The Case: Danfoss

Headquartered in Denmark, Danfoss Power Solutions is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of components and system solutions to industries like construction, agriculture, and material handling. Their core product lines are highly standardized and regulated in the steering business unit, making innovation a challenge. However, as the number one component supplier in the market, Danfoss is committed to developing the next generation of steering solutions to benefit its customers, the equipment manufacturers and the end-users.

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The Challenge

Danfoss was looking to innovate within their core product line to increase their overall market share and differentiate themselves from their competitors. They were specifically evaluating how they could improve their steering system, both in terms of feature development and marketing messaging.

For Danfoss’s customers – equipment manufacturers – steering units are not typically a key differentiator in their final product output. Danfoss knew that to gain a competitive advantage they would have to understand exactly what their customers considered to be important – and what wasn’t a priority for them.

Danfoss had a number of methods for gaining customer insights. They were in close touch with their largest customers and periodically sent out questionnaires to get broader feedback from across their industry. However, these methods were not yielding the kind of new insights that Danfoss needed.

Jonas Worm Hansen, Director of Strategic Development at Danfoss, explained that while they had a good amount of data, they were not finding any new insights. “Usually we would get the answers we were looking for,” he explained. “And that’s not always a good sign – that means either we were leading the customers in that direction, or we hadn’t gotten them to open up completely.”

“Usually we would get the answers we were looking for. And that’s not always a good sign.”

— Jonas Worm Hansen, Director of Strategic Development at Danfoss

“We could actually see what the customers were saying. That’s very important and very different from what we had before.”

— Jonas Worm Hansen, Director of Strategic Development at Danfoss

The Opportunity


Danfoss chose UserTribe to help them gain specific feedback from industry experts in the United States, both from within and outside of their current customer group. “We knew we couldn’t do it ourselves. We didn’t have the resources and we aren’t specialized in that,” said Jonas. “And we wanted to reach as many customers as possible, not just reach out to the same customers we often talk to.”

To get the best overview, UserTribe spoke to Purchasing Agents and Technical Engineers at large equipment manufacturers, twenty in total. Our team of recruiters identified each participant individually, ensuring their qualifications for the study. Each participant completed a think-aloud style study, recording both their face and voice to be analyzed by our tribe of anthropologists.

Our experts reviewed each of the videos, identifying key insights and patterns and annotating the videos for future reference. These insights were then summarized into a report, concluding with six core takeaways on how customers prioritize product features in their purchasing decisions.

The Result


Like many of our clients, Danfoss was interested in both the results of our analysis as well as the raw footage we had collected. “It was really nice that we could go in and see the video clips of people explaining their thinking,” said Jonas. “We could actually see what the customers were saying. That’s very important and very different from what we had before.”

The results themselves also offered something new. In addition to confirming some of their original hypotheses, Danfoss was able to extract new insights from the qualitative customer interviews.

Hansen is optimistic that these insights into customer priorities will help his team speed up their overall development processes. “I’m hoping these insights will reduce our development time,” said Jonas. “I think they will sharpen what we do, so we can avoid going some routes where we would fail.”

UserTribe can help you sharpen your product development.