Blog Category: Customer Insights (VOC)

Stop worrying about your competitors. Start worrying about customers’ alternatives.

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These may be the same… or not. If you make welding machines, your customers’ alternatives may be mechanical fasteners or epoxy adhesive. When you have a choice between supplier-centric or customer-centric thinking, always choose the latter. Exploring customers’ alternatives passes this customer-centricity test.

More in article, Is Your Innovation Supplier-Centric… or Customer-Centric?

10 Best Practices to Lead Innovation and Change

B2B Leaders Celebrate Success

Leading a company into a new era of customer-centric innovation takes patience, courage, and a commitment to finding the best people and processes. Follow these 10 best practices to lead innovation and change for B2B organic growth. 1.  Celebrate learning as success. As business leaders, we drive for results, results, results! There’s certainly nothing wrong ... Read More

Will B2B-optimized customer interviews impact your company’s organic growth?

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We asked this question of new-product teams that had conducted a total of 875 B2B-optimized customer interviews. 96% said these interviews would have a moderate, significant or great impact on their company’s organic growth rate. Only 4% said the impact would be “slight.” About the same amount also felt such interviews would positively impact their company’s culture.

More in white paper, Guessing at Customer Needs (page 10).

If you are innovating, your price should only be determined by the customer value you create.

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Many B2B suppliers consider competitive pricing as they plan new-product pricing. Or worse, cost-plus pricing. Both are irrelevant if you deliver real value to customers… not a “me-too” product. Competitive pricing just helps you judge initial customer reaction, and cost-plus just sets the pricing floor. Neither tells you what customers will pay. For that, you need customer-value pricing.

More in article, Is Your Innovation Supplier-Centric… or Customer-Centric?

In true customer-centered B2B innovation, you’re actually not developing your new product.

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You’re developing your customer’s new product. It’s like this: “Mr. Customer, we’ve assembled a team aimed at developing something you’ll love. As you can see, we even brought a lead R&D person with us to listen to you. So can you tell us everything you think we should know before we going into our labs? We want to get this right so the innovation makes you a hero at work.”

More in article, Is Your Innovation Supplier-Centric… or Customer-Centric?

Seek more from your B2B customer interviews.

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What else is there besides hearing customers’ needs? Impress them so they’ll want to do business with you. Incorporate your insights into a value calculator to optimize pricing. Use their precise interview language on your website to improve SEO. Uncover unspoken needs in a post-interview customer tour. Understand their next best alternative. Never stop learning.

More in article, You Already Answered 4 Questions, but… Correctly?

Even our language exposes our supplier-centric innovation thinking.

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When you say you want to pursue a “new market,” do you mean the market is truly embryonic? Or is this just a new market for you? If so, it’s better to call the latter an “unfamiliar market.” The customers were already there. It’s you—not the market—that’s new. This is just one example of supplier-centric thinking that permeates B2B innovation. Customer-centric thinking will take you much further.

More in white paper, Innovating in Unfamiliar Markets (page 2).

Starting NPD without customer insight is like starting a shoving match with a sumo wrestler.

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In either case you should ask, “What was I thinking of when I started this?” Especially if you are a B2B supplier with knowledgeable, interested, rational customers, who want you to know their needs. And a science already exists for completely understanding these needs. Maybe it’s time to stop throwing salt and begin learning a better approach?

Learn more in our e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B