That killer #soda …
"Mr Droneman, fly me the goods" by Amazon Prime Air. Brilliant conceptualisation video by Amazon. Dreams of instant delivery by air may become true soon.
New business developer, welcome to the world void of clear and present agendas and filled with millions of extremely small ones. Somewhere in there are the germs of future breakthrough product or service.
We often miss clear horizons in business development - Koli, finland
Why is it so difficult to come up with business model & new product breakthroughs these days? I’ve been involved in various new business development projects for the last ten years. In the beginning in the technology implementation side, then later on in the business development side. I’ve constantly debated about the nature of innovation, entrepreneural persistence, new category creation and market entry strategies. In most cases, it’s rare that the core idea and the fundamentals behind it are re-evaluated. More often, all intellectual thinking and optimisation efforts is focused to the post-ideation phase.
So where’s the customer or market insight, which the original idea of a product is based on? In recent years a field of study called service design has risen up to the challenge to create more successful and intuitive services.
Service design industry is attempting to break the boundaries of established thought patterns, improve the chances of success by studying the reasoning behind a chosen concept. Divergent methodologies produce more alternatives by investigating the fuzzy front-end before the real innovation is crystallised. Traditional product developers have traditional toolsets of market research, rapid prototypes, questionnaires and user groups.
Also, most investments to improvement effors are focused on time after the product development path has been already decided. Where are lots of reasons, why "what if" and questioning thinking is not acceptable, following the traditional standards. After all, they truly produce good products and services from time to time.
However, traditional research tools do a little to liberate the minds of the future users. Service design industry claims that users often have passive, latent needs that they cannot express in interviews, questionnaires and feedback forms. Free association excercises, seeking unknown and unconscious thought patterns can be implemented in forms of observing the future users, role-playing and design games.
Top-down pressure is evident and strong in most cases. Client has naturally approved budgets for new product and service development, based on kernel of idea - not an open ticket for dreaming.
However, I think there might be few options based on online behaviour that is emergent by nature. Loose online communities that are operated by someone, but where the members produce the content and discussion topics. I call them communities, that make our lives better. Their characteristics:
Where can you find these communities? They’re all around. Mostly people run into them by occasional linking by a friend or stranger in social media. Here is a rough and not all-inclusive classification for some of the community types:
There are numerous reasons why communities exist and have become popular. Here are few to start with:
So, does a “selfie” taken on a tram and shared with fitting situational punchline have anything to do with innovation? Not neccessarily. But consider this: if this person has influence among others, debate is started, other people publish images, that validates the original claim, discussion is rised to the level of mainstream media - experienced new business developer might be able to construct paths for future services that address the issue.
So, should business developers learn something from communities and their co-creation capabilities? I think the answer is yes. According to my understanding, service designers are pushing this type of thinking to their clients, when they try to improve their customer satisfaction, co-creation skills and re-think the way they are creating value.
It’s definately not easy. Even Apple has some difficulties to release incremential product improvements that go beyond the demands of today’s consumer.
Most organisations are bound by their past methods that produced their early successes. Therefore new practices are not easily welcomed. Startups on the other hand often do this kind of fuzzy front end procession naturally, since their future depends on finding a good fit and customer need from the market.
So, think about this. How about not just “steal” kernels of ideas from communities but start to co-create concepts with them?
Kiasma #Helsinki #architecture
Few curious things about Finnish markets, marketing and customer experience.
Near-monopoly gas supplier Gasum sends 60 -page, top-notch, custom-made cooking book for their customers, called Köökki.
Well-produced, really suitable recipes for gas oven households. Brilliant, well spent, thought through and focused marketing.
I find also that, for most of the time, best service and most knowledgeable staff is in Alko - government-run alcohol retailer. There are exceptions, naturally.
The worst service experience I often get? Mostly private commodity service producers, such as telecom operators, that are under immense competition for new customers.
So the question stands, why you get top-notch customer experience and marketing from companies, that are almost totally safe from competition? And vice-versa?
No need for advertising?
Why you see the best efforts of customer experience in market that is nearly free of competition?
Is it because the resources normally reserved for marketing and advertising are now invested into educating the sales people, hiring more customer service people and high-end publishing-type of indirect lifestyle marketing material?