Lets Get Technical

A blog about codes, standards, and best practices for solar, energy storage, and microgrids

Let's Get Technical

A blog about codes, standards, and best practices for solar, energy storage, and microgrids

How Mayfield Renewables Turns Technical Product Consulting Into Product-Market Fit

Ryan Mayfield speaking with Dr. Ahmed El-Rasheed, Renewables Industry Director at Megger Ltd.

You’ve developed a product or service to solve a problem in the solar-plus-storage industry. You’ve got an idea about who will buy it and how it should be used. But your assumptions might not reflect the real needs and wants of the folks in the field and marketplace.

We often see this disconnect in our work with manufacturers and B2B service providers. Product-market fit is a common stumbling block on the road to gaining traction in the growing solar-plus-storage market.

Without the right technical and customer-centric insights, you could waste millions of R&D dollars by launching a product that doesn’t meet demand (something even Mercedes-Benz isn’t immune to), or by orienting your solution away from the strongest ray of demand. 

The good news is you don’t have to solve that disconnect all by yourself. You can enlist external subject-matter experts to bring you closer to your customers and the industry.

They can test your assumptions about your product and the market and give you accurate, unbiased information about what users need and how your solution fits into the market. 

These insights will help you minimize risk and make well-informed decisions around developing, positioning, and promoting your technology. 

Our technical product consulting is engineered to get you there.

What does product consulting with Mayfield Renewables look like?

Primarily, it’s about validating product-market fit, creating internal alignment around the value of your solution, and ensuring you’re selling something that customers are eager to buy. 

A crucial component of this is exploring your solution from an engineering perspective. Solar-plus-storage is a highly technical industry. Products need to be code-compliant and engineered to meet the very specific requirements of a growing and rapidly changing field.

It’s also about establishing overall competitiveness: With the industry growing at such a pace, your customers have more options than they used to. That means your product or service has to hit the right price and deliver competitive value, features, and functionality.

A typical consulting engagement will see us zoom in to analyze your product or service and then zoom out to analyze the wider market context. We’ll make sure you’re up to speed on codes and standards and any other technical requirements that apply. 

At the end, you’ll get our unbiased feedback and recommendations on how you can refine or position your product so that it’s hardwired to meet the needs of your target customers.

Why is Mayfield Renewables a strong partner for product consulting?

From left to right, Laurel Hamilton, General Manager, Ryan Mayfield, Founder, and Brian Bruggeman, Engineering Director

As a multidisciplinary team of solar-plus-storage veterans, subject-matter experts, and accomplished engineers, we’ve absorbed decades of technical expertise and generated a wealth of industry acumen. 

With our expansive network and deep bench of experts, we can find decision-makers in your target market, get their honest take on your product, and feed the information back to you so you can make strategic, technically sound decisions about the next steps. 

We also have insights into the latest products and best practices, and a strong history of educating the industry on codes and standards

But you don’t need to take our word for it. Here’s what our technical product consulting looked like for four very different companies: 

Helping a legacy company enter the vertical

As a global leader in electrical testing and measurement equipment, Megger knew it had a lot to offer the solar-plus-storage field. 

With support from Mayfield’s product consulting team, Megger has gained clarity on what potential PV customers need from its tools, as well as a thorough understanding of the industry as a whole. Now, it’s rapidly building a profile as a valuable solar partner.

One of our first engagements was a Utility Scale Testing Market Analysis that helped Megger understand the testing requirements and tools used in utility-scale PV and energy storage systems. This involved:

  • Developing a comprehensive list of PV testing requirements
  • Cross-referencing them with Megger’s existing portfolio
  • Verifying whether its tools meet the requirements 
  • Recommending changes to existing tools
  • Proposing ideas for new tools

“The study helped us identify the gaps where we don’t have anything to offer,” says Ahmed El-Rasheed, PhD, Industry Director for Renewables at Megger. 

“We could see where a product that seemed to fit was lacking some of the features that would make it 100% suitable. That’s allowed us to plug those gaps in our portfolio.” 

