Innovation Guide #25
Model our future customer
In this innovation guide, the team will understand, analyze and model our future customers. Too many teams focus on building for toady's customer, which is likely to end up with a, "That's nice." Instead, use tricks from Apple, Microsoft and Intel to get ahead of the customer's expectations and earn a, "That's amazing!"
• How is our potential customer changing, with the goal of getting ahead of their expectations?
• What is our customer doing today that is already changing their goals and desires?
• How do we integrate the wealth of demographic and user trend studies into our thinking?
• A detailed model of the changes occurring within and across generations, globally and in our market
• A comprehensive understanding of the changes, and constants, occurring in our potential customer
• A model of insight capture and integration that enables us to constanty refresh our user model
1. Select a region—city, state, country, region—that houses our customer base, current or one we’re considering entering.
2. Find a credible source of population records to draw a demographic curve. Shade in the three phases of life.
3. Map the generations using the language and timing specific to the region. Mainstream newspapers are good sources.
4. Begin capturing the values, beliefs and attitudes that each generation share. What historic events changed their lives? What products were new to their generation? How are they perceived in comparison to the other generations?
5. For our customers, current or potential, ask:
a — What phase of life are they entering next and what changes are they likely to make as they enter this next phase?
b — How are they different than the prior generation based on personal history and the technologies they grew up with?
c — Looking at our existing customers, are we seeing a rise in potential customers? Is our market instead shrinking?
d — Is there a youth dividend we should be addressing?
e — If we target an aging market, how can we learn more about addressing the needs of customers as they age?