European energy giant RWE established its Innovation Hub in 2015 to seek out new product opportunities adjacent to an increasingly commoditised energy market. We mentored the group tasked with identifying direct-to-consumer digital services, framing market opportunities and building a business case for two compellingly disruptive propositions.
The Innovation Hub at RWE (now Innogy) wanted to achieve two objectives in parallel:
First, to identify opportunities to disrupt its existing consumer retail business in the face of increased competition in its core markets (Germany, the Netherlands and the UK) and declining margins
Second: equip employees with the design thinking and product innovation skills that would enable them to continue to develop innovative new products, maintain focus and make good investment decisions.
Over a period of 5 weeks we combined ethnographic and quantitative consumer research with a detailed analysis of the consumer energy market to help RWE identify opportunities for disruption. We then iteratively developed two product concepts in response to further detailed consumer insight work. This work was carried out as part of a combined Made by Many and RWE team, with participants from two markets (Germany and the Netherlands) receiving training from Made by Many in customer research and visual communication and ideation skills throughout the project.
We facilitated a large-scale workshop for senior leaders, including the CEO and other board members, to select one of these to be taken forward for future development; we built an interactive prototype of the successful proposition as an internal communications tool.
We then worked with the product team to help transition to an implementation phase where they would take on the product and deliver it to market. Together, the combined team delivered a viable business plan and a market-validated prototype for the new proposition, which went forward to a pilot for delivery by a small start-up team.