Creating a winning product for a retail utility
Success Stories | Energy

Creating a winning product for a retail utility

Business Issue

A retail utility had successfully developed new products that met basic market needs and addressed customer pain points, but it needed to identify additional innovation opportunities to drive added revenue in the near and long term. The goals were to:

  • Understand consumers’ energy consumption lifecycle, usage habits and practices.
  • Document consumer experiences to identify touchpoints, moments of truth and pain points.
  • Identify and validate “white space” areas for value-added product innovation and further product development.
  • Isolate key product development opportunities to inform product development areas.

What We Did

Escalent’s world-class qualitative team put our innovation tools to work, leveraging home journaling, ethnography, ideation focus groups and online bulletin boards. Once we had a stable of great ideas, we validated them on a larger scale to further refine the concepts for testing and development. Then we collaborated with our client to complete a cross-functional workshop with internal stakeholders to add detail to the product concepts to be tested. This staged, iterative approach allowed the client to examine and fine-tune concepts along the way to better control outcomes and ensure the work teams and stakeholders felt that they were getting value at every step of the process.


We surfaced several high-level, need-based themes that the client used to develop multiple product concepts, including the winning idea it took to market. Our client extended the engagement to advance a three-phased product development initiative:

  • Phase 1: A collaborative workshop with Escalent and the client team to refine the initial high-level product concepts.
  • Phase 2: Online concept reaction bulletin board discussions to gather concept feedback/suggestions for improvement from consumers.
  • Phase 3: Collaborative discussions with the client to further refine and develop the ideas into product concepts with all of the key elements needed for further quantitative validation (potential price points, enrollment channels/period, key benefits, etc.).

Explore our thinking on Consumer Journey

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