How to get Your Customers to Create Your Products
Lead users are the first people to adopt a product, adjust it to meet their needs, and voice their opinions of it. They are opinion leaders and they have followers. Lead users have a large area of influence. Essentially, they are a center of influence for your product and are using the product long before it is mainstream. These are the people encouraging (or discouraging) others to use your products; they are online with blogs, tweeting on Twitter, and posting on social media sites in order to influence the public.
Companies like Starbucks and Dell are leaders in harnessing the power of their customers’ innovations. These companies realize that not only is social media useful in responding quickly to complaints and customer service issues, but also a way to drive product innovation from the users of their products. Each company created pages on their websites (My Starbucks Idea and Dell’s IdeaStorm) that allow customers to post ideas for changes to current products and ideas for future product development. Customers and employees rate the ideas on their website. The ratings are public and some of these ideas, based on their rating, are implemented. These companies understand the power of lead user innovation.
What do you think?
What other companies have you seen do this? Do you think it is beneficial or just a fad? What sort of technology can you use to monitor the public’s perception of your product, brand, and company?
- Why Should A Business Care About Social Media? (bizaboutbiz.com)
- Secret for brand success in social media: Take a walk in shoes of customers, critics (jon8332.typepad.com)
- Infegy Named ‘Innovative Business Analytics Company to Watch’ by Leading Analyst Firm (prweb.com)
- Book Review: The Digital Innovation Playbook: Creating a Transformative Customer Experience by Nicholas J. Webb (blogcritics.org)