My Photo


  • What is Outside Innovation?
    It’s when customers lead the design of your business processes, products, services, and business models. It’s when customers roll up their sleeves to co-design their products and your business. It’s when customers attract other customers to build a vital customer-centric ecosystem around your products and services. The good news is that customer-led innovation is one of the most predictably successful innovation processes. The bad news is that many managers and executives don’t yet believe in it. Today, that’s their loss. Ultimately, it may be their downfall.

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter


      Eric von Hippel coined the term "lead users" to describe a group of both customers and non-customers who are passionate about getting certain things accomplished. They may not know or care about the products or services you offer. But they do care about their project or need. Lead users have already explored innovative ways to get things done. They're usually willing to share their approaches with others.
      I use the term "lead customers" to describe the small percentage of your current customers who are truly innovative. These may not be your most vocal customers, your most profitable customers, or your largest customers. But they are the customers who care deeply about the way in which your products or services could help them achieve something they care about.
      We’ve spent the last 25 years identifying, interviewing, selecting, and grouping customers together to participate in our Customer Scenario® Mapping sessions. Over the years, we’ve learned how to identify the people who will contribute the most to a customer co-design session. These are the same kinds of people you should be recruiting when you set out to harness customer-led innovation.
      You no longer win by having the smartest engineers and scientists; you win by having the smartest customers!
      In more than 25 years of business strategy consulting, we’ve found that customer co-design is a woefully under-used capability.
    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    « Long Awaited Spore Launch: Customer-Created Content and Protests via Amazon! | Main | Tagging the Physical World »

    September 23, 2008



    Great point from Pete. Here's something we've found with a major telco: when sending an outbound message, and you want to add extra assurance, give the customer something to do like confirm that this is understood by you, that you want the information pack posted to you, that you want the link the webcast etc. Pro-active communications with actions have very positive response rates, and where the "to do" is linked to speaking with a call center agent, even more so. A final interesting twist to this might be enabling people to connect with social media such as Facebook groups relating to the issue, etc. etc. Companies might also think about the various types of customer that may need different kinds of assurance.

    Patricia Seybold

    Thanks, Peter....Good points!

    Peter Horne

    Hi Patty,

    I read your note about re-assuring customers with some affinity. I agree with your points and given my experience at the front line would add the following advice to your interested readers.

    You need to think evenly about the communications needs of all three major stake holders - clients, staff and shareholders. Staff, who are also customers, are the most powerful customer communicators who have the greatest leverage on any communications program. If you can convince your team with a message, not only have you convinced an educated and critical audience and got vital feedback which can improve your message, you have also convinced your key influencers at the front line with customers.

    So my advice is that if you are in financial services and want to look after your customers - look after your team! If you look after your team they will look after your customers. Then you can look after your shareholders by telling them how you are supporting the team to look after your customers. Get these in place and over the long run shareholder value will look after itself.

    I hope things are going well for you.


    The comments to this entry are closed.

    Patricia Seybold Group Web Site

    RSS 2.0 Feeds
    PSGroup New Research
    Add the latest research to Google
    Add the latest research to My Yahoo!

    Your email address:

    Powered by FeedBlitz


    • Google Analytics for Blog
    Blog powered by Typepad