Neste owns a chain of service stations, which is the largest chain in Finland. It has about 800 service stations, out of which 180 are cold stations called Express, and about 240 stations in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Northwest Russia. None of the backcourt services – car washes, air pumps, and restaurants, for example – are run by Neste, but different partners in each country offer them.
Unmanned automated services offer new business and service opportunities for Neste. Creating new backcourt services to support existing fuel customers gives the possibility of preparing for the future without fossil fuel consumption and becoming the frontrunner in convenience retail technological innovations.
Continuing from the first prototype of Neste’s EasyDeli, which opened in December 2018, having taken the customer feedback and the things we learned building the project, we set off to define the brand promise and create design rules and criteria for all future Easy services and projects.
After a research on the station network, used payment methods and customer types on different stations, we learnt that the brand commitment is exceptionally high and that loyalty customers already using the Neste app as payment method should be our first pick of customer persona that we are creating the new services for.
The deepened research on this specific customer group helped us to understand the sub-brand we were creating, aligned with Neste’s main brand. Any EasyX services that were to be created had to add value that reinforced customer loyalty. Common denominators for all EasyX services were created and all brand touchpoints were thought: Tangible touchpoints like materials and shapes, the intangible touchpoints like colour, light, mood and feel, as well as service and digital touchpoints.
Design rules for spatial solutions were created based on the brand promise and customer paths were clarified based on the feedback and observations. This all helped us also to decide the services we should concentrate our efforts to, down to the products sold in the new shops or its technology.
EasyDeli’s second generation shop was created with these new design rules and criteria and we launched the first EasyWash and EasyFill stations with the same brand touchpoints in the customer journey. This meant the change of our main technology into RFID based product tracking as our application evolved, as well as the refining of the customer experience in the spatial environment as our knowledge of sustainable design deepened.
The impact of the project can be calculated in many different ways: the amount of plastic canisters saved when selling window cleaning liquid straight from a pump, the water saving and energy efficiency of the car wash or the lowered CO2 footprint of the massive wood constructions of the shops. But mainly from the positive feedback of the customers, that we are offering them effortless convenience and a sustainable choice, that can be seen in the sales numbers.
Neste is an oil refining and marketing company. It produces, refines and markets oil products and provides engineering services, as well as licensing production technologies. Neste has operations in 14 countries and employs over 5,000 people. The company is the largest producer of renewable diesel in the world.