Awkward Reality #186

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

186-Worried-Businessman

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?

Awkward Reality #185

Just think of all the mistakes you can make developing new products.

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You can miss an important customer need… pursue the wrong need… over-design and add unneeded costs… measure customer success the wrong way… overlook a competing alternative… over-estimate what customers will pay… under-value your product… use improper messaging. So many chances to err. Fortunately, B2B producers can use a “science” to avoid all of these.

More in article, How to Avoid New-Product Commercial Risk

Awkward Reality #184

Closing the “Customer Insight Gap” gives B2B suppliers a competitive edge. Not so much for B2C.

184-Customer-Insight-Gap

B2C employees (e.g. Apple engineers) are consumers themselves, so they have high typical customer insight… but low potential insight, since consumers can’t easily predict what will entertain them. The gap between typical and potential insight when serving knowledgeable B2B customers is much larger. This is your competitive edge if you close the gap before competitors.

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 13).

Awkward Reality #183

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

183-Growth-Rate

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).

Awkward Reality #182

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

182-Price-and-Value

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?

Awkward Reality #181

Awkward Reality #180