Driving Results

Tue, Dec 9, 2008

Driving Results

We’ve all done it. We’re using our computer, or trying to program our VCR, maybe even doing something simple, like backing the car out of the driveway. And it’s just not happening. The function we’re looking for doesn’t seem to exist in the software and we can’t get the VCR to agree to tape our favorite show. The mirror in the car isn’t wide enough to show us the garbage cans, piled on the side of the road, which we’re about to hit.

So what do most of us do? We find ways to get around these problems without necessarily solving them. We don’t even necessarily contemplate ways to make these products work in our favor. But what should a company whose interest is in creating, improving or redesigning better products, learn from this kind of information?

Market research has been the traditional approach for companies trying to discover which product innovations are the ones people really want. But while traditional market research remains highly important to companies in their efforts to create new product lines or services, it fails to address the customer’s inability to perceive possibilities for innovation and their limitations in guiding the development of new products. The products offered need to meet the expressed as well as the tacit desires of the consumer in order to be successful. Since the needs of the customer are often unrealized or unexpressed, companies are obligated to find other research methods to collect the kind of information they can use to meet such needs.

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