Case study: How to know what customer will want

Last year our partner from Poland received a request from their client, one of the major utility companies in Poland. This company serves millions of households and companies with energy and accompanying products. They needed help in launching a new website and planned to conduct a traditional market research in order to analyze what customers are looking for, so they know how to design it.

Instead of a traditional approach that focuses on what people want today, we offered to look into the future of Customers’ needs and wants, which is possible thanks predictive capabilities of the General Theory of Innovation (GTI) This led into a redefined project objective which became to understand how individual households will be using and purchasing energy in the future. This way the company could be able to adapt their own products, sales strategy and channels and thus fulfill their ambition of becoming the leader of innovation in their sector.

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We analyzed the entire sector: how energy is and will be used, and also how it will be produced, distributed, and marketed so we can see what resources a household will be choosing. In the beginning, the team has created a model of the analyzed situation. It gave us an amazing insight into energy customers’ behaviours, energy production and sales process, which allowed the team to identify unique and meaningful problems. Then, by applying special GTI problem-solving techniques, we created more than 500 solution concepts. They were grouped around the strategy, business model and operational improvements, new products and IT systems, etc.

Some of the results were in line with ideas the customer had before the engagement but the majority were new. They formed a long-term business and sales strategies that take into consideration the emergence of prosumption and green energy, informatization trends like IoT, mobility, social media and so on. Understanding of these trends led to the creation of strategic scenarios that provided specific recommendations on what and how has to be changed to use these changes to the benefit of the company.

Another important outcome was a newly formed portfolio of product concepts and recommendations to the R&D department and patent attorneys that can be a stand-alone source of revenue. This was especially important for the client because that the margins on energy and its products are very low. Finally, the team came up with the idea of the groundbreaking IT platform with a number of applications that has the potential to disrupt the current business paradigms and revolutionize the energy market.

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It was an amazing journey. We worked closely with the client as one team. That includes teaching the customer’s team GTI techniques so they can now use them. This project once again proved that GTI tools can design competitive advantage, new innovative products literally on demand, even within the complex environment and across industries. However, our services can also be used smaller entities: we offer a wide range of workshops, webinars and tailored trainings that can help organisations any size to beat the competition and solve difficult business challenges.

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He is the Head of Business Development and Marketing at Invinsys, a GTI Innovation consultant and trainer and a Co-author of the Guide to the General Theory of Innovation. He led departments of corporate communications, worked as a Spokesman, a Project Manager and a Business Analyst in various sectors: IT, non-governmental organizations, architecture. He has passion for solving complex challenges .

    One Comment

  1. What a plersuae to find someone who thinks through the issues

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