AIM Archives - Month: July 2015

Don’t expect your stage-and-gate process to do what it was never designed to do.

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It was designed to manage the interface between project teams and your company… for portfolio analysis, resource planning, risk reduction, tracking, etc. Fine, but you also need to improve the interface between teams and customers. Competitive advantage in customer-facing innovation requires skills and tools your competitors lack.

Learn more about B2B innovation at www.theaiminstitute.com

Why will future companies laugh at us?

Why will future companies laugh at us

Today's innovation methods will look outdated in the future, with these 6 “awkward realities”: 1) We test market needs by launching products at customers. 2) We don’t understand what organic growth requires of us. 3) We misunderstand the proper role of stage-and-gate processes. 4) We interview customers to “validate” our hypothesis. 5) We fail to fully engage customers in our innovation. 6) We are easily distracted from customer-facing innovation. ... Read More

The Missing Objective in B2B Voice of Customer

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Your “second objective” after customer insight should be customer engagement. These 9 approaches help: 1) Kill the questionnaire, 2) let customers lead, 3) discuss their “job-to-be-done,” 4) project your notes, 5) focus on customer outcomes, 6) probe… deeply, 7) don’t sell or solve, 8) get quantitative, and 9) use triggers. ... Read More

3 Problems with Innovation Metrics

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Everyone wants to use metrics to monitor their innovation. That's fine… but unless you’re using “intermediate” metrics, you could be missing 3 qualities of a good metric: 1) predictive, 2) insightful, and 3) actionable. Consider these 12 intermediate metrics for your business. ... Read More

Pricing New vs. Existing Products

Pricing New vs. Existing Products2

It's much easier to gather the data you need for pricing a new product, because customers want you to understand enough to deliver value to them. Unlike B2C, B2B providers should try to understand customers’ pricing decision-making instead of asking for pricing decisions (via surveys). ... Read More

Once your new product is launched, the pricing insight window slams shut.

Pricing New vs. Existing Products2

Customers will help you set prices before—but not after—you launch your new product. They want you to develop innovative new products and services that deliver value to them… so they’ll give you insights to make this happen. These same insights allow you to establish optimal pricing. Do you know how to do this? It will be too late after you launch your product.

More in article, Pricing New vs. Existing Products (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter)

“Maximize shareholder value” is the pledge of allegiance recited in board rooms. It is a poor goal.

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This mantra guides the decisions of the business masses. But is it right? Peter Drucker didn’t think so. He said the primary purpose of a business is to acquire and keep customers. I believe increased shareholder value is a good result, but a lousy goal. You’ll have better results if your goal becomes: “Understand and meet the needs of our customers.”

More in newsletter, Why Maximizing Shareholder Value is a Flawed Goal (Jan-Feb, 2012)

The B2B interviewer should have two goals: customer insight and customer engagement.

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Research shows the best way to sell a product is to probe customers’ needs. But why wait until the product is developed? If you probe beforehand, you’ll create a better product and “pre-sell” your product. This isn’t practical for interviewing millions of B2C toothpaste buyers, but it is for concentrated B2B markets. B2B engagement skills aren’t difficult. Do you have them?

More in newsletter, How to Grow in a Stagnant Economy (Nov-Dec, 2008)

Overwhelm your competitors by turning a trickle of customer feedback into a torrent.

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Some companies rely on a handful of internal VOC (voice-of-customer) experts to interview customers. You’ll do far better if you train a critical mass of employees—who routinely interact with customers anyway—to gather customer needs. Keep your VOC experts as coaches and trainers, but implement “VOC for the masses.”

More in executive briefing, Seven Mistakes that Stunt Organic Growth

How B2B Companies Gain the Innovation Advantage

How B2B Companies Gain the Innovation Advantage

HOW B2B COMPANIES GAIN THE INNOVATION ADVANTAGE CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH (JUNE 1, 2015) – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE How can B2B companies ensure that their customer-facing innovation will succeed? The answer lies in The Innovation Wave. The AIM Institute’s new white paper, ‘Catch the Innovation Wave’, written by founder and president Dan Adams, examines the common ... Read More