How is the modern B2B innovator like a weather forecaster?

In both cases models are used to predict future behavior. Barometric pressure and other data are the “raw material” for weather models. For you, it’s quantitatively measuring key customer outcomes in the front-end of innovation. Your model lets you replicate the customer experience… so you can know with confidence how they’ll react to any of your product designs.

More in article, How to model customer needs (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).

Skip quantitative interviews if you’ve got extra R&D resources to squander.

After qualitative interviews, seek customer ratings on key outcomes: “How important is abrasion resistance on a 1-10 scale? And how satisfied are you today with abrasion resistance on a 1-10 scale?” This lets you converge with confidence on only those outcomes customers care about… those with Market Satisfaction Gaps over 30% (important and unsatisfied).

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 11).

It is easy to tell if your interview is supplier-led or customer-led.

If you’re dragging in your list of questions and the customer feels they’re doing you a favor… it’s supplier-led. But if you keep the scope broad enough to interest them, let them lead you to what interests them, and help them think deeply through attentive probing… it’s customer-led. It’s also much more effective.

More in article, The Best Customer Interviews Use a Digital Projector (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).

Fully understanding customer outcomes requires 9 levels of examination.

You begin by uncovering, understanding, defining and setting outcomes’ direction… and end by quantifying their value. Skipping just one level dramatically decreases your odds of a highly-profitable new product. Do you know how many levels are baked into your new product development process? If you don’t, it’s less than nine.

More in article, The Science behind Great Value Propositions (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).

A customer outcome is like a scientific specimen, waiting to be examined and understood.

Great value propositions begin and end with customer outcomes. It’s like collecting specimens, sliding them under your microscope, and continuing to turn up the magnification. The careful researcher doesn’t have to agonize over the right value proposition. It comes into increasing focus, waving its arms and screaming to be addressed.

More in white paper, Timing is Everything (page 9).

Quickly identify any over-served markets. Then sprint in the opposite direction.

If all customer outcomes in a market are either unimportant or already satisfied, you’ll see low Market Satisfaction Gaps. This is an over-served market, and there’s only one thing that makes these customers happy: Dropping your price. Race to more attractive markets and hope your competitors waste resources here. Have you identified your over-served markets yet?

More in article, Customer Interviews—By the Numbers (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter).

Everyone wants to go faster. Few want to start earlier.

As we begin training employees in B2B front-end-of-innovation skills, the business leader often asks, “Can you make the project teams go faster?” I understand this… but a better approach would have been to not dither away so many months making a decision to start training in the first place. Investing in such skills can never begin too soon.

Learn more about B2B innovation at www.newproductblueprinting.com.