Showing posts with label Leadership. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leadership. Show all posts

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fresh Look at Customer Needs

I had the great fortune of meeting an influential business leader in our community named Joseph Stein.  Joe wrote a book called Bottom-Up Top-Down Innovation that includes a lot of interesting ideas for bringing innovation into your daily life -- one of which I'm writing today.

Joe writes:
"Customers buy products to help get a job done....  we usually look at it from the point of what a customer needs.  That may sound like the same thing... but it is different.  For example, if you have a plumbing leak, the plumber's perspective is that the customer needs to have the leak fixed.  But if you look at it from a "jobs to be done" perspective, the homeowner wants to have a plumbing system that delivers consistent, worry-free hot and cold water.  So if the plumber thinks of what job the customer needs to get done, he or she might suggest new products that help the homeowner (e.g., annual pipe check, low-cost insurance, etc.)
This idea of taking a fresh look at my customer's needs has really helped me over the past few months.  In several cases, customers that I'm working with have gotten flashes of brilliance from that little concept of looking at their customers needs from a fresh perspective.  They had always looked at their products as filling a niche need.  They weren't seeing it from the customers perspective with their potential risks and reward.  When they did, it brought out a whole new product category that has never been considered.

Have you ever had a case where making this perspective change brought innovation to your company? Let me know!