The customer is king – we all know this principle. It’s nothing new. And we don’t want to contradict it in any way. When we talk about customers, we naturally assume that you are active in a company or organization. If you don’t work for any company or organization, then just imagine that you work for companies or for an organization that you know.
However, a very simple – almost trivial – arithmetic exercise shows that the group of people, organizations or companies that are not currently your customers is probably larger than the group you may already call your customers.
You can learn and be inspired from this group of non-customers. Maybe these non-customers are prevented from buying your products by certain barriers. Maybe these non-customers don’t need your products because they have other means to solve the problems your product solves. Or because these non-customers do not value the benefits that your product – by which we mean goods and services – provides. By knowing the obstacles and barriers of your non-customers, you can derive innovation opportunities.
These innovation opportunities will not only help you increase the satisfaction of your current customers, but also turn a – perhaps small – part of the large amount of non-customers into customers. So be open not only to the problems of your customers, but also to the problems of those who are not your customers yet.
Ask yourself the following questions to identify new innovation opportunities:
- Which people, companies, organizations are not your customers yet?
- What are the obstacles and barriers that keep them out?
The decisive factor is always that your innovation has a specific use for your customers, in other words that the innovation addresses a problem that you solve for your customers with the innovation. You can examine every idea you have with this simple question: What problem does the innovation solve?