AIM Archives - Month: September 2017

All new products are not created equal. You can benefit greatly by studying winners vs. losers.

124 Winners and Losers

Some products deliver enormous profits for decades, carrying whole businesses and careers on their sturdy shoulders. And then there are the tired, the poor, the huddled masses of wretched new products you wish were on your competitors’ teeming shores. You’ll find the blockbusters always satisfy six conditions. (See link below for details.)

More in article, Are You Maximizing Your Profits?

There are many ways to improve product development that are well-tested and proven to fail.

123 Same Old Results

One is throwing more money at R&D in a Soviet-style arms race. Another is exhorting the troops to do better. An all-time favorite is asking tough project-review questions… but not training teams in the skills needed to find the answers. What if all your teams had the highest possible skills in understanding customer needs? Might this work better?

More in article, Do You Really Interview Customers?

The best value propositions aren’t created by suppliers… they’re discovered.

122 Discovery Value Propositions

Ever watch stage-gate reviews or entire workshops wrestling with The Value Proposition? It’s not pretty. In my experience, good B2B customer interviews yield potential value propositions like so many ripe apples falling from a tree. You just need to pick which to pursue. If you have to dream them up, you’re climbing the wrong tree.

More in article, Three Steps to Unbeatable Value Propositions (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).

Validating hypotheses with customers distorts your entire new product development process.

121 Distorted Viewpoint

Confirmation bias is the “tendency for people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses, regardless of whether the information is true.” It’s what happens when you take your lovely new-product hypotheses to customers. This systematically distorts data on customer needs… and that can’t be good for innovation, right?

More in article, Give your Hypothesis the “Silent Treatment” (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth).

How to model customer needs

How to model customer needs

B2B companies can do 3 things with customer needs: guess, understand or model them. This article explores modeling and its 3 benefits: 1) It’s much cheaper and faster than starting with a prototype, 2) you’ll understand customers’ next-best alternatives better… so you can optimize product pricing, and 3) customers will be much more engaged. ... Read More

Focus your innovation on market segments… or “clusters of customers with similar needs.”

120 Market Segments

Ultimately, everything your business does should be about efficiently delivering value to customers. If you don’t focus on clusters of like-minded customers, their needs will be randomly observed by different people in your company at different times under different conditions. Not an efficient way to develop new products—your lifeblood.

More in New Product Blueprinting article, How’s Your Market Segmentation?