The Situation

Grab That Megatrend

It was 2015, and a fixtures company known for making well-designed, high-quality products was seeing a lot of buzz around the “Internet of Things.” The prospect of getting involved in the smart home market for connected products was daunting for this hardware manufacturer, but it seemed like too big an opportunity to ignore. Innovation leadership didn’t even know where to start, so they reached out for help.

There are problems you can solve, and there are problems you should solve.

Activity in the smart home space has focused disproportionately around the former. The result? A glut of amusing but low-value gadgets. Our client didn’t want to fall into that trap. They insisted on market-insight-driven decision-making from the start, and that made all the difference.

The Approach

All About the Value Prop

Early on, we worked closely with our client and their design firm partner to identify a specific product innovation desired by consumers. Then, over the course of product design and development, we repeatedly validated market needs and willingness to pay, gathering critical quantitative insights via:

  • A consumer survey with 1600+ respondents
  • 50+ 1:1 consumer interviews
  • 100+ industry expert interviews
  • Engagement with potential software development partners
  • Pricing analysis and feature optimization

Make the business case for design-driven innovation.

Design thinking shines with when designers and analysts work closely throughout the entire process, weaving together market insight and design thinking. Our process allowed our client to focus on providing the best user experience possible without a last-minute scramble to define the product features and pricing that the market would support.

The Outcome

Taking a Risk Paid Off

After launching a new-to-the-world product category at CES 2017, our client saw a 200% increase in sales over the legacy product. The device served as the basis for a connected product platform off of which multiple innovations could be developed.

Breakdown of fixture buyers

Smart Home

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