Project Description

Project overview

Hi Mum! Said Dad and Good Energy collaborated on a comprehensive 3-step process designed to determine the best approach to Good Energy’s smart proposition. The end product is transformative, inclusive and ethical. It leveraged nascent technologies such as AI & IOT to make ‘smart’ more meaningful, and ultimately empower customers to preserve the world for future generations.

Business Challenge

Legislation usually means complex legal terms and overwhelming anxiety around compliance.

But, how about a world in which legislation is a precursor to innovation? It was this type of contrarian thinking which set the tone for our engagement with Good Energy, a proudly different challenger to the so called ‘Big 6’.

Whilst competitors endeavoured to merely satisfy the smart meter legislation being brought into effect by the UK government, Hi Mum! Said Dad and Good Energy embarked on a journey to redefine smart in 6 months – to go beyond the pound and pence, beyond the mandated plastic hardware units and beyond the lethargic rollout to create an experience befitting of a 21st century energy company.

Solution

Hi Mum! Said Dad and Good Energy collaborated on a comprehensive 3-step process designed to determine the best approach to Good Energy’s smart proposition.

From the outset, we had a number of key principles and values that we wanted to adhere to:

  • Implement smart the ‘Good Energy way’ – that is, transformative, inclusive and ethical
  • Adopt a trailblazer mindset – actively tinker and make nascent technologies such as smart assistants and IoT part of our thinking from Day 1
  • Empower our customers – give people the agency to preserve the world for future generations

The product is scheduled to launch this year and so specific details on the solution cannot be shared at this point. However, the following case study describes the rapid, scientific process taken to arrive at a MVP build in a 6-month timeframe.

Phase 1: Discovery & definition

In order to determine how to make our smart meter proposition meaningful, we started with an extensive consumer and competitor analysis.

Across consumer interviews, large scale surveys and even combing through the likes of Reddit, we gleaned granular behaviour, common complaints as well as attitudes towards smart meters both in the UK and markets further afield such as Japan and the US.

A survey of the competitive landscape allowed us to build a view of interesting technology startups and services surrounding the energy world and the competitor market in the UK.

The US market in particular, where smart meters have existed already for a few years, served as a very important case study for us. Smart meters in the US had been met with apathy – unrealistic expectations of consumer commitment, a lack of meaningful context around energy usage data and a lack of behavioural nudges hampered engagement.

We also gained a feel for potential battlegrounds in the energy market such as personalisation/automation, whilst scrutinising recent M&A activity revealed the strategic intentions of key players in the market.

With this extensive insight, we worked with Good Energy to augment their own consumer research. The result of this was a set of 3 personas that would form the basis for creative thinking in our workshops.

Ideation

Hi Mum! Said Dad and Good Energy ran a series of structured workshops to extract the features and services that we believe will meet our goals and best serve our customers. The workshops were conducted over 2 days and involved experts from across the business, from design and marketing to technology and field technicians. The multi-disciplinary approach ensured that we arrived at practical outcomes that had been considered holistically.

The aim of the workshops was to arrive at 3 concepts that we wanted to take forward to test with both Good Energy customers and non-customers.

Concept 1

Concept 2

Concept Testing

Concept testing is designed to stress test our strategic thinking thus far by articulating our concepts into a form that can be accurately tested with consumers. The testing was completed with archetypal consumers and the results were measured against business goals.

Some of the more interesting insights that came out of testing were that parents desired a means to educate their children about energy as they are often completely disengaged and therefore wasteful whilst other consumers expressed worries about elderly loved ones’ welfare on bitterly cold winter days.

Through these conversations with people from all different walks of life, it quickly became apparent that there is so much more that an energy company could and should be to consumers.

Phase 2: Prototyping and user testing

The successful concept(s) were taken into prototyping / technical proof of concept.

This phase is designed to test whether implementation is intuitive, best in class and robust. Some of the code and designs used to create the prototype were reused in the final product and so building a prototype translated to savings in the final build (as well as ensuring that what was eventually built actually hits the mark).

Testing outcomes and product recommendations were presented to stakeholders to foster further discussion and ultimately, alignment.

Phase 3. MVP scope and build

Once satisfied that we had a validated prototype, a clear and practical direction and a way to measure success, Hi Mum! Said Dad and Good Energy worked on bringing the prototype to life via an agile build approach as we worked towards a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

An MVP allows us to get our product out into the market with the most essential features prioritised from concept testing. Getting to market fast means we can get the most valuable form of user feedback – real usage data – as early as possible.

Our engineering team worked in tandem with Good Energy’s talented technical team to deliver the Good Energy Smart App as well as the surrounding technologies over a 6-month period.

Results

The process has enabled Good Energy to move from a high-level requirement to a functioning MVP within 9 months. The rapid progress, despite the huge level of complexity, is testament to the scientific and collaborative approach to product definition and development that was taken.

The Good Energy Smart App is scheduled to launch later this year so whilst we are short on specific details, this along with detailed consumer/business results will follow post-launch.