In order to win in the marketplace, companies must first develop an unmatched understanding of customer demand prior to developing the supply to meet it. Alignment of supply with demand results in accelerated growth, enhanced customer loyalty and significant pricing power. We have a proven track record of helping our clients create disruptive innovation across industries. We achieve this by consistently uncovering breakthrough insights into significant unmet customer needs and “Jobs-to-be-Done” across markets and industries, providing the foundation for transformational innovation.
We use a range of qualitative and quantitative methods to identify, quantify and dimensionalize latent and emerging customer demand. We provide specific recommendations regarding which innovation platforms to prioritize, as well as which new product concepts and design features to lead with, and how to price them. Additionally, we help clients identify innovation process capability gaps and implement best practices in order to ensure sustained high performance.
Questions we answer:
- What are the biggest areas of emerging and latent customer demand within the marketplace?
- What are our customers’ biggest unmet needs and pain points that we can help them solve for?
- What are the customer “Jobs-to-be-Done” we should focus on addressing via innovation, and what are the detailed “Job Specifications” that should guide the R&D process?
- What are the biggest gaps between current supply and ideal customer demand in the marketplace, and what are the implications for our innovation strategy?
- Which concepts, benefits, features and attributes should we prioritize in our innovation pipeline in order to best deliver against unmet customer demand?
- How can we develop a robust pipeline that balances closer-in innovation to sustain the business with further-out breakthrough innovation that will drive step-change growth?
- How does our innovation process compare to best-in-class companies, and what best practices should we incorporate to elevate performance over the long term?
While innovation is perhaps the most critical driver of long-term growth across industries, we find that companies consistently under-invest in deeply understanding and quantifying the unmet customer needs and Jobs-to-be-Done that provide the foundation for successful innovation. As a result, we observe low innovation success rates across industries, often driven by unambitious, undifferentiated new product launches that fail to uniquely address an unmet customer need and cannibalize existing portfolio offerings. This often leads to a significant increase in operational complexity and cost without a corresponding increase in portfolio performance.
We help companies uncover breakthrough innovation opportunities and elevate performance by grounding innovation strategy in an unmatched understanding of customer demand, unmet needs and Jobs-to-be-Done. By applying our methodologies, we are able to understand:
- Jobs-to-Be-Done: All products are actually services or experiences that customers “hire” to complete a specific job in the context of their lives. For a product or service to be hired, it must help the customer make progress towards achieving a goal within a specific circumstance. Successful products, services and brands resolve a meaningful struggle and satisfy an unmet aspiration. We use a proprietary approach, anchored in design thinking, to help clients understand key Jobs across the customer landscape, prioritize which Jobs to solve for via innovation and dimensionalize the “Job Spec” which provides specific R&D guidelines.
- Palates/Benefit Domains: In our data-rich era, it is relatively straightforward to understand supply – i.e., the set offerings and product features/attributes that are currently on the market. Understanding demand is much more difficult. We help clients quantify “ideal” customer demand across dozens of product/service dimensions and hundreds of potential attributes. We compare true customer demand to current market supply in order to identify the biggest demand gaps and white spaces to focus on addressing through innovation.
- Innovation Success Drivers: We build a comprehensive, multi-dimensional, longitudinal data set of new product launches across relevant product/service categories, and conduct robust statistical analyses in order to isolate and quantify the specific attributes and features that are most predictive of innovation success. This helps clients identify shifts in emerging demand, determine which specific benefits and product attributes to prioritize within their innovation pipeline and quantify the potential economic upside of innovation opportunities.
Product development and optimization
After defining a set of priority innovation platforms grounded in customer demand, the next step is developing an array of strongly aligned innovation concepts to test and optimize with target customers. We help companies translate deep customer insights into high impact innovation concepts through structured, cross-functional ideation techniques as well as iterative customer co-creation and optimization. We use both qualitative and quantitative methods to solicit customer feedback on new concepts, refining the offer bundle and pricing strategy to optimize concept resonance and economic potential.
Agile innovation process
In order to stay ahead of customer demand and sustain high growth over the long term, it is critical to make a true organizational commitment to being a best-in-class innovator. The most successful companies continuously strive to identify and implement new innovation best practices, while increasing agility and accelerating speed to market. In particular, we have found that better integrating teams from the outside, harnessing test-and-learn approaches as a way of life, embedding the customer as an active participant, and eliminating unnecessary hurdles are some of the key levers successful clients employ to add agility to their innovation process.
We work side-by-side with our clients to assess current innovation processes and performance from end to end. We identify the most significant performance gaps versus best-in-class competitors and provide a detailed roadmap specifying the capabilities, processes, tools, and resources required to elevate performance to the next level.