From consumer insights to innovation

How do you best run an innovation unit that is separate from the main business?

What are the best ways to find customer insights that can deliver value?

How do you sell the ideas to the internal stakeholders?

These questions are addressed in “Samsung’s European Innovation Unit“, a 19-page case study that details the work of Samsung’s Product Innovation Team in Europe, the PIT EU, established in 2010 to fuel consumer-driven innovation (as opposed to technology-driven innovation).

By 2013, projects created by the team had contributed an estimated half a billion dollars to Samsung’s profits.

The case covers the first three years of the team and shows how the founders set up their team to make success more likely. Among other topics, the case describes how the team works to find new and valuable insights by studying consumers, how they create useful metrics for innovation, and how they “sell” their ideas to the rest of the company (a frequent problem for innovation units).

The case also describes three of their innovation projects in detail: a new function for video camcorders, an app for transferring data to Samsung phones, and a revolutionary new type of refrigerator.

Buy the case from Harvard Business Review (9 USD)

Buy the case from IESE Publishing (7 EUR)

HBR blog describing the case