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NWG Innovation Festival – Our experience of engagement, agility and delivering insight

NWG Innovation Festival – Our experience of engagement, agility and delivering insight

Northumbrian Water Group (NWG) first kicked off the Innovation Festival in 2017, and since then the Festival has become a key date in our summer diary. For the last three years it has been a summer festival in the North East, where thousands of individuals from a range of sectors come together to create, innovate and drive positive change through a range of sprints, celebrating and showcasing innovation across a range of sectors and industries. This year, although the sun was shining, the festival moved online in recognition of the environment we are all living and working in.

As a key research partner for NWG, Explain Market Research has supported the innovation from its inception. Our role being bringing customers to the heart of the festival and bringing the sprints to life with customer insight.

As a team of skilled researchers, Explain bring their experience of delivering customer focussed research and engagement to the festival. This year the team were responsible for the FanZone which engaged with a number of customers to get in the moment feedback on the ideas and inventions that the sprint teams were developing throughout the week.

Explain facilitated discussions with customers in the FanZone on the daily ideas that the sprint leads developed, this process was incredibly iterative and agile. Our role throughout the weeklong festival was to engage with the sprint leads and wider NWG team, to collate ideas to then design discussions with customers to gain actionable insight. This was fed back to the sprints which allowed them to continue to develop their idea and products.

Rebecca Crinson, Research Director at Explain said, “Working with customers across the week to gain live, actionable insight was very rewarding. We used a range of research techniques, with a focus on agile solutions. We were designing, gaining insight, and feeding back to allow the sprints to continue their journey of moving from a significant problem or challenge to a tested prototype solution in 5 days.”

“The insight was delivered straight into action, with the sprint teams working around the clock to develop and deliver their solution. Across the 5 days, we drew upon our experience of delivering customer engagement in a flexible and agile way, and also made it fun and rewarding for customers.”

Speaking on his experience, Paul Brackley, a customer of NWG who was part of the Innovation Festival FanZone, said “I was delighted to be chosen as a customer of Northumbrian Water to take part in the festival. After being contacted a few years ago to take part in research, I've been on a fantastic fact learning ride, which has taught me so much about water. The fact it was all online was initially something that was daunting to me, but the Explain team have the intuition which made me totally at ease, to help in the daily sprint exercises and talking on camera.”

Paul went on to say “I felt Explain may just go unnoticed putting all this together and I thought about giving credit where due, so I wanted to write this just to say thanks for a great experience and lots of knowledge to boot! Explain did a fantastic job with added finesse in a challenging role.”

To understand more about our innovative solutions please visit our website https://bit.ly/3cpYYbo for further information or contact Rebecca directly at Rebecca@explainresearch.co.uk or 01912615261.