By Ingo Koenig
In my last blog I discussed the internal prerequisites a company needs to come up with new ideas. New ideas are the starting point of any innovation. However, what value does any innovation create if it does not add any value for the customer? … None!
Recently, I attended a World Business Forum where a famous colleague, Tom Peters (“In Search of Excellence”), talked about some of the more successful companies around the world. In his own very ironic tone he “secretly” announced that all these companies did something “incredibly smart” … “they asked their customers”.
It seems to be so obvious to include your customers in your marketing as well as your innovation processes, but still only a few players manage this process really well, e.g. Apple. But even today, most companies have a culture of “it would be really fun working here if the customers would not disturb us all the time”.
Let us embrace our customers, make them partners in our developments, and put our innovative capacities to satisfy their needs, or even better, the needs of their customers.
There are numerous inside-out, outside-in, bottom-up and top-down tools to achieve what a CEO I recently met called “customer intimacy”. He said, there is no substitute to customer intimacy in order to be successful in the market place… indeed!
Ingo studied business administration and economics at Kiel University where he received a PhD in economic policy and also earned an MBA from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, USA. Visit www.koenigconsultants.ca