Awkward Reality #25

Does tripling your profit growth seem impossible? It’s not with customer-engaging innovation.

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The data are in, the studies are done, and—put simply—customer-engaging VOC improves your bottom line. One study on innovation by Booz & Co. found this: Suppliers who directly engage customers enjoy three times the profit growth vs. those that do not. Want huge profit growth? Engage your customers. It’s not hard, but it is a different approach… even innovative.

More in article, Why Advanced VOC Matters (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter)

Awkward Reality #24

Don’t count on your R&D people being brighter than competitors’.

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Will you win because your R&D people are 20% smarter than the competition’s? If that logic sounds shaky, here’s a suggestion: What if your R&D worked only on problems customers truly cared about… while competitors kept guessing what to work on? Would that be a competitive advantage? This is easier than you think… but maybe you’d rather try to hire geniuses.

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 4)

Awkward Reality #23

You don’t know what you don’t know.

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When developing a product, you know what you know (facts)… what you think (hypotheses)… and what you don’t know (gaps). But breakthroughs usually come from what you didn’t know you didn’t know. Only your customers know this, so you must let them guide you. This provides the spark of innovation, which seldom occurs with old-fashioned supplier-led interviews.

More in e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B (page 3)

Awkward Reality #22

Interview B2B customers in a way that allows—even invites—surprise.

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We’ve coached hundreds of B2B new product teams and here’s the awkward reality: When teams begin using advanced methods to interview customers, they are usually surprised by what customers want. This means the teams had been planning on developing a product that interested them, not customers. This is a sobering experience. Have you had it yet?

More in article, The Cost Cutter’s Guide to Growth (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter)

Awkward Reality #21

You can’t achieve profitable, sustainable growth behaving like your competitors.

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Unless your company has smarter employees, some inherent unassailable advantage, or a markedly different approach to satisfying customers… pesky competitors will always limit your growth. What if you and your competitors were all committing the same innovation errors… but you corrected them first? Good news: There is much to correct.

More in article, Seven Mistakes that Stunt Organic Growth

Awkward Reality #20

Boost your new product launch by knowing what your ad agency does and does not “own.”

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A proper product launch defines who to tell, what to tell and how to tell. You own who and what to tell, while your ad agency or PR firm should focus on how to tell. Hand them a strong Prospect Profile and Message Brief for “who and what.” Otherwise, they’ll waste your money guessing.

More in article, Stop Squandering Your Product Launch Budget (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter)

Awkward Reality #19

Closely examine B2B innovation malpractice, and you’ll see a pervasive disregard for customer needs.

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It’s ironic: B2B customers have the only vote on whether our new product is any good. B2B customers want us to innovate on their behalf. B2B customers are eminently qualified to guide us. Yet many suppliers all but ignore B2B customers when developing their product concepts. Today, this is a global pandemic.

More in article, Is Your Innovation Supplier-Centric… or Customer-Centric? (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter)