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?
Awkward Reality #22
Awkward Reality #21
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
Avoid these 7 mistakes in developing new products: 1) Imagining customer needs. 2) Relying on sales reps to capture customer needs. 3) Counting on just a few VOC experts. 4) Using hand-me-down consumer-goods methods. 5) Gathering only qualitative customer feedback. 6) Listening only to immediate customers. 7) Ignoring competitors when you design your product. ... Read More
In a tough economy, B2B producers can follow these 4 tips: 1) Hear the voice of the customer inexpensively, 2) get everyone listening to the customer’s voice, 3) use other people’s knowledge, and 4) alter their training model. ... Read More
Awkward Reality #20
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.
Awkward Reality #19
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)
Can you eliminate most commercial risk when developing B2B new products? Yes… by building a Certainty Time Machine. Once you start the development stage, you should primarily be dealing with technical risk, not commercial risk. ... Read More
Awkward Reality #18
The average company only has a 25% success rate after it finishes its front-end work. With Six Sigma success, you’ve got three defects per million attempts… while your new product development is stuck at three defects per four attempts. Can you think of any other area in your company with this level of waste? Don’t let your competitors tame this frontier first.
More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 3)
Your product launch budget will stretch much further when you understand your industry position on this matrix… based on the number of customers in your target market and your current supplier position. And AIM’s 2-Question Launch Survey will focus your spending for optimal efficiency. ... Read More
To move from supplier- to customer-centric innovation, B2B producers should shift their thinking in four areas: 1) new markets to new supplier, 2) validating hypotheses to uncovering outcomes, 3) competitive products to customer alternatives, and 4) competitive pricing to value creation. ... Read More