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How Businesses Can Stay Innovative with the Help of Their Customers

Innovative companies are the ones that constantly reinvent the wheel and create new products and services to wow their customers. The challenge is that you can’t really predict the success of a new product with certainty – even when it is certainly innovative. Also, there is a lot of pressure to come up with greater and better things, which can set companies up for failure. That’s where your customers can help.

How Success Is Almost Guaranteed

When a company creates a new product that highly innovates, they don’t really know how the consumers will react. It could turn out to be a big hit, where everybody has to own one. But it’s also possible that people will scoff at the idea and the costs of product development can’t be recouped. Naturally, companies want a little bit more of a guarantee that their investment of time and money will pay off. That’s where customer involvement must come into play.

If your customers help you create, fine-tune, update, or improve the product, they’re more likely to buy it. After all, they’ve had a hand in the process of making it. Not only will they buy your product, but they will also talk about it with their friends. This is as close to guaranteeing success as you can possibly be.

Keep Innovations Coming

Some businesses lean heavily on one or two key people in the company to remain to innovate and head of the pack. It makes sense that a small team of people is running the company. However, that often means you’re also relying on a very small group of people to provide all of your company’s innovations. The truth is that a lack of innovation can destroy a business. The upside is that truly innovative companies can create new customers by generating demand for something that has never existed before.

The challenge for remaining innovative is that businesses must create favorable conditions for their employees to remain in a state of flow. Whether that includes frequent breaks, time to sit there and do nothing, long vacations, or all of these things – there is a lot of pressure on those employees to remain innovative. It also takes time for a handful of people to come up with great ideas.

By taking advantage of their customers to come up with new ideas, innovations, or upgrades to existing products, businesses can remain innovative indefinitely. When a crowd is used for innovation, there’s a greater chance for variety. Many different customers will have many different needs, ideas, and suggestions. This gives companies a chance to constantly reinvent themselves without losing sight of what matters to their customers. Lastly, it can be faster to generate new ideas when a big group of people is involved – and it’s free, too!

Streamline the Innovation Process

Of course, businesses have been talking to potential customers all along to find out what the market needs. Now you must find a way to streamline the process by using idea management software to allow anyone who has an interest in the company to participate in the discussion. It can start internally with the company’s employees or with a select group of customers. Partners, suppliers, vendors, and prospects can all be part of the same innovation process, too.

When it comes to generating new ideas, quantity beats quality. The more input a business can get from the crowd, the better. That’s because using a crowd will ensure that one strong opinion or bias doesn’t dominate your decisions. Now all you have to do is designate some resources to sort out the information before your company creates the next great product.