How wide is your knowing-doing gap?

Most companies know they should be interviewing customers to understand their needs. But how many have changed behavior? Are most of your new-product teams out there doing great interviews when no one is looking? The knowing-doing gap is the corporate version of the New Year’s resolution, with results just as impressive.

More in article, Where New Product Ideas Begin (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).

A supplier’s only path to profitable, sustainable growth is customer value creation.

Nothing you do within your operation will achieve such growth, unless customer value is also created. With operational efficiency alone, you’re in a race to the bottom. Quality and productivity improvements are important… but in isolation eventually lead to commoditization, as you and competitors approach a point of diminishing returns.

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 9).

Be paranoid about the innovation capabilities your competitors may be building.

If your new product development process does not require customer interviews today, consider two questions: 1) Do I have competitors beating me to the new product punch because they are using such interviews to uncover market needs? 2) Could I leapfrog them by building a company-wide competency of B2B-optimized interviews?

More in article, B2B Customer Interviews: Are They Different?

As in the country song, many firms look for new product ideas “in all the wrong places.”

Those wrong places are usually inside your company. In a study examining best idea sources, 8 voice-of-customer methods and 10 other methods were examined. In terms of effectiveness, the VOC methods took 8 of the 9 top spots. At the very top? Customer visit teams and customer observation. Most companies need to “get out” more.

More in article, Where New Product Ideas Begin (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth).