The Soren Kierkegaard quote above sounds like something you’d find on a corny fridge magnet, but it reminded me of the simple truth when gleaning insight for innovation or developing new concepts:
Consumers don’t think of the world in terms of problems and solutions the way us innovators and marketers do – they simply experience it as their personal reality.
That’s why helping consumers to experience and feel things when you’re asking for their input on innovation is critical. The closer their experience of a proposed innovation takes them to their real life experiences, the more valid and useful the feedback they can give you. It’s our responsibility as innovators to find clever ways to help connect our proposed ideas with consumers’ reality.
Techniques and tools we use to help us to do that include:
- visual game play
- rapid prototyping
The key is to be clear on what the consumer’s reality is, and not make assumptions on what problems they need help in solving. Real life stimulus is one of the best ways we’ve found to help us to achieve this as it forces consumers to make decisions grounded in the reality of their actual behaviour.
This is a guaranteed way to ensure your development briefs are spot on, so that you fly through subsequent concept and product testing.