Liebherr Open Innovation Case Study

If you’re studying this, you’re seemingly eager to seek out out extra about how one can efficiently handle your open innovation program. Perhaps you’re trying to check out co-creation innovation along with your prospects however don’t know the place or how one can begin but. Read on to find out how HYPE’s consumer Liebherr has harnessed open innovation at their group to efficiently run a co-creation program with their prospects.

Types of open innovation

Innovation can apply to a new product or service, or to a course of, for instance, how a services or products is created and delivered. It may also embody adjustments in positioning, which means how a services or products is launched.

In phrases of the method of getting there, or making the innovation occur, there are a lot of choices, relying on your online business technique, the sources at hand, and your finish purpose.

One solution to assess the very best kind of open innovation on your group is to have a look at the stakeholder you’re involving in your innovation program, be it a provider, a buyer, a startup, or society at giant.

Here are some examples of the stakeholders our shoppers have chosen to work with of their open innovation.

What Is Co-creation With Prospects?

Co-creation with prospects is an open innovation initiative that features your buyer neighborhood as a associate into your innovation program. 

Typically, corporations have interaction in open innovation with prospects to:

  • Gain extra insights
  • Improve buyer expertise
  • Create model loyalty
  • Engage in new product growth

For prospects, open innovation initiatives provide the chance to:

  • Become extra intently related to the group
  • Understand its method of working
  • Share insights on a particular subject

Co-creation with prospects turns into a solution to keep an ongoing dialogue and in addition turn into really customer-centric group.

Open innovation with prospects is turning into more and more widespread. For instance, toy producer Mattel has created MyMattelConcepts – a portal the place anybody with a brand new toy thought can share their insights and contribute to new product growth; Indian automotive producer Tata Motors makes use of crowdsourcing to let the general public vote on future mobility options; and resort chain Marriott pursues “Meeting Innovation” via steady engagement with prospects and their wants.

We talked to Liebherr Appliances’ Innovation Manager Bernhard Vierbauch and International Market Research Manager Christina Terenkoff to find out how Liebherr engages its buyer neighborhood in open innovation.

Liebherr’s Strategy To Co-creating With Prospects

Liebherr Group is among the world’s largest producers of building equipment. With 16 corporations all through Germany, greater than 46,000 staff assist form technological advances in lots of different industries. Founded in 1949 by Hans Liebherr, the corporate continues to be family-owned, one thing that has at all times influenced its company tradition and continues to supply a agency basis for achievement. Liebherr prides itself on regularly innovating and attaining profitable thought administration on a big scale:

“We work systematically to keep one step ahead.”


The Domestic Appliances division, one in all 11 divisions on the Liebherr Group, manufactures greater than 3,000 merchandise, together with fridges, freezers and wine coolers, and is famous for its progressive concepts, fashionable designs, and well-thought-out options.

Being naturally near its prospects, the concept of beginning a crowdsourcing marketing campaign within the Domestic Appliances division and involving its prospects appeared an apparent alternative. Energized by the potential for utilizing the teachings discovered from inner innovation campaigns to work with folks outdoors the corporate, what was to turn into often called the “Wine Experience” challenge centered on bringing Liebherr’s prospects deep into the innovation dialog.

The Technique Of Co-creating With A Buyer Neighborhood

The “Wine Experience” buyer crowdsourcing challenge unfolded in 4 principal phases.

1. Market Analysis On-line Neighborhood

The first section was to create and have interaction a web based market analysis neighborhood. Liebherr constructed this neighborhood round its present and potential prospects.

“We invited people who had bought a wine cabinet not only from Liebherr but also from other brands,”
defined Liebherr’s International Market Research Manager Christina Terenkoff.


Over two months, Liebherr recognized important buyer ache factors related to wine consumption and wine storage whereas utilizing wine cupboards.

This groundwork centered on how prospects associated to Liebherr merchandise in addition to these from different manufacturers. It was vital for Liebherr to grasp the place potential enhancements may very well be made and what kind of workarounds prospects had been utilizing.

“We asked people to describe the problem,”
added Terenkoff.

“We additionally requested, “Does everyone have this problem or just a select few?” and  “How do you prevent the problem from reoccurring?””


2. Develop Inner Thought Campaigns

During Phase 2, the Open Innovation Campaign Team (the “Innovation Team”) additional refined the insights from Phase 1, with the assistance of different Liebherr staff. Using a mixture of qualitative analysis (every day diary entries, discussions) and quantitative analysis strategies (surveys), the Market Research Team discovered an important deal. They gained insights about their prospects’ habits, their relationship to wine and wine cupboards, and the foremost issues customers confronted with wine storage and cooling merchandise.

The Innovation Team additionally acquired extra insights into the actual ache factors prospects had been dealing with. “We had insights from product management about our wine customers,” stated Terenkoff. “These assumptions were basically verified or falsified in the first phase.” Ultimately, the crew created a shortlist of ache factors, figuring out and prioritizing essentially the most important ones.

3. Crowdsourcing Marketing Campaign With Prospects

The third section required the crew to concentrate on efficiently advertising and marketing the challenge to the skin world. For instance, they wanted to supply a devoted touchdown web page, straightforward cellular entry to the campaigns, and a visitor view to allow potential individuals to preview the content material.

Community discussions with prospects. 

Because this section concerned extra folks, it required tighter coordination among the many completely different capabilities, together with:

  • Launching and sustaining the open innovation platform

The Innovation Team oversaw interactions on the open innovation platform and ensured they concerned the proper folks on the proper occasions.

