with our clients. For requests as diverse as support in research, studies and analysis, projects around change and innovation, and even as individual consultants on long-term projects.

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Q. That’s not all 20blue does. What are its other focus areas?

We conduct many studies and deliver research papers for all current debates that influence corporate and political strategy. Amid disruptive challenges – ranging from AI to climate change – we do check proposed change strategies or help to develop them. Also, we’re a partner in creating special content from whitepaper to podcasts for all clients whose products and services are savvy and dedicated to special target groups.

Q. Can you provide us with one or two success stories describing the challenges your clients faced and how your solutions helped them overcome those challenges?

We have been serving a big retailer (food/non-food) for more than five years to check different marketing assets (topics, claims, logos) before they roll them out throughout Europe and North America. We have invented several individual assessment options to make the process smooth and fast. Also, we have been consulting a mobility brand to understand the specifics of the US market in terms of regulation, target groups, and the actual wording they should use to promote their mobility solution (renewable and nothing the market has seen).

Q. From your perspective, how is the industry you serve currently evolving? And what are the trends in the different categories?

We are on the market since 2010 and have witnessed several disruptions in how organizations use external knowledge and independent consultancy to come to a (better) decision. The most interesting phase, we have entered with the Covid-19 pandemic where a lot of decision-makers understood that science is both useful and fast. Today, our clients are explicitly asking for “scientific” advisors who can tell them unbiased “truth”. To offer science-based services has turned into something that C-level management is actually seeking for, because they need steady and sustainable answers that the internet, or the personal expertise of someone you just met, can’t provide. That’s why 20blue is constantly growing.

Q. What plans for transformation are you pursuing to remain relevant now and in the future?

We’re an agile organization so we are always able to react to the market’s needs.

Q. What is your final message to The Silicon Review readers, and to your current and future customers and partners?

20blue is your community for creating change if you really want to know what you need to change.

Anja Mutschler | Founder & Owner

Anja Mutschler is a networker, moderator, skilled writer and combines creativity and analytic strengths. She founded 20blue over 10 years ago (as NIMIRUM) and is the best advocate to promote scientific advisory as a feature-not-to-miss for better decision-making in companies and organizations. Studying political sciences and art history, interdisciplinarity is born in her cradle. Anja is open-minded, curious, and someone people like to listen to. She is also an example of female leadership, a gifted communication expert, and an artsy mind.

“Thanks to our hand-picked expert community, we can ramp up individual expert hubs by inviting scientific advisors and creative consultants who perfectly meet the clients’ needs.”