Businesses should no longer rely on customers alone for idea generation. It’s time to roll up our sleeves, go down to the basement, and start tinkering. Pour something orange into something greyish and see if it fizzes or explodes.
When the pandemic started, Capgemini research found that 58% of consumers considered postponing planned high-value purchases of items such as cars, furniture, and electronics. While many have started buying again, routines have been uprooted, and it has become nearly impossible to predict what consumers will want and need next. Add on the fact that we now have a wave of incredible potential from new technologies, but consumers can’t tell us the best use cases for them.
This lack of clear direction from consumers has put the next decade of growth and market share up for grabs. Let’s stop trying to figure out what they want right now and instead create products and services that they can’t live without. This means a stronger connection between R&D and innovation teams. More investment in experimentation and use-case exploration, fewer dollars for fail-fast prototyping of the latest digital feature.
The next era must be driven by true creativity and managed risk-taking, which is often inspired by customer obsession but not defined by it. Expose your teams to new technology, new art, and new foods, and build a sustainable innovation capability to transform this inspiration into killer new ideas. Lengthen the timeline for impact by aiming for research beyond curbside pickup.