Why Accenture Interactive Is Acquiring Design and Innovation Firm INSITUM

By Noah Long ● August 19, 2019
  • Accenture recently announced it is acquiring INSITUM, a design and strategic research firm focused on innovation through a human-centered approach.

Accenture recently announced it entered an agreement to buy INSITUM, a design and strategic research firm focused on innovation through a human-centered approach. This acquisition will strengthen Accenture Interactive’s position as a leading Experience Agency in the region by expanding the world-class services of its design and innovation unit (Fjord) in Latin America and beyond.

By combining Fjord and INSITUM, it will create leading design and innovation capabilities to bolster Accenture Interactive’s ability to design, build and run experiences that transform businesses and improve people’s lives. And the move will expand Accenture Interactive’s presence in the rapidly growing Latin American market, especially in Mexico where INSITUM is headquartered. Plus it will give Fjord a footprint in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru while strengthening its existing operations in Brazil by adding strong talent and forward-thinking capabilities to accelerate the value it drives for clients.

“Having INSITUM join the Accenture Interactive family in Latin America represents an exciting new chapter in our journey to be the leading Experience Agency in the region,” said Eduardo Bicudo, the Latam lead at Accenture Interactive. “With INSITUM, we will boost Accenture Interactive’s reach in the region and improve our Fjord design capability, which is a crucial component of our mission to deliver the best, most meaningful experiences to people. We’re thrilled about the possibilities of what we can achieve together.”

Over the last 16 years, INSITUM has been solving key innovation challenges for multinational organizations by combining design thinking methods with behavioral science, ethnographic research, and business strategy. And as a leading global strategic innovation consultancy, INSITUM has an extensive track record helping large organizations implement user-centered innovation capabilities, envision new products and services, design more relevant experiences, and understand human behavior and trends affecting organizations.

“Today’s problems can no longer be solved with yesterday’s solutions,” added Baiju Shah, the chief strategy officer at Accenture Interactive and global co-lead at Fjord. “To tackle these challenges, clients must be agile and focus on blending a human-centered design approach with an analytics-led strategy to keep ahead of the unprecedented pace of change and ambiguity we live in. By adding the INSITUM team to the family, we will continue to grow our mission in Latin America by putting design at the heart of innovation.”

Launched in 2003, INSITUM has more than 200 designers, researchers, and strategists across Latin America, Europe, and the U.S. with headquarters in Mexico City and additional studios in Barcelona, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Lima, and São Paulo. And its multidisciplinary teams include thought leaders in research, strategy, and design who create positive impact for people and organizations, including Bancolombia, BBVA, CEMEX, Grupo Bimbo, Roche, and Uber. Plus INSITUM also maintains a network of trusted partners in other parts of the world, giving it the ability to service clients in Africa, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East.

“We are convinced that design is a key ingredient of innovation and a powerful tool to make the world a better place — truly successful companies know how to incorporate design thinking in everything they do. Being part of Accenture Interactive will allow us to integrate our strategic innovation expertise with new technologies and capabilities in order to amplify the value we deliver to our clients,” explained INSITUM partner and CEO Luis Arnal.

The agreement with INSITUM is a part of a series of actions that Accenture Interactive has taken to strengthen its commitment to Latin America such as the acquisitions of Brazil-based marketing agencies AD.Dialeto and New Content. And other global acquisitions have added to Accenture Interactive’s footprint in the region such as the recent addition of Spanish advertising agency Shackleton — which brought a presence in Chile. And in addition, organic growth has been driven by increased demand from pan-regional clients in Latin America who require local flavor and regional scale when it comes to communications and creativity.

This news follows other strategic moves for Fjord, including the addition of industrial design capabilities that strengthened its ability to bring to life products and services for the connected world. And under Accenture Interactive, Fjord’s footprint has quadrupled with 28 design studios globally.