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What is a Value Proposition?

What is a Value Proposition?

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Who is the customer?

Who is the customer?

A market is a job and a job executor. This is all we need to know to understand the answer to the question, “Who is the customer?” To better explore this question – let’s begin with this: The goal of innovation is to help a customer to accomplish a job perfectly. Question: Who gets to say what “perfect” is? Answer: The customer (of course). Question: Who is the customer? Answer: The person executing the job. We innovate for the person…

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Go Slow to Go Fast: How to Speed up New Product Development

Go Slow to Go Fast: How to Speed up New Product Development

Taking time to understand customer needs reduces product development time. Ever heard the joke about the optimistic pilot? Before the days of computers, when pilots had to use more elementary tools, a particularly optimistic pilot was flying from New York to Bermuda. To his horror, he noticed that the compass needle seemed to be stuck. Being conscientious, he felt that he should alert his passengers. “Good afternoon. I’m afraid I must inform you that we’re having some instrument problems and…

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The Origin Story for Jobs-to-be-Done Thinking (JTBD)

The Origin Story for Jobs-to-be-Done Thinking (JTBD)

How did jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) thinking begin? The cornerstone was laid way, way back in 1960 with the most famous HBR article ever written, Marketing Myopia. Ted Levitt told us us that “the railroads did not stop growing because the need for passenger and freight transportation declined. (but rather) …They let others take customers away from them because they assumed themselves to be in the railroad business rather than in the transportation business.” He further explains that the movie industry should likewise…

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What is Win/Loss Analysis?

What is Win/Loss Analysis?

“I never lose. Either I win or I learn.” Unknown   Why did your customer buy your product – or your competitors? This basic tactic is used by less than 20% of companies. (http://pragmaticmarketing.com/resources/the-eight-rules-of-successful-winloss-analysis). Why is this? This riddle can take a seat alongside “Why do companies have such a short-term focus?” and “Why does CEO pay skyrocket even as performance declines?” Rather than ponder the mysteries of the irrational, let us focus on something more useful – understanding this…

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What’s the difference between positioning and branding?

What’s the difference between positioning and branding?

Positioning is the process of associating a something (product, brand, company) with a desired concept. In other words, the strategy.  It’s deliberate. A process of choosing the association that you want. Volvo = safety. Harley-Davidson = the loudest, most American motorcycle. Walmart = low prices. The brand is the “thing” that you want to position.  That’s why it makes sense to say that you position the brand, but it does not make sense to say that you brand the position….

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What’s really different about B2B market research?

What’s really different about B2B market research?

From the book, New Product Blueprinting, we know that the B2B customer is generally more knowledgeable, more interested and more objective, which has implications for the quality of insight that we can learn from a customer interview. However, the most important  difference, and the most meaningful for B2B market research has to do with the markets themselves: they are more concentrated. This simply means that there are fewer customers. Fewer customers for mining shovels than toothpaste. Think about it…packaging equipment, chemicals,…

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Your Best Will Always Be Good Enough

Your Best Will Always Be Good Enough

One of my favorite podcasts is “The Wolfpacker” – where the host, Matt Carter, recounts the recent highs and lows of my beloved NC State Wolfpack. Sports energizes the competitive side of me. It also fills our family calendar with games – both in-person and on television. It Carter happens to have a speaking impediment. When I first started listening to the show  – it was quite noticeable. I wonder how he can host the show through that? This is very relevant…

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And Suddenly the Inventor Appeared

And Suddenly the Inventor Appeared

“And Suddenly the Inventor Appeared” is the name of Genrich Altshuller’s book which illustrated a large collection of his problem solving principles through riddles and stories. He had a crazy comb-over, wrote children’s books, personally insulted Stalin, went to prison, invented the best known system for solving technical problems – and owned a pile of patents as a kid. Other than that, he pretty lived an ordinary life. Altshuller is best known as the inventor of TRIZ – which is…

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Boldness Wins the Day

Boldness Wins the Day

As a New Product Dog, you are the closest to the customer. You will understand the markets better than most around you. However, you also know to keep a holistic perspective – focused on what is best for the business long term. You find yourself surrounded by the myopic masses. Trying to maximize one metric at the expense of all else. The director of product safety would require all your users to wear a helmet, gloves, ear protection, eye protection,…

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