Building on insights from the market analysis, we’re now writing an Electrical Testing Standards Guide that will position Megger as an innovator and industry leader. 

The guide will bring enormous value to the industry by resolving the knowledge gaps that inevitably arise in a fast-paced, highly technical sector. 

Helping an industry insider gain an external view on its technology

Tigo Energy is a well-established manufacturer in the PV space that came to Mayfield for outside expertise and connections to insights from the target market. 

Our engagement began with a Strategic Audit and now covers multiple projects, including market research for Tigo’s EI platform. A key technical deliverable of the work will be a digital guide for the platform.

Our discovery work has helped Tigo gather customer-centric insights that aren’t constrained by internal perspectives: 

“Mayfield’s work is a major accelerant to getting voice-of-customer and getting in front of customers,says John Lerch, Senior Director of Global Marketing at Tigo. 

“It’s hard for us to get the right answers out of folks. It’s very different if someone external is asking open-ended questions—versus someone from product or marketing, who will have a very specific angle.”

Tigo also values Mayfield’s technical expertise and its ability to give companies a view that they can’t get themselves. John Lerch again: 

“We benefit from their knowledge of rapid shutdown standards, and of codes and general safety best practices. I get cautious when we only talk internally. You can drink your own Kool Aid into oblivion.”

Helping a lithium-titanate home battery find its market

Villara Energy Systems engaged Mayfield to establish product-market fit for its VillaGrid battery, a residential storage solution that uses a high-performance LTO battery chemistry.

“We didn’t feel we fully understood the consumer mindset: how they approached home energy storage and to what extent they would understand the benefits of a premium home energy storage solution,” says Garrett Woodroof, Director of Sales at Villara.

The team brought Mayfield on board because “we figured Mayfield would be objective. They would understand the other batteries and be familiar with the market. They’d have spoken with many different contractors and could objectively analyze our battery,” says Garrett. 

We produced an extensive market research report for the VillaGrid battery. The work drew heavily on our expertise in battery chemistries and specifications. Steps included:

  • Conducting technical comparisons with other home batteries
  • Performing in-depth surveys and interviews with experts
  • Analyzing statistical data and demographic insights
  • Identifying funding opportunities and incentives

The research highlighted the unique benefits of the VillaGrid battery, which markets could potentially use it, and whether the product benefits resonated within those markets.

“In your recommendations, you said we’d gain the most traction in cold-weather climates. That was really valuable advice, because that’s where we’ve gotten the most traction,” says Garrett.

Helping a solar startup refine its EV innovation

Yotta Energy came to us as a well-funded startup looking for expertise around their plans to produce REV, a rapidly deployable, solar-powered EV charging station. 

We produced an 18-page market research report to establish where and how REV could fit into the market. This included:

  • A technical product analysis to compare REV’s specs with other EV chargers
  • A review of applicable permitting, codes and standards, and incentives
  • A study of which market would be best served by REV’s capabilities
  • Recommendations for adjusting or improving technical features

After becoming aware of Mayfield through its webinars, Andrew Tanner, Chief Technology Officer at Yotta Energy, has found much value in the product consulting collaboration.

So who’s on your team?

Do you have a team of technically minded partners who can open the doors to your customers and the industry? Who can bring objective outside analysis and an engineer’s eye to your product or service? Who can be honest about product-market fit and make research-backed recommendations?

Mayfield Renewables can be that multidisciplinary team. We’re here to supply you with the industry insights and technical recommendations that will position you for success in the solar-plus-storage space. Contact us today to learn more.

We can also help you turn those insights into a powerful revenue strategy and creative campaigns. With our partners at Cross Consulting Services and Crest Creative, we can form a team of technical experts, industry-steeped strategists, and powerful visual storytellers. 

Together, we’ll take you from market analysis, to growth-focused strategy, to multi-phased, integrated campaigns that will win you loyal customers and drive sustained growth.

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