Research and faster horses

August 24th, 2012 by Ben Claxton

I think this is the best response to the statement – “Why ask customers? They don’t know what they want.”

Steve Jobs never asked. And as we all know, Henry Ford said that if you did ask customers you wouldn’t have gotten the car, just a faster horse.

As Brian Solis writes in the linked article, sometimes customers do know what they want, sometimes they don’t. But if you don’t ask you won’t know. And if you do ask you might discover inspiration for your next innovation:

Other byproducts of good research include the ability to feel customer empathy and translate it into inspiration

Research on the ‘Perception Gap’ by Pivot reveals that 76% of marketers feel they know what their customers want yet only 34% have asked customers – giving rise to the title of the research presumably.

There’s an arrogance associated with not doing innovation research. And if you aren’t Steve Jobs (no-one is), then this arrogance will distance you from what customers want and need (whether or not they can articulate it exactly), leaving your business less relevant and competitive than it once was.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 24th, 2012 at 4:58 pm and is filed under customer experience, ideas, research. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply