You won’t find innovation success … if you’re not delivering against a real consumer need

6 Sep 2017

In innovation brakes #4 we look at a cause of many NPD failures.

It seems obvious but you would be amazed at the number of product launches pushed through that don’t meet a real consumer need.  Factory capacity, budget commitments and internal momentum don’t make a consumer want or buy a product.

A successful new innovation idea needs to build on a fundamental understanding of your consumers’ needs and motivations.  It then requires an ability to communicate the product proposition in a powerful and distinct way.

When you focus on the consumers’ needs, success will follow. Google know this well, they improved the speed of their search capability with predictive analysis, so search suggestions come up after the user types a few letters. This Instant Search feature saves the user a few micro-seconds each time. Google sales reps were concerned that this shortened the time consumers would view ads, but the company went ahead and believed that it was worth the risk. The result? Thanks to Instant Search, Google estimates the time saved is equivalent to 5,000 years, after a year of collective use! Google shows that if you create a great user experience the revenue will take care of itself and more consumers will be attracted to your product’s increased benefits.

The best way to ensure your innovation is delivering against a real consumer need is to get out and meet consumers. By conducting research at the point of consumption we can help you get beneath the surface of consumers wants, needs and motivations, finding penetrating insights and unmet needs. These insights and unmet needs should become the guiding lights of a successful innovation process. Equally, having met real consumers it’s much easier to ideate, and sense-check that the product ideas you are developing, really would appeal to the actual person you met. That way you can put consumer needs at the heart of your innovation process.

Written by  David Goudge