What really drives your new product pricing? Perhaps not what you think.

Many think new product pricing is determined by how much value a supplier delivers to customers… but that’s not strictly true. Pricing is driven by customers’ perception of value delivered. Therefore, you need to give prospective buyers a value calculator or similar tool, so they can see how much money they’ll make or save.

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 12).

Should you take a Do-It-Yourself approach to customer insight?

B2B producers often take a DIY approach, while B2C marketers hire research firms. Why? For one thing, consumer products often have bigger annual revenues: Think of all the small B2B parts in a big-ticket item like a smart phone. For B2C it’s all about that launch. But B2B companies often “turn the crank” on many smaller new products… so its economical to develop in-house expertise.

More in article, You Already Answered 4 Questions, but… Correctly? (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).

Stage-and-gate processes are necessary, but not sufficient.

A new product development process with stages and gates provides helpful discipline. But most suffer from two limitations: 1) Internal focus… talking to ourselves instead of customers. 2) Analytical thinking… promoting a checklist mentality. You also need discovery thinking, with a focus on learning. Unlike analytical thinking, this is fragile and must be nurtured.

More in article, Should Your Stage-Gate® Get a No-Go?

Consider an important—if awkward—question to ask new-product project teams.

If any process in your company should be customer-driven, it should be the one developing products for customers, right? So try this at your next review: Ask team members how many hours they spent talking to customers… and how many hours working internally. You may be surprised at how little time was spent understanding customer needs.

More in article, Should Your Stage-Gate® Get a No-Go?

Innovators should worry about errors of omission as much as errors of commission.

When you validate your new product concept with customers, they may tell you if it’s a dud. Great… you’ve avoided the error of commission. But what about the error of omission? If you first enter the customer’s world with B2B divergent interviews, you might learn of unexpected needs that lead to a blockbuster.

More in white paper, Lean Startup for B2B (page 9).

If you think your employees are passionate about earnings per share, you’re out of touch.

When recruiting John Sculley from Pepsi, Steve Jobs asked, “Do you want to sell sugar water the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” Most employees paid no attention to your last quarter’s earnings-per-share. But they’ll tell their grandkids how their new product turned an industry upside-down.

More in article, Why Maximizing Shareholder Value is a Flawed Goal (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth).

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).

The more uncertain a new-product project, the better.

With a high-certainty product project, you can accurately predict your financial profits. With an uncertain project, you face significant potential downside and upside profits. In B2B markets, you can understand the downside very early. You’ll kill the project cheaply if the downside cannot be eliminated. And reap big upside profits if it can.

You can methodically strip away uncertainty and de-risk your projects. This is done through a four-step process that combines Discovery-Driven Planning with New Product Blueprinting. Learn more in this white paper, Innovating in Unfamiliar Markets (page 5).

Once your new product is launched, the pricing insight window slams shut.

Customers will help you set prices before—but not after—you launch your new product. They want you to develop innovative new products and services that deliver value to them… so they’ll give you insights to make this happen. These same insights allow you to establish optimal pricing. Do you know how to do this? It will be too late after you launch your product.

More in article, Pricing New vs. Existing Products (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth Newsletter)