Defining Opportunities in an Emerging Market

CASE STUDY

How might we own integration within the emerging fragmented Smart Home ecosystem?
 
Our customer is an invisible powerhouse that connects people, places and experiences in an increasingly digital world. Eager to leverage their existing footprint in users’ living rooms, our customer sought help from MO Studio to identify opportunity spaces within the Smart Home – beyond what Google and Amazon already offer. The project would include testing existing hypotheses, discovering unmet needs, and defining a value proposition that would resonate with customers across the adoption curve.
 
Employing a user-centered approach to define market opportunities, the MO Studio team conducted ethnographic research in a range of households at different levels of smart technology adoption and savviness. Research participants included homeowners, renters, landlords, children, and the elderly.
The team discovered that despite the increasing proliferation and accessibility of smart devices, there were still abundant barriers preventing average users from optimizing the power of smart technology. Combining user insights and insights gathered from marketplace and social trends (and business and technology experts), MO Studio developed a strategic vision that leveraged our customer’s existing capabilities and assets. The framework articulated a cohesive blueprint for integrated services, devices and content throughout the customer journey and user relationship to the technology.
 
The project was instrumental in shifting the original hypothesis from owning the living room, to realizing a broader, less crowded and ownable opportunity space where consumers had an abundance of unmet needs. Highlighting the consumer needs (versus leading with technology alone) enabled internal stakeholders to see the potential market impact, the value it offers to people’s experience with the brand, and ultimately how it could strengthen our customer’s relationship with customers to be more than just a commoditized utility provider. The strategic vision also provided senior stakeholders a tool to align internally and make better decisions on the right partnerships to fulfill the vision.
 
“I want to be able to tell my house that I want to have a baby or that I want to create a garden and I want it to just tell me how and when to do it. I don’t want to have to think about it or spend energy on my own.”
– User Research Participant / Extreme User