CASE: How can Standaard Boekhandel transition from a textbook distributor to a partner for digital learning?

At the request of Standaard Boekhandel, we investigated the market for digital course materials and virtual learning platforms. Standaard Boekhandel is one of the major distributors of course syllabuses for colleges. Their current business model for this particular area is a one-stop-shop model, wherein they produce custom content for colleges and distribute it to students at campus shops, with the option for home delivery.

Reasons abound for the need to radically rethink the production, organization and use of educational materials: globalization, the sharing economy, the need for affordable content, the short life-cycle of information, interactivity, distance learning, and high educational costs. Moreover, it is essential that today’s technology enables a new way of collaboration between educators and students, transforming the sharing and usage of educational content.

We examined the offerings on the current and international educational markets, combining business model analysis with a careful eye to trends and features. We listened to the main stakeholders in Flanders, decision makers in colleges, teachers, and students to understand their needs, habits, motivations and expectations. Finally, we supplemented these insights with expert interviews, sourcing knowledge from industry players, academics, and practitioners.

Supported by these findings, we are developing potential business models which will transform Standaard Boekhandel into a leading partner for digital learning for students and colleges.

How do we proceed? We believe in evidence as a fundamental pillar of our strategic offering, and will therefore propose a limited number of business models which we believe are most optimal for Standaard Boekhandel. The preferred models will be further examined, discussed, and developed with the objective of arriving at an MVP.

Interested in our approach or want to see how we can help you with insights and in finding the right new business model? Please contact us at or the contact form on our contact page.