Innovation is successful when it targets customers’ needs, but how sure can we be that this is something we can predict effectively? In this article Tony Ulwick argues that the traditional voice of the customer methodology is the wrong tool to determine customer needs. Tony presents an alternative methodology that makes it possible to determine all the needs of a given customer group.
3 Ways To Predict What Consumers Want Before They Know It
The quest to identify opportunities for innovation starts with pinpointing problems customers can’t adequately solve today. More than 50 years ago Peter Drucker wrote, “The customer rarely buys what the company thinks it sells him. One reason for this is, of course, that nobody pays for a ‘product.’ What is paid for is satisfaction.” Companies think they are selling products and services, but in reality people hire those products and services to get jobs done in their lives. As marketing guru Ted Levitt quipped to his students a generation ago, “People don’t want quarter-inch drills–they want quarter-inch holes.” A problem arises, and the customer looks around and chooses the solution that gets the job done better than competing alternatives.