In the past, companies used the Quality and Productivity Waves for competitive advantage. But today quality and efficiency improvements just let you “keep up.” In the Innovation Wave, winners will take advantage of their B2B customers’ knowledge, interest, objectivity, and foresight. They’ll use the science of B2B customer insight to understand customer needs at unprecedented levels, during the front-end-of-innovation. This will be the key to blockbuster new products, sustainable organic growth, and “catching the innovation wave.”
To understand how the science of B2B customer insight works at nine levels—so your company can lead in the Innovation Wave—download the white paper Catch the Innovation Wave.
Preview: Catch the Innovation Wave… with the New Science of B2B Customer Insight
The Innovation Wave will differ from earlier Quality and Productivity Waves: A new science of B2B customer insight will ensure profitable, sustainable growth for some B2B companies.
If you could wish one thing for your company, what would it be? Many would choose profitable, sustainable organic growth. Imagine working at such a company. Employees would have stable, rewarding careers… investors and industry-watchers would admire your company… and you’d irritate competitors.
In the Innovation Wave, some companies will experience this growth—using impressive B2B customer insight—while others watch it. We have historical precedent in the Quality Wave. After he was ignored by US industry, Dr. W. Edwards Deming took his quality principles to Japan. As a result, its share of global auto production exploded from less than 3% in 1960 to nearly 30% by 1980. Being early or late for a wave has consequences.
The Productivity Wave, with its lean manufacturing and business process re-engineering, also had leaders and laggards. And so it will be for the Innovation Wave. This wave is hard to miss, with about 100 books on innovation written weekly. With this new wave, the focus has shifted from make it uniformly… to make it efficiently… to make what customers value. And that requires strong B2B customer insight.
Compared to earlier waves, the Innovation Wave could be a tidal wave. The first two waves apply to current operations, and therefore reach a point of diminishing returns. What can you do after you reach zero quality defects, or improve a highly-automated factory?
In contrast, the Innovation Wave impacts future sales… so it has unlimited potential. Figure this out and you’ll reach that Holy Grail of profit¬able, sustainable organic growth. What will a winner look like? Many companies will master a new science of B2B customer insight. This paper considers three questions: