Looking for Customer Innovation in 2023

Posted Friday, January 20, 2023 in Innovation by Patricia Seybold

Which companies really practice customer innovation these days? Very few. New businesses and industries typically emerge based on an accurate perception of an unfilled customer need, or a great new transformative invention. The customer engagement part usually happens LATER during product  testing and market research, marketing focus groups, and sales calls.

How many companies are actually created with customers playing a key role in initial product design and development? If you have examples, I'd like to hear about them. I've only found a few recent examples. 

17 years ago, I wrote a book titled Outside Innovation, in which I described over 40 businesses that had used different customer co-design techniques to develop products and services. (I should have called that book, Customer Innovation.) It's high time to revisit this topic and to document the success stories and learnings from organizations that have really mastered the art of working closely with their customers (and their entire customer ecosystem) to develop and to evolve highly successful products and services. 

If you have some examples, please let me know. They don't have to be for-profit businesses. Non-profits are fine, too. And, you get extra credit if an entire customer ecosystem is involved!


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