Companies like APPLE® haven’t waited for customers to specifically ask them for completely different telephones or even faster, thinner, and lighter products. Folks from that corporation observe how people work and communicate and then create products to address the problems and wishes before the customers even have a chance to complain about it. APPLE® has been so good at innovation that their products haven’t just responded to a recognized need the products create a need.
But the reality is…most of us are not APPLE®.
We can’t all create a need, but if we wait until customers actually ask us to provide a new service or product, those customers have been frustrated for a long time. We run the risk of competitors figuring out how to address the problem before we start to develop a product/service. The company that only provides a new product when it’s been directly requested is playing it safe, ends up with a smaller portion of the available business, and is viewed as conservative and reactive.
When it comes to product/service innovation, there is an important zone between “bleeding edge – create a need” and “reactive – wait to be asked.”
If your company interacts with its customers, conducts focus groups, asks about where the clients are headed, listens to customer complaints and frustrations that are unrelated to your company’s existing products/services, you will have a sense of the “felt pain.”
The best products/services of tomorrow address today’s’ felt pain.
In addition to developing a product/service that fixes a problem, it’s important to invest in marketing. During the complaining phase, customers aren’t asking you to provide a product/service….in part because they don’t believe anyone will address their problem. They don’t know you have the capacity to do anything. They have no idea that the new product/service exists. How can they request it from you?
I am now in the process of launching my 8th enterprise. This one involves collaboration among several competitors who are industry leaders. Why would customers believe that is even possible or know to request it? The new business concept lowers the price of a mission-critical service so midsized companies can actually afford to have the excellent product/service that only major corporations have been able to afford. Why would the customer ask for that when it doesn’t seem possible to them?
The strongest businesses introduce new products and services that truly address felt pain…and they do so boldly to move the market place from complaining to placing an order.
Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP has earned the right to be called THE GROWTH STRATEGIST™. She has won over 2 dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth of her international businesses across 4 recessions. Her midsized BtoB service, technology, and distribution clients get on…and then stay on…the published lists of the fastest growing privately held companies. All of her own service businesses (strategic planning, executive advisory, growth financing, talk show, speaking, search) help privately held midsized companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability™. Ambler is in her 7th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer on line talk show at www.Business. VoiceAmerica.com and www.growthstrategistshow.com that features interviews with CEOs/Presidents of midsized companies (typically between $20 and 200 Mil/yr) sharing success tips about the growth strategy-of-the-week. Family owned businesses are being emphasized in 2011. Ambler is in the process of launching her 8th enterprise. She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at Aldonna@AMBLER.com.
Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna Ambler built and grew a suite of companies to help midsized B2B companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Ambler has addressed over 2000 audiences and hosted a syndicated online talk show about growth strategies for 9 years. As a growth financing intermediary, Ambler raised over $1 Bil dollars for midsized companies. The winner of over 2 dozen prestigious national and statewide "entrepreneur of the year" awards, Ambler is available to speak about “profitable growth during any economy” and/or serve on the board of a growth-oriented privately-held company.