This month one member of the SPS LinkedIn group asked how organisations can determine what customers value in order to gain competitive advantage. They asked whether it was enough to canvas the views of customers directly, or whether internal brainstorming could go further and identify the things that even the consumers themselves weren’t aware of.
Those replying had very strong, and often opposing views. One member was a proponent of the direct approach, saying: “If simply asking consumers directly is feasible, there is nothing like it.”
Another argued: “I’m not convinced that asking what customers want is the way to launch a successful product. It’s trickier than that. However, it may be that the seed of an idea is generated through customer survey results, and then they are developed by your R&D department.”
A third person highlighted a middle way: “For any product/offering innovation or differentiation to gain competitive edge, it’s always about determining customer value. However the nature of product/offer and customer awareness determines whether we should ask a direct value proposition or determine indirectly ourselves.“
Why not join in the debate, with over 5,500 members of the SPS LinkedIn group.