Identifying Today’s Pain Points Can Lead to Tomorrow’s Innovations

Breakthroughs in innovation hinge on a new idea fulfilling a need that either hasn’t been met before or has been underserved. But how do we really know where these needs exist? The questions we tend to hear most is “how can we get people to give us feedback on things they don’t even know are possible or on needs they don’t realize could be better fulfilled? How can we expect to make informed decisions if we can’t get meaningful input from customers?”

No doubt it can be challenging for people to visualize an idea that will better meet their needs when they may not know what the possibilities are or may not see how a need could be better served.

One of our technology clients has been implementing this 3-Step approach to inform their product plans. They’ve seen it pay dividends in the new features, functionalities, and enhancements they’ve released during that time that have grown their business.”

This is why it’s important to break it down for customers and get them thinking about things in a more tangible way. And what’s more tangible than the complaints we have and the pain we feel about a category? Taking the time to answer the questions below is where the rubber meets the road and where success in driving innovation can be found.

  • What pain points do people face today?
  • Do these pain points cause enough grief to warrant a solution?
  • Which ones, if addressed, will yield the greatest benefit to the customer and the problem solver?

Here’s a simple 3-Step Pain Point Identification process that works across categories and can be the foundation for how you guide your innovation efforts:

Step 1: Talk with customers and identify the tasks that produce the greatest pain for them in your category.

Step 2: Quantify the importance of these tasks in their daily lives, the satisfaction with current solutions, and the degree to which these tasks occur.

Step 3: Prioritize opportunities based on their score.

As an example, one of our technology clients has been implementing this 3-Step approach to inform their product plans for the past several years. They’ve seen it pay dividends in the new features, functionalities, and enhancements they’ve released during that time that have grown their business. Equally important, it has helped them focus R&D resources in an efficient manner.

For your brand, the outcome of this 3-Step Pain Point Identification process can result in better ideation and development of your innovations.

Ready to dive deeper into customer pain points?

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