How to win by putting people at the centre of your innovation process

To innovate effectively in a rapidly changing and increasingly challenging environment, you need deep insight about the people that might buy from you and how they perceive your brand.

The rise of consumer power is unstoppable. Globalisation brought more choice, the internet brought informed choice, and now the ubiquity of social media gives consumers the power not only to affect their own choices, but also the choices of others. The impact of AI is unfolding in front of our eyes, and it seems likely it will be profound. All this change has had a big effect on innovators, with the best adapting to better serve their customers.

More and more businesses are embracing the power of consumer feedback for developing superior products and services. Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands have been ahead of the curve in consumer-centric product development. But in many other categories, brands have traditionally focussed their development processes internally, often with less conscious reflection on consumers’ wants and needs, resulting in disappointing commercial results. Take BlackBerry, for example. Their much-publicized collapse was complex, but ultimately came down to not giving consumers the smartphones they wanted until after irreparable damage had been done to their brand and business.

This article was published exclusively on on July 26, 2023.