Henry Ford once said, “If we had asked customers what they wanted they’d have said ‘faster horses!’” While much has been written about identifying and addressing unmet customer needs, in truth it is very difficult to elicit what they really will do as opposed to what they say they will do. As a client in the food business once observed, “They talk thin…they eat fat.”
To Henry Ford’s point, customers aren’t particularly good generators of breakthrough ideas, primarily because they lack knowledge and vision. However, there are two critical roles for them in the innovation process: 1) as barometers of emerging trends & unmet needs, in the Discovery phase, before the inventing of new ideas begins, and 2) as evaluators of new value propositions, in the Incubation phase, after candidate innovations have been generated. These are the two best places to engage customers in innovation.
CoLabs were created in response to a need for a qualitative research tool that goes beyond the scope of traditional focus groups. They were created on the fundamental belief that the worst way to get an answer to a question is to ask the question. Instead, CoLabs generate meaningful customer insights through a series of scenario exercises, story telling and conversations.
- Richer, deeper discussion and exploration with customers.
- More project-able insights.
- Customer stories that will inform and inspire the Invention phase.
- Customers who can be discovered in PreLabs™ (trends and needs) and re-engaged in ConceptLabs™ (critiquing innovative ideas) for continuity.
Download the full one-page description of CoLabs™ now to learn how we do it.