  • Involving the proper stakeholders and crowdsourcing their data

Product managers supplied background data and feedback on buyer enter, and took half within the analysis of concepts.

“Product management commented on ideas and asked questions to narrow down some specific areas,” defined Liebherr Appliances Innovation Manager Bernhard Vierbauch.

  • Gleaning technical insights in regards to the feasibility of concepts

“Developers” helped to advertise fast triage. “The developers gave feedback on ideas because we wanted to quickly understand if something was feasible or not,” Vierbauch continued. “We had ideas that sounded good but had physical limits. I think it was good that technicians then gave some in-depth feedback.”

  • Ensuring the concepts could be changed into a actuality

Campaign sponsors ensured that the successful concepts had a transparent path to execution. “We had two sponsors,” Vierbauch famous. “One was the product manager responsible for wine cabinets, and the second was from our e-business department, focusing on digital business models accompanying our hardware.”

4. Evaluation Of Outcomes

The evaluators had been a mixture of technicians who had beforehand labored (or had been nonetheless working) on wine-related initiatives, and the analysis itself came about in a number of rounds to make sure that no thought was misplaced or missed within the course of.

First, evaluators checked out whether or not the corporate had already tried any of the collected concepts. Next, they checked out how technically possible every thought was, which concerned working with product managers to grasp every thought’s potential. The last criterion was how properly every thought fitted with Liebherr’s different home equipment product traces.

Each evaluator was chosen primarily based on their distinctive experience. For instance, Liebherr has a crew specializing in water and ice options, in order that they had been chosen to be the knowledgeable evaluators for concepts in these areas.

The Final Result Of Co-creation With Prospects

After eight weeks of ideation, the “Wine Experience” challenge obtained practically 10,000 page-views, which resulted in 2,300 consumer periods.

Of the 174 individuals efficiently interacting on the platform, 123 had been totally new to the group.

The challenge generated an astounding 139 product and digital service concepts, in addition to 639 feedback. The Innovation Team used a way known as neighborhood commencement to advertise the very best concepts to “hot” standing, and finally shortlist the concepts.

Although open innovation with prospects was a brand new format, the outcomes energized high administration. Investing in a brand new method of working paid off!


Key Challenges And Classes Discovered

  • Finding The Proper Individuals Is Essential To Success

Selecting the proper individuals is crucial to high-quality thought era. In Phase 1, market analysis with the web neighborhood, the crew recruited individuals via a particular registration type (a “screener”). They additionally created a devoted touchdown web page containing all of the related challenge data. There was fixed communication with the gang, making certain that the proper folks contributed to the proper conversations.

In Phase 2, the crew used focused promoting to spotlight the challenge to related individuals. “Initially, we had trouble recruiting people,” Vierbauch commented. “It was not such a smooth process.” One month into the challenge, the crew supplied visitor entry to offer potential contributors a preview of what to anticipate. As the metrics revealed, this was a successful technique.

  • Motivating The Neighborhood Could Be Difficult

Motivating stakeholders from outdoors the corporate’s boundaries to take part in an open innovation initiative can initially be a problem. Whereas staff have a vested curiosity in an organization’s success (they sometimes determine with the corporate’s tradition and wish to contribute to collective progress), exterior stakeholders normally don’t.

For the Wine Experience challenge, Liebherr made positive that the neighborhood was at all times engaged by interacting with them in an attractive method (Phase 1) and ensuring the gang obtained suggestions (Phases 2 – 4). For instance, the Innovation Team requested the neighborhood to explain their relationship to wine coolers as if wine coolers had been an individual. This uncommon strategy helped to determine the important thing ache factors prospects expertise when utilizing their wine coolers.

Additionally, the Innovation Team ensured that individuals may have high-quality discussions with Liebherr product managers and builders on the devoted platform. “There was just no place to talk about wine at such a [high-expertise] level,” stated Terenkoff, echoing the neighborhood member’s suggestions. “They really enjoyed having this closed space of people who are qualified.”

This method of working gave taking part prospects a novel glimpse into how new concepts are generated after which remodeled into new merchandise and digital providers. Finally, the very best concepts (these receiving essentially the most innovation factors) additionally obtained prizes, together with the possibility to take concepts via to implementation.

  • Perceiving Know-how As An Enabler

The function of a digital platform in open innovation is especially vital. A platform will help to scale the ideation course of and retailer the outcomes safely. Additionally, it could assist to bridge the geographical divide and create transparency across the course of of latest product growth.

“You should not be scared to use technology to get in touch with your customers,”
stated Vierbauch.

“In the end, there is always this phase of setting up something (whether online or off). While using an unknown system can be daunting, ultimately, it’s a really good solution to get (and stay) in touch. After using it for a while, I think it’s not as difficult as some might expect.”


Based on Liebherr’s expertise, co-creating with prospects can deliver a wealth of know-how (each concepts and finest practices) into a company. If engineered efficiently, initiatives such because the “Wine Experience” buyer crowdsourcing challenge will help corporations obtain their customer-centricity objectives and successfully speed up new product and repair growth.

For prospects, participating in open innovation allows them to take part in high-quality discussions on themes they’re obsessed with. It additionally provides them a chance to grasp the intricacies of latest product growth (from an organization’s perspective), turn into a part of a neighborhood of inventive drawback solvers, and even obtain reward and recognition for his or her work.

Ready to run an open innovation marketing campaign? Get began at this time!


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