Six innovation questions
Published March 26, 2008 by Gillian Hunter
For decades, innovators have researched what questions to ask to get the right answers.
US-based innovator, Gerald Haman has spend 16 years researching and perfecting a number of these questions. Applying these questions can have profound results. Particularly for marketers and communicators.
No matter, whether you are creating a new product, a brochure, website, product launch event, business partner programme or customer communication - these questions will help.
Haman claims that companies such as Microsoft, AT&T, and Adidas have used these questions to inspire them to create successful and award-winning products, services and customer experiences. And, as we are moving into an age where the customer experience is increasingly critical, I think we need to sit up and take note.
Try out these questions in your next planning meeting: What should people BE? What should people KNOW? What should people FEEL? What should people HAVE? What should people DO? What should people THINK?
What should people BE? Think about who your ideal customer is. What you want them to be. You can align this with tribal marketing ideas. Finding people who are a close fit to you you are. So, for example, you want them to be professional, innovative, friendly, decisive, engaged ... enthusiastic.
What should people KNOW? Think about what people need to know that will help them. This isn't all about you! This is about them ... what will be useful and valuable for them to know. So, for example, they need to know that they are paying too much for something, that they are at risk if they make a particular decision, or that something will deliver spectacular�and tangible benefits.
What should people FEEL? Think about how you would like people to feel about the transaction, the deal, offer, or relationship with you. It is worth noting that how we make people feel has a more lasting effect than what we actually say to them. So, for example, you want people to feel important, valued, cared-for.
What should people HAVE? Think about what people need as a result of your interaction?What tangible and intangible things do they need to have. So, for example, the physical product, the service that surrounds that product, user guides, refernce material, case studies, terms and conditions, contact details.
What should people DO? Think about what you want people to do as a result of your interaction. What action do you want them to take! So, for example, you want them to call you, sign a contract, tell others about you, come to your product launch event.
What should people THINK? Think about what lasting impression you want to leave on people - what you want them to really think about you, your product, your service, your people! So, for example, you want them to think you offer a superb service, that you care about their business, that they wouldn't get a better offer.
When applied to a specific project, applying these questions can be very powerful and can help you hone your offer and communications material precisely.
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