Innovation through living a consumer's life
Jagannath hits the nail on the head when he says that 'the crux of the matter is, it is essential to identify needs of customers...not just the articulated ones'.
Now, that requires marketers to live the lives of their customers. Not just pay lip service their needs. But truly experience what kinda lives they lead as consumers.
Someone who's legendary in those kinda circles is IDEO, the design company. The article 'Power of Design' states that 'by showing global corporations how to change their organizations to focus on the consumer, IDEO is becoming much more than a design company.'
What's behind IDEO's legendary success?
Perhaps it is the unusual techniques it uses to energize corporate clients -- "bodystorming," "behavioral mapping," "quick and dirty prototyping," "deep dives," "unfocus groups," "shadowing," and "be your customer."
Or perhaps it is working with interesting polymaths -- people with two or three advanced degrees who climb mountains, go birding in the Amazon, and bike through the Alps -- instead of the typical B-school grad management consultant.
Whatever, at its peak in 2002, IDEO generated some $72 million in revenues.
Incredible, isn't it?