Customer Led Innovation
In order for a company to thrive in today’s world, it is imperative that they are continuously innovative and two steps ahead of their competitors. Companies struggle with innovation and ideation because they have not established an innovation program. The process of transforming an idea into a newly improved product or service should not only involve internal employees. The most successful innovators of all time have included their customers in their innovation process. Take Dell for example. They created an online community called Ideastorm where customers can post new ideas and suggestions. Users are able to “demote” or “promote” or make comments on the ideas. Or what about fluevog.com, that promotes “open source footwear.” Customers can actually submit their ideas and help design new shoes. By involving their customers, a company is able to expand their team, and come up with that many more ideas.
So how can you begin involving your customers in the ideation process? First, begin breaking down the silos between internal and external and start creating a collaborative environment to develop new ideas. Remember to request and provide feedback. You will be amazed at how many good ideas and opportunities your customers may inspire. And remember it all stems back to the importance of listening to the customer and providing solutions.