John asks: Recently there seems to be a widening gap between product development and our understanding of customers’ needs. The products aren’t hitting home like they used to. Obviously, there are many changes we need to make – where do we start?
Sue Bethanis, CEO of Mariposa, responds:
Well, there are many facets to the this question, and believe me, you’re not the only one feeling it; so many people we talk with are zeroing in on this dilemma. Here’s one idea that may hit home: START with customer empathy, and put on your anthropologist hat. GO see how your customers are using the products on their turf. You know, Steve Jobs was famous for not conducting Focus Groups, but he still knew Apple’s customers REALLY well. He was seen regularly hanging out at the Palo Alto Apple store, and checking out how customers were using Apple’s products.