The Future Of Innovation Lies With Customers

Ms Blanca Hernandez-Ortega

The future of innovation is based upon demand and consists of a reciprocal interaction between the company and its clients. The innovation process has its centre of gravity in the personal experience of consumers, who evaluate whether a proposal is interesting. Thus, customers voluntarily or involuntarily become co-creators of products, contributing both proposals which are interesting from a rational point of view and also innovations derived from irrational human decisions.

Products will be viewed as a set of perceptions. Consequently, psychology and marketing will be two principal pillars of support for firms in their search for new business opportunities, since these will analyse consumer behaviour from a perspective which does not necessarily coincide with the principles of classical economics. Technology will be used as an essential tool for the attainment of the proposed objectives.

Firms must analyse their environment and invest in differentiation strategies founded on the creation and adaptation of their products to a variety of client types. The key role of customers means that innovation must be directed at individuals located to the left or right of the bell curve, and not only to the population in general. As the Internet has shown, the increasing internationalisation of markets has caused segments which were previously considered as residual to become hugely important. Thus, the future of innovation will bring about requests from individual clients for a product adapted to its own requirements, thereby causing the death of “averages”.

The future of innovation requires communications tools which encourage a collaborative process between firms and customers. Such tools will help companies to compile information quickly and directly, reduce their costs and develop their most relevant ideas. Finally, the future of innovation involves companies to change their way of thinking, from “We can do it” to “We must do it”. Innovation is the cornerstone of the economy today, and it is therefore vital to analyse what future innovation will be like, using a discounted know-how approach and taking as our reference the proposals made to companies by their customers.

Article © 2009 Ms Blanca Hernandez-Ortega. All rights reserved.

about the author...

Ms Blanca Hernandez-Ortega

Ms Blanca Hernandez-Ortega

affiliation:   University Of Zaragoza

position:  Lecturer

country:  Spain

area of interest:  Marketing

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