Does your new product development process begin with “Generate Idea” on the left, perhaps with a light-bulb icon? Whose idea is it - yours…or your customers? Maybe focusing on your own ideas is wrong!

Your innovation process is backwardDo you start with your own solutions to assumed customer needs? Talking to the VP of R&D of a well-known Canadian company recently, he told me that having been involved in the business for more than 15 years, "they know" what the customers want! I predict that within a few years, this company will be outrun by one competitor, perhaps a startup which has spotted an emerging need in the market just by looking at it with fresh eyes. Think Nest for the thermostat industry.

When do you look for customer needs? Do you wait until the end, to see if customers buy your solutions (new product/service)?

What if we flipped that process around and started with your customer needs instead? The advantages of the inverted process are:

  • More efficient R&D
  • More effective sales and marketing. These departments will know exactly what to tell your prospects and customers down the road.
  • You will outpace your competitors by developing truly unique solutions that no one else has solved yet.

Triode team is involved every day in Voice of customer phase. If you don't know where to start digging in the customer needs, just give me a call and I will help your team clarify the process.

Patrick Sirois

At Triode, we specialize in developing new products and services for complex industries like medical devices and transportation. We work with you closely to help define product strategy, with an emphasis on reducing the risks associated with innovating in these sophisticated and often regulated consumer-oriented environments.