Outcome-driven innovation

What do customers need?

Companies should look less at what demographic segment customers are in, and focus on what customers need to get done.

To try to innovate and compete against already established companies in an industry segment is tough. A market segment might not be defined by the industry or the demographics of the users, but rather by the customers’ output objective.

Companies should focus on customer-desired outcome rather than on a demographic profile to segment markets and offer well-targeted products. Traditional survey-driven innovation doesn’t necessarily satisfy customers’ needs, while innovation that focuses on a concrete outcome makes predictable innovation possible.

By listening to customers about what they are trying to attain, and measuring how important it is to them, you might recognise opportunities. By pinpointing specific criteria about what customers want to gain, your company can identify ideas and technologies that create customer value.

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – Alan Kay

Companies create products and industry niches with an emphasis on what they want to sell, rather than on what customers need. In contrast, firms that have services in a crowded marketplace that use outcome-driven innovation can make features solve outcome requirements for users.

Companies try to listen to the voice of the customer to capture his expectations, preferences and aversions. With this method, a company can disrupt a mature market, or create a breakthrough innovation and develop a whole new market.

By applying outcome-driven innovation, you can shape any phase in the customer journey: from the innovation process, to market positioning, idea generation, testing of concept and marketing. Customer insight to drive innovation focuses on customers that buy things because they are the ones with a job they’d like to get done.

Christian Leborg

Christian Leborg

Christian Leborg is a visual communicator and branding consultant. He specialises in building brand strategies and brand identities. Christian has worked with several specializations within visual communication as well as teaching and being an author. Christian now works on his third stint as an entrepreneur.