An article in the Financial Times on 7 January 2014 caught our eye. It talked about how product designers get ideas from speaking to extreme users. New ideas don’t necessarily come from normal customers because these people are probably quite satisfied with their products – otherwise they wouldn’t be regular buyers. Look to the people who are on the fringes of your range of customers and see what they’re doing.
The customers who reject your products may be telling you something that you need to know. Look at the customers who are using your products and particularly look at their demographics. Where are the extremes of your market in terms of the geographies where your products are used, the age of the people who are using them, the uses they are making of the products? These could be fertile grounds for new ideas on product development.
Keep an open mind about how the products have been used and ask challenging questions about how the product could be improved.
It may be that the ideas that come from tracking extreme consumers will never be commercialised, but it may be that a germ of an idea is created which can be built into a significant market demand.
Read the full article on http://www.ft.com or in the FT newspaper.
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