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Keurig's Journey into Connected Appliances

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Keurig's Journey into Connected Appliances

Rachael Schwartz, General Manager and Senior Director Innovation,
Keurig Green Mountain
Schwartz began with two main points:
1. You need a culture of innovation to successfully drive innovation within
a company.
2. Innovation is built upon consumer-led pain points and trends.

A brief history: Keurig was founded in 1990 by three MIT professors
who thought there was a better way to make coffee. We miniaturized the process
and made it more simple, personalized, and fast. Convenience is the hallmark of
our brand. What we also discovered is that spouses may like their own flavors,
so personalization is key to our equity.
Keurig has more than 500 varieties from 75 brands, so our business is
as much about these brand relationships as much as the machines that make the
beverages themselves.
Schwartz shared a map of all of the consumer pain points, which the company sees as
opportunities for innovation. This journey map helped find the needs in the
market.
At the same time, smart appliance trends point the way to solving
these consumer pain points. The company then mapped benefits of concepts to
consumer pain points. This mapping exercise help set priorities for developing
prototypes. The company developed a promise: The best Keurig Experience ever,
and then tested the concept.
Then, the company did market research. IOT early adopters craved
smarter coffee appliances'and were upset the company hadn't already developed
such items.
But those who desire an ideal coffee experience wanted these types of
machines'many suburban moms and white-collar workers. 'From these sessions, we
began to more deeply understand consumer brew behavior.' From the research,
personas were developed that explored purchase versus consumption data.
Relationships with consumers allow the company to better target  consumers that actually build relationships:
smarter recommendations and automatic reordering, for example.
Three takeaways:
1.   
Good innovations fall at the intersection of
brand, trends and technology, and consumer pain points
2.   
Build from consumers' insights and pain points
3.   
Create a culture that leans into disruption
Q: How simple can you make the set up for connected products?
A: That is the key question'the set up is a barrier. We are trying to
make it as simple as possible.
Q: How much does culture play into your analysis of this process?
A: For consumers, our tribe is those who value convenience.
Michael Graber is the managing partner of the
Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic growth firm based in
Memphis, TN and the author of Going
Electric.
Visit
www.southerngrowthstudio.com to learn more.

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