Gladiator Garage Works™ started in Whirlpool as an ethnographic study in consumer’s homes. One of the discoveries of the ethnographic work was that garage’s was a place that Whirlpool was generally not present. In addition, if there were an old operating refrigerator stored in the garage, it was a power hog as it was not designed for the temperature swings typically present in a garage.
Starting with this ethnographic work, a team was put together to develop a new business to address these unarticulated consumer needs in the garage. After initial concepts, prototypes were made. A prototype business was launched, incubated, and eventually Gladiator Garage Works™ became what it is today. Today, there are also a host of imitators in the market.
Gladiator is a prime example of consumer centric innovation work.