What Customers Want

3rd Feb 2012

It can be argued that consumer needs do not change so much as the context within which those needs arise. What’s more, it is the context that provides the rich stimulus for innovation. Fail to understand the context and context changes, and you’ll fail to innovate.

14th Sep 2011

Are you looking to gather information for innovation? If so, it’s easy to get caught up in the issues of designing the right market study – defining its scope and the methodology. But what about the findings? How are you going to process them and handle the outputs – you’ll need to plan for that too...

15th May 2011

News that the trend forecasting industry has grown to an estimated $36 billion dollars, suggests that trend forecasting information is becoming increasingly important to innovators and designers.

And, with the industry having achieved such scale, perhaps we should question who is really driving the trends we see on the catwalk and the high street these days – designers or trend forecasters?

17th Jan 2011

As innovators, we all know that identifying hidden needs is fundamental to new proposition development. With the phrase frequently bandied about in R&D facilities, marketing departments and boardrooms around the world, it’s strange perhaps that only now do we have a book on the topic.

So, how well does this title equip us to identify hidden needs in our chosen sector? A competence, we are told by the authors, that is critical to innovation success.

12th Nov 2010

Feeling gloomy about innovating in the current climate?

It wouldn’t be surprising. Many managers are short on time due to headcount controls or in the aftermath of redundancies. Some have had their innovation budgets slashed in the belief that the current portfolio has to remain the main priority.

It’s easy to think that innovation and recessions don’t mix... but think again, could recession be an innovation oppportunity?

11th May 2010

Who is better placed to develop an adult soft drink? A soft drinks company or an alcoholic drinks company?

How about the soft drinks company? After all, they know the processes and technology for creating soft drinks.

Or is it the alcoholic drinks company? Aren’t they better placed to know what customers want?

If innovation is a mixture of technology/process and customer understanding, and neither company has both, how to know who is better placed to innovate?

1st Jan 2008

Sometimes, when we as innovation specialists are trying to design effective market research processes, I am struck by an irony.

What we are doing is in effect, recreating the purchasing/usage experience, through accompanied shops, home placements etc. However, when respondents take part, they are of course 'cold' - it's not a real user experience.