Do you really know your customers? Are you sure you understand their needs, wants, desires and motivations? Most likely you don’t.
Why do I know this? Because most organizations are not designed to ‘become their customers’. For an example of what I mean read this NPR article on how: To Understand Truckers, Two Photographers Become Truckers.
About two years ago, he and his wife Tracey Mancenido, also a photographer, decided to drop their lives, attend truck driving school, and hit the road. Tribble, the son of a truck driver, wanted to know more about the elusive culture that moves America — and figured the only way to understand it was to live it.
See that last sentence in bold? The only way to understand something is to live it. Bingo!
We’re in incredibly changing times, your customers wants and desires will also change to another value structure. Instead of assuming their wants and desires will always be the same, think the opposite. Just as the photographer did to understand truckers, you must remove the distance between you and your customers, immerse yourself in their environment and make their needs, frustrations and desires your own.
To discover new opportunities for innovation, you need to get under your customers skin and become them.