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To Really Innovate, Think Like a User

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Understanding customer needs

Why is it important to understand customer needs? Having a solid grasp can make or break your mission, and failing to do so can create problems with innovation. Australian-based shoe e-retailer Shoes of Prey had to learn this lesson the hard way. Once a darling of the investment community, Shoes of Prey collapsed earlier this year when it discovered a large gap in customers’ intent and their actual behaviors. After conducting market research, company leaders concluded that mass-market customers would respond well to shoe customization, an offering that many heralded as innovative. Unfortunately, the mass market didn’t bite. According to CEO Michael Fox, “While our mass market customers told us they wanted to customize … what they were consciously telling us and what they subconsciously wanted … were effectively polar opposites.” It’s not that consumers are liars. Sometimes, they’re simply flawed forecasters.

Undoubtedly, thinking like users is one of the best approaches to entrepreneurship. However, it’s often difficult to determine how to begin, particularly when you’re also dealing with innovation problems. Here are three steps to better understand customer needs.

Read the full article by Margaret Rogers in Entrepreneur.

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By Margaret Rogers
Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Margaret Rogers is the Delivery Excellence Leader at Pariveda Solutions. She has over 25 years of experience in digital consulting services with a passion for coaching organizations through their digital transformations.

At Pariveda, we address the imperatives of modern leaders, enabling them to sustain a resilient and impactful business

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Learn how we deliver on the essential, strategic needs that enable companies to sustain a resilient and impactful business.

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