Customer Driven Innovation taking flight


Airlines face fierce price competition and typically the competitive advantage in the industry is built on operational efficiency, route selection or financing models. To rise above the price driven competition the leading players, Finnair among them, are investing in customer driven innovation.

We’ve had the privilege of working as Finnair’s partner in multiple projects during this journey. Our work has touched various areas of Finnair’s business and in different projects we have injected customer insight driven approach and innovation to various business areas,  from passenger services to destination concepts, ground services and cargo services.

Asian woman resting coffee on her lap on a Eero Aarnio Ball chair at Finnair lounge


In order to drive customer-centric culture across the end-to-end organisation Finnair needed a systematic way to stay on the pulse of what customers do like, think, feel and wish. Finnair was also looking for a partner who could turn customer-insights into tangible service innovations and product experiments.

Business needs included

  • Build an online community of global customers and facilitate dialogue
  • Involve customers at an early stage in customer experience and innovation initiatives
  • Facilitate customer-centricity programs across all product teams
  • Quickly conceptualise, experiment and develop new digital service initiatives

Digitalist Leanlab team created a global customer community for Finnair’s service and product development teams to gain customer insight, co-create with customers and build customer-centric innovation culture.

During various service development and experimentation projects the LeanLab customer community was also used as a sounding board to involve customers at an earlier stage and to be able to validate new services based on the measurable customer value that they create.

Finnair’s unrelenting desire to create value for their customers and innovate hasn’t gone unnoticed either by their customers or the industry. Finnair was awarded “Best Airline in Northern Europe” by Skytrax for the tenth consecutive time, and we are proud to continue working with Finnair also in the future.

Three White Eero Aarnio Ball chairs at Finnair Schengen lounge
Finnair Airbus A350 detail of nose and wing

If you want to know more, contact Ville Österlund, Managing Partner, Leanlab or Jussi Hermunen, Managing Director