Keeping up with customer demand is getting harder and harder. More than half of new products fail, and those that really move the needle are even more unlikely.
While businesses may be struggling to understand what tomorrow’s customers want, the need to do so will only continue to grow more pressing. Customers will continue to demand more and more, and they’ll let the world know quickly if your new solutions don’t meet expectations. Competitors will continue coming up with strategies to undercut your prices, add new features, and slowly steal away market share. Startups will offer customized products and on-demand services that reduce demand for traditional offerings.
Corporate futurists are one way that companies will respond to these increasing market pressures. Futurists have the tough job of looking at social, technological, and economic trends from across industries and creating a view of how those forces will impact the direction your business needs to head. Unfortunately, most organizations aren’t in a position to add futurists to their ranks. At least not successfully. We’re seeing that companies are having a difficult time bridging the divide between customer insights and strategic planning, yet that’s exactly the area in which futurists would need to sit.
In a recent article for Forbes, we looked at several strategies for closing the research-to-strategy gap and integrating important trends into the product development process. These include creating a common innovation language that is used cross-functionally, mapping trends to specific use cases, and integrating a defined transfer plan into your innovation process.
Story by Steve Wunker and Dave Farber.
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