Accenture acquires innovation firm to boost incubation offer

What If styles itself as ?What If!

Accenture has added innovation business What If to its ever-growing list of acquisitions to offer clients an incubation service, boosting the consultancy’s ability to capitalize on the in-housing trend.

What If, which sold for an undisclosed sum, boasts an iterative testing model that allows companies to incubate new products, services, business models and organizational structures within the bounds of structured experimentation.

Notably, the company has developed a number of programs to train individuals and organizations on the art of building an innovation culture as a ‘trusted C-suite advisor’, according to a press release from Accenture. This piece will see What If play into the hands of the growing number of brands looking to in-house innovation practices and thus compete with the likes of Oliver.

It will also bolster Accenture’s business transformation offering at a time when advertising holding companies, such as Publicis Group and IPG, are investing in teams to compete in the space.

What If will also continue to build products for brands externally across a wide variety of sectors. It has previously worked with the likes of KFC, BP and Ikea across offices in London, New York and Shanghai.

The deal has been signed under the wider Accenture company rather than brand experience arm, Accenture Interactive, which acquired the likes of Adaptly, New Content and Kolle Rebbe in the last six months alone.

What If will continue to serve its existing clients, a company spokesperson told The Drum, but will go on to work with Accenture Consulting, Accenture Digital and its parent company’s ‘broader innovation network’ after induction and orientation.

It will primarily service clients in the UK and North America, with a view to working with other markets in time.

What If will retain its brand under the new moniker ‘What If, part of Accenture’ as of today (4 March).

Dave Allan, co-founder and board member of What If, said: “By joining forces with Accenture, we can industrialize and scale our frameworks and methodologies, offering our existing client base a broad range of technology-related capabilities.

“Together, we’ll be uniquely positioned to enable companies to imagine new futures and turn disruptive ideas into innovative digital solutions that drive business performance.”

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