Case Study: Accelerating Market Growth at an Electronics Brand

How might we define a “North Star” vision for growth and accelerate new product development based on the strategic direction?

A series of multi-colored charging cords laid out like a bar chart, progressively growing from left to right
At A Glance:

CLIENT:
A consumer electronics brand

TIMELINE:
3 x 8 week phases

PROJECT TYPE:
Strategy and Innovation Project

DECISION MAKER:
Chief Executive Officer

Working with The Design Gym was an incredible experience. The team helped us to quickly examine our market, gather insights, brainstorm, and create substantial ideas for our product roadmap. We look forward to working with them again in the future to help grow our business!”

Product Manager

The Challenge:

Rather than risk stagnation within its current market categories, a consumer electronics brand wanted to be proactive in defining a path for growth. In addition, the company desired to become more customer- and market-centric in their product development over their historically technology-forward approach. So, they reached out to The Design Gym to help them develop a growth strategy and accelerate consumer insight-based product development.

The Solution:

Phase 1: Align on the Growth Strategy

Discovery

To understand the current state of the business and the desired growth scenarios, we led 1:1 interviews with all Leadership Team members and selected Board Members. In order to deliver strategic recommendations that took into account perspectives from all areas of the company, we also led co-creation workshops with the Product, Sales/Marketing, and Engineering teams. As a bonus, this cross-organizational engagement helped to lay the change management foundation for the future strategy.

Design + Delivery

To craft the growth strategy, we collaborated directly with the Senior Leadership Team during both virtual working sessions and an in-person visioning workshop. The final strategy documentation included a new brand mission statement, competitive landscape assessment,  illustrative futures highlighting new markets, and an action roadmap for both short and long term planning. The strategy has created alignment with the Board and excitement within the team as the growth brand seeks to gain market share and reposition itself amongst its competitors. 

Phase 2: Product Design Sprints to Activate the Growth Strategy 

Discovery + Design

Once the Board approved the strategic direction, we set to work enacting the roadmap. Working closely with internal product managers, we crafted product design briefs around two of the priority growth markets identified in the growth strategy. Then, we planned eight-week design sprints for each brief. Since this rapid, cross-functional, and customer-centric way of working was a notable departure from the brand’s previous technology-driven approach, we deliberately designed a learn-by-doing sprint structure that demonstrated what “good” looked like before empowering the team to move the work forward themselves. 

Delivery

During the first few weeks of each sprint, we guided teams through conducting interviews with customers, researching trends in the relevant market, and sourcing inspiration. From there, we synthesized insights and identified opportunities within each market where the brand might play—and win. We then brought cross-functional teammates together in-person for two days to generate product ideas and build low-fidelity prototypes. 

To close each sprint, we worked with decision makers to prioritize concepts to bring to market based on their potential growth impact. We also worked directly with product managers to create their product roadmaps and define critical assumptions to be tested with experiments and high fidelity prototypes.

The Results

  • 1 Growth Strategy “North Star” Vision to unite leaders, Board members, and employees around the brand’s strategy, positioning, and priorities
  • Sprint #1:
    • 12 prioritized consumer insights across two market segments, which informed 360+ product ideas
    • 7 consumer product concepts, each with an experiment plan to identify and test critical assumptions to bring the concepts to market
  • Sprint #2
    • 8 business customer insights, which informed 310+ product ideas
    • 3 market-specific solution concepts added to the roadmap for testing and development in the following year
  • 15 cross-functional team members engaged in product design sprints, learning along the way and owning the outcomes
An illustrative mock-up of a market growth strategy: A two-by-two grid with "B2C" and "B2B" on the vertical  axis and "Single Product" and "Solution Selling" on the horizontal axis. There's an X indicating "Today" in the B2B + Single Product quadrant with a dotted line to an X indicating "short-term growth" in the B2C + Single Product quadrant, and from there, a dotted line to an X indicating "long-term growth" in the B2C + Solution Selling quadrant.
The growth strategy included a scan of the competitive market landscape that helped inform the brand’s growth trajectory. Similar to this illustrative mock-up, it mapped out the brand’s current state, it’s short-term opportunities, and it’s long-term aspirations for growth.
Spark your interest?
The Design Gym
[email protected]

The Design Gym is a strategy and innovation consultancy helping leaders to grow their business by fully unlocking the power of their most important advantage: their people. We work at the intersection of business strategy, experience design, and change management to engage the people that matter most to your work: your customers, your leaders, and your employees. See something that resonates with a project or challenge you're working on? Shoot us a note at [email protected].

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