Adopting an Insights-Driven Approach to Innovation

When it comes to innovation, Portacool depends on insights from the market, including end-users, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. To discuss how they incorporate the market and customer voice into their brand, Keep Cool host Tyler Kern spoke with John Mays, Director of Product Management & Development.

“Being insights-driven means we’re listening to what the market is saying and have a pulse on what it needs and wants and its pain points,” Mays explained.

This cultural mindset results in putting the customer first. Mays said that the company gets feedback in both qualitative and quantitative ways. “Then, we look for correlations and themes that resonate and can pull out insights on unmet or under-served needs.”

Mays has relied on putting insights at the forefront of innovation throughout his career, gathering learnings from his time at Proctor & Gamble. However, it’s not just his perspective. He noted it’s part of Portacool’s culture and DNA to listen to the market and start with a strong “why.”

“We don’t take action without purpose. Having a clear understanding of our “why” allows us to focus and stay clear on what we want to deliver. It has to bring value to end-users, customers or the company,” Mays added.

Mays provided an example of being insights-driven in innovation. “We listened to the voice of the customer and recognized we needed an engineering team driving existing product improvements. We split the team into R&D and a production engineering team.”

For any company that wants to take the first step in this direction, Mays counseled them to get buy-in from the top and get out in the market. “It’s easy to have your blinders on, but if you get out into the field, the market will tell you what’s right with your product and what needs work.”

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