Growth is a near-universal business goal. When companies prioritize growth, they often implement customer-centric innovation principles without even realizing it. However, there is a right and wrong way to go about consumer-centrism.
Problems typically arise because businesses align their processes with what they think they know about their customers rather than what is actually true about them. We’ve cracked the customer code, so it’s only right that we share our findings about customer-centric innovation with you!
Alright, we have a confession to make. There is no “customer code.” In fact, customer-centric innovation is pretty simple to grasp. It’s about as much of a code as pig Latin or the way you spell out W-A-L-K, so your dog doesn’t shift into hyperdrive prematurely. You can simplify customer-centric innovation into three components:
As a wise man by the name of Lil Wayne once said, women lie, men lie, numbers don’t lie. Typically, effective analytics requires a digital transformation. Innovation processes are far from linear. Unfortunately, customer-centric innovation is no exception. Innovation technology is a requirement if you ever hope to organize those ideas into something actionable.
Many companies utilize technology like machine learning and AI to personalize their consumer experience. The "for you" section on your favorite streaming platforms is a culmination of what machine learning has deduced from your watch history. It's a slightly creepy yet effective demonstration of data-backed personalization!
It's easy for companies to create an echo chamber when the same decision-makers are constantly at the head of the table. Tapping into the distribution of knowledge by engaging your employees is vital because they are closer to your customers than anyone.
Customer-centrism means that customer satisfaction must be the focal point of company decisions about its products, services, and user experiences. Since it requires a high level of feedback collection and collaboration, it inherently promotes transparency in your business processes.
When executed correctly, customer-centrism has the power to improve workflow and shift your company culture for the better. This is one of the biggest benefits of implementing a customer-centric innovation plan because employee engagement is crucial to successful innovation. Customer-centrism allows you to address your company's relationship with its consumers and employees all at once.
Customer-centric innovation starts bottom-up from employees closest to the customer and who knows them better than anyone else. rready's KICKBOX allows those people to voice their innovative ideas. And, don't forget that customer-centric innovation requires a solid plan for research and development. rready's Kickbook contains a step-by-step walkthrough of this process, but we'll consolidate it in the following few paragraphs for anyone who hasn't gotten their hands on one yet. We highly recommend it, by the way. It's right up there next to Harry Potter and Twilight on our all-time favorite book list.
First, identify your innovation problem statement and the consequences it creates. Next, you'll use it to create your ideal consumer. An ideal consumer is a person who is not only affected by your problem but is also most likely to seek your solution. Try to flesh out your ideal consumer by creating a persona and filling in as many details as possible.
It’s time to investigate. After defining your ideal customer, you’ll need to match them to an actual customer (it's not all fun and make-believe around here). Which target market most closely matches your idealization? If your customer exists, which demographic do they belong to? Once you’ve found your real-life parallel, determine what needs the customer has that create the demand for your solution.
Finally, it’s time to put your persona to the test. So far, you’ve crafted a customer out of thin air, then managed to relate them to a real-life market. To ensure all that idealizing didn’t get to your head, you must validate your hypotheses. rready has a two-word solution for this—problem interview. Don’t be shy. Get out there and talk to your potential consumers directly! A problem interview allows you to determine what consumers view as their ideal solution.
Every company is different, but we know that we have a solution for yours. And, who’s better suited to help you implement customer-centric innovation than the ones who taught you what it was in the first place? No one, that's who.
Then it’s time to engage your employees and unleash the creativity from within. Our innovation solutions drive the inspiration employees need to do their best work. Together we can build a strong, lasting cultural change for your business, bottom-up. What are you waiting for?Get started today