Case Studies

Honda grounds innovative mobility vision in robust financial insights

Honda is a mobility company powered by everyone’s dreams, creating mobility that helps and inspires people.

The Need

As a global mobility leader, Honda is dedicated to bringing the joy of mobility to all. The company’s Advanced Design division in Los Angeles is at the forefront of this mission, tasked with envisioning and developing the next wave of innovative consumer products to support all aspects of mobility – from automobiles and beyond. They recognized their need to both ground their innovative visions with strategic and financial insight, and to align these innovations with Honda’s core value of sustainability. Thus, the Honda team sought a strategic partner to:

  • Articulate a compelling business case for Honda’s innovative products, underpinned by robust financial acumen and pragmatism
  • Ensure future products align with Honda’s commitment to “being good for the world”— opening up accessible, sustainable mobility options that improve the lives of people
  • Deepen Honda’s understanding of its target market and its needs by delving into consumer demographics, preferences, and values
  • Refine its Unique Value Proposition (UVP), informed by a deep understanding of market opportunities and competitive landscape

Most of all, Honda sought more than a traditional consulting partner focused on maximizing profit; they sought an impact-focused company that could help them enable people everywhere in the world to improve their daily lives while reducing environmental impact.

The Support

Blue Garnet has partnered with Honda since 2019 to bridge the gap between creative ideation and business strategy, all while centering potential social and environmental impact. Our multifaceted role has included:

  • Conducting in-depth market research to understand core consumer demographics, values, characteristics, and preferences, aligning Honda’s product offerings with the evolving needs of our planet and people
  • Analyzing various sales channels (e.g. via dealerships, rentals, and third-party retailers), to not only forecast direct and indirect financial gains, but also identify intangible benefits (e.g., bolstering customer loyalty and enhancing the Honda brand image)
  • Developing comprehensive financial projections for 11 distinct products to inform feasibility and profitability of Honda’s innovative concepts
  • Supporting the Honda design team to articulate product business cases to sales team and Honda Global leadership

The Impact

Blue Garnet has been consistently delivering insightful estimations for many of our projects. They have helped us push forward business case proposals to our executives and, as a result, get the ball rolling on funding and developing many of our projects internally.

Geemay Chia

Industrial Designer, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Honda has been equipped to not only envision the future of mobility, but to create clear strategy around how its ambitions will be realized. Blue Garnet helped Honda’s designers ground their innovative ideas with the business analytics to tell a story of what could be possible and to advocate for their innovative ideas with confidence. The partnership informed strategic decisions in both design and business development. This set the stage for Honda to introduce meaningful, sustainable mobility solutions that resonate with people’s aspirations and that meet the needs of today’s evolving mobility landscape. As one product example, we worked with Honda on MotoCompacto— a unique, ultra-compact electric scooter designed to redefine personal urban mobility—from ideation to its product launch in November 2023.

This groundwork, laid over the past four years, has helped build support and autonomy for Honda’s future delivery of products that enhance the joy and accessibility of mobility. Together, our work aligns with the company’s dedication to sustainable innovation that benefits the company, the environment, and consumers alike.


There's a time and place for engaging with the big three consulting firms. For our needs, we required a true partner - someone willing to roll up their sleeves and problem-solve with us and not for us. With BG, what you see is what you get, which is a small group of smart, dedicated experts. We have learned a lot from our ongoing collaboration.

Jane Nakagawa

Vice President, R&D Business Unit, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Our journey with Honda has been an invigorating blend of creativity and strategy. Shannon Johnson, Partner at Blue Garnet and Project Lead, reflects, “It’s been a unique challenge that’s pushed us to think differently, to be both imaginative and analytical. Working with Honda’s team, who are at the cutting edge of innovation, has been incredibly rewarding.” Honda is dreaming big about what the future of mobility and cities will look like, inviting us to envision (and research) tomorrow’s reality. This stretched our thinking to embrace a highly future-focused and innovative approach in our own work, feeding our love for continuous learning and refining our understanding of the challenges communities face with a focus on the future.

Not only does Honda push Blue Garnet in that sense, but “working with them is also just fun! – the team at Honda are nice, quirky and funny,” Shannon shares. “It’s refreshing to work with them in a way that’s out of our day-to-day – what other client do we talk about Pokémon with, or get to see demo products and high-production presentations with?”

With an ever-evolving design thinking project like this, Blue Garnet serves as a nimble and adaptable thought partner. Shannon shares that we were able to come alongside Honda to transform conceptual ideas into strategic, actionable plans that stay true to Honda’s values and vision. Together, we took steps toward a more sustainable mobility future for all.

Honda has inspired us to more deeply appreciate the power of design and the importance of visionary thinking. As Shannon says, “Honda’s innovative mindset is a reminder to look beyond the present and to inspire our clients to be bold and ambitious” for the future.

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