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Let Customers In

Posted on October 11, 2007 by Sarah Eaton.

This week, we review the book summary of Outside Innovation by Patricia B. Seybold.

Jeff Sanchez

In Outside Innovation I don’t see what is so ‘groundbreaking’ about creating products/services through the customers’ point of view and adjusting them to meet customers’ needs. I feel it should be a necessary practice to thrive in the consumer market. At any rate, Innovation does give some nice examples with Lego and Threadless.com’s success. Companies are realizing that their own consumers know best about how to make the products their peers want and they’re capitalizing on it. Vans, Converse and other shoe companies are also taking note and letting the consumer take control.

Kevin Grant

This summary, Outside Innovation, discusses how customers should be top in a business’ development team.  After identifying the five customer roles – Lead Customer, Contributor, Consultant, Guide, Promoter – the summary identifies different ways companies can let these innovators have an impact on the present and future.  Much of the summary is powered by the notion that customers are willing to consume products that help reach their goals.  Instead of telling a customer what they want, the winning companies have open sources for comments, critiques and research to identify the main customer goals and how a business can take shape to fit their needs.  By allowing customers to have an impact, future customers see a business as an intuitive element in their lives.

Kathryn Regina

Here’s another book summary about encouraging customer feedback. In the words of the summary, “Outside innovations is a process of engaging directly with lead users and passionate customers to harness and commercialize their ideas and to codesign solutions that will better meet their needs.” An example that the summary gives is Lego’s program that allows customers to design their own Lego characters. Letting your customers lead your product innovation is a good idea—the trick is making it work for your company.

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October 11, 2007 in Brand enhancement, Building Customer Intuition, Corporate newsletter, Educating Clients, email tracking, Freelance newsletter, how to publish and promote online, how to write a newsletter, Interactive Marketing, Newsletter complete outsourcing, newsletter layout, Newsletter ROI, Newsletter solution, outsource magazine, prospect newsletter, sample newsletter, self publish, Thought leadership newsletter, writing magazine | Permalink


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I agree. Why would a company produce anything other then what the consumer needs?

Posted by: andy vanakin | May 14, 2008 11:27:04 AM

I agree with the idea that letting customers have an impact can impact how future customers see the business as an intuitive part of their lives. I think that the winning companies will be open to critiques by customers and will shape their business to fit customer needs and how a business can take shape to fit their needs.

Posted by: Paul Gardner | Nov 3, 2010 5:52:16 PM

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