In B2B we can do even better than “understanding” customer needs. We can “model” them. Use customer interviews to understand customers’ key outcomes. But don’t stop there. Ask how they measure these outcomes… and how good is “good enough.” Then create a model so you can test how they’ll react to any product design you imagine.
More in article, B2B Customer Needs: Predict the customer’s experience with modeling
Our research asked B2B professionals what drives profitable, sustainable organic growth. The #1 answer was delivering strong, differentiated value propositions. And the #1 differentiator between the best and worst value-creating companies was superior front end of innovation work (www.whatdrivesb2borganicgrowth.com). The Front End of Innovation – Key Steps There are important front-end steps top-performing companies take to strengthen their value ... Read More
How about knowing their response before they see it? B2B customers are so knowledgeable that you can model their behavior based on what you learn in customer interviews. Prototypes are still worthwhile—for refinement and engagement. But they’re far too expensive and time-consuming if you do them before conducting insightful B2B customer interviews.
More in article, How to model customer needs
We asked how much B2B-optimized interviews impacted teams’ designs for the products they were developing. Five out of six teams said the impact was “great” or “significant.” Hmmm… makes you wonder what those products would have looked like without these interviews. Do you think your new products could be improved this way?
More in white paper, Guessing at Customer Needs (page 2).
In both cases models are used to predict future behavior. Barometric pressure and other data are the “raw material” for weather models. For you, it’s quantitatively measuring key customer outcomes in the front-end of innovation. Your model lets you replicate the customer experience… so you can know with confidence how they’ll react to any of your product designs.
More in article, How to model customer needs (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).
After qualitative interviews, seek customer ratings on key outcomes: “How important is abrasion resistance on a 1-10 scale? And how satisfied are you today with abrasion resistance on a 1-10 scale?” This lets you converge with confidence on only those outcomes customers care about… those with Market Satisfaction Gaps over 30% (important and unsatisfied).
More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 11).
If you’re dragging in your list of questions and the customer feels they’re doing you a favor… it’s supplier-led. But if you keep the scope broad enough to interest them, let them lead you to what interests them, and help them think deeply through attentive probing… it’s customer-led. It’s also much more effective.
More in article, The Best Customer Interviews Use a Digital Projector (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).
“Jobs-to-be-done” (JTBD) is a powerful way of thinking that 1) provides a longer time horizon than a product focus, 2) guides you when conducting pre-interview market research, 3) naturally integrates with New Product Blueprinting, and 4) helps you separate the core, focal job from consumption chain jobs. ... Read More
You begin by uncovering, understanding, defining and setting outcomes’ direction… and end by quantifying their value. Skipping just one level dramatically decreases your odds of a highly-profitable new product. Do you know how many levels are baked into your new product development process? If you don’t, it’s less than nine.
More in article, The Science behind Great Value Propositions (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).
Design Thinking vs. New Product Blueprinting? They are highly complementary, with design thinking going further in some areas… and Blueprinting going further in other areas. Bottom line: Think of Blueprinting as a type of design thinking… essentially a roadmap for front-end of B2B Design Thinking. ... Read More