Harnessing Consumer Inspiration in New Product & Service Development


This brief paper describes novel ways that imaginative companies are gaining competitive advantage by breaking the rules of engagement with consumers.

The conventional wisdom that “consumers can’t innovate” is being turned on its head. Having traditionally engaged consumers primarily to validate new product concepts some companies are now soliciting consumer insights and ideas to jump-start the “fuzzy front end” of the innovation process. From ethnography and idea competitions to co-development and blog mining, companies are experimenting with new techniques – or approaching their current methods in fresh ways.
 
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