Henry Ford famously quipped -- "If I asked customers what they wanted, they
would have said a faster horse!" Again, customers had no concept of the
horseless buggy -- or automobile that Ford helped to innovate.Good
marketers listen to customers, but look beyond what they say to identify their
underlying values and strive to see into the future about what problems
customers are likely to encounter. This should be the input for future
products.Was just reading about the future of gadgets. Customers
are so used to carrying a "brick" (e.g., smart phone) around that they
don't realize how clumsy and what a nuisance it is for living. People
literally lose, drop, break their smart phones, but don't see what the
"solution" to this is. Futurists are saying that "wearable"
gadgets are the next generation of smart phones -- a gadget that is blended into
your clothing (solar-powered to boot!) so that you never drop or have to carry a
clumsy "brick" around all the time or run out of juice. Customers
AREN'T demanding this, but it is a solution now emerging as the next
generation of smart phones. Watch for them!
I don't remember who said that you can ether be smart or pleasant,
it's better to be pleasant.