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Showing 31 - 40 of 59 matches

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  1. Study Of 3M: Products Created Through Lead User Process Generate Sales That Are Eight Times Higher Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-09-25

    According to a study conducted at 3M, products created using the lead user process generate sales that are eight-times higher than those developed through more traditional methods. The lead user process, developed by Professor Eric von Hippel of MIT, collects information about both needs and solutions from the leading edges of a target market. 3M started using the LU process in 1997. The study measured the outcomes of the LU process and compared the effectiveness of this process with more traditional approaches. The research found that lead user (LU) projects were more innovative, and had higher market share in year five than did projects generated in other ways. On average, in their fifth year, LU projects were found to have 68 percent market share, as opposed to 33 percent for non LU ideas. (5 pages)

  2. Intuit Upgrades Product By Following Customers Home Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-09-25

    After Dan Bridges, a Redwood City, CA cabinetmaker, installed a version of Intuit's QuickBooks, he probably didn't imagine that an Intuit team would ask to come to his office to observe him operate the system. But when the creator of financial software knocked on his company's door, Bridges gladly ushered them in, joining the ranks of participants in Intuit's "Follow Me Home" user research program. This program brings members of product development teams directly into customers’ home and work environments. They watch users work with the product, taking careful notes on details to incorporate into the next generation of products. The program helps to maintain and expand a loyal customer base by experiencing products through the user's eyes and fingers. For the customer, it provides a chance to influence how a product works in a way that best serves the customer's needs. (6 pages)

  3. Infotrieve Inc. Employs Formal Internal and External Research Process to Establish Customer Satisfaction Baseline Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-09-25

    Infotrieve, Inc., a provider of products and services that deliver hard and electronic copies of journal articles and related documents, has deployed a formal research process to establish a new baseline for customer satisfaction. The purpose of the research was to understand the key drivers of customer satisfaction and then to rank product development and product enhancement efforts in the customer’s order of priority. In order to achieve this, Infotrieve embarked on a program of both internal and external research. The company used on-line polling to unearth the internal assumptions that would guide the customer research. The company used a similar method with external customers to gather qualitative data and then also used a quantitative survey to create measurable criteria for success. This report is an end-to-end summary of one company’s approach to customer research – the steps they took and the lessons learned along the way. (7 pages)

  4. Masterlock, Design Continuum Re-design Total Product for Market Leadership Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-09-22

    Padlock giant, Masterlock, produces the best-selling products in its field in the U.S. and enjoys 90 percent unaided brand awareness. Yet, in the late 1990s, Masterlock began to see its products sliding down the slippery slope toward commoditization. Along with several smaller entrants, a major competitor producing lower priced knock-offs had moved into the field. These imitations, virtually indistinguishable from Masterlock's products, began to reduce the firm's market share and drive down margins. To stay competitive, Masterlock needed a firm response. The only viable solution was to meet the challenge directly through meaningful differentiation between Masterlock's offerings and competitor's. This case study demonstrates design innovation in a mature product line. (7 pages)

  5. Bringing Objectivity to Market Requirements Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-09-21

    Since several studies have shown that poor definition and ambiguous specification are the premier cause of development delays, it seems clear that if a company wishes to reduce development time, it should first address this root cause. In this report, David Boger describes how to convert subjective market requirements into objective, quantifiable goals. He presents a brief example from the medical products industry of how metrics can be used to clarify product requirements. Making product requirements measurable, argues Boger, clarifies them for all of the functions involved in product development, while reducing development cycle time. (3 pages)

  6. At Mentor Graphics Customer Voices Speak Eloquently Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-06-30

    Mentor Graphics Corp. found itself lacking a clear corporate vision. It had several overlapping technologies, with similar functionality, targeted at the same market. To chart a clearer path, Mentor turned to its customers' voices, pursuing a carefully formatted listening process to create a unified strategy for becoming a world leader in its product market. Working with a tool set developed by Cambridge, MA-based Center for Quality Management, Mentor created a core team that had a mere eight weeks to fulfil its mission. In this report, read how Mentor sent small teams into the field and into the factory to grasp the needs of customers and stakeholders in order to create a coherent and successful strategy. (6 pages)

  7. Hallmark Uses Online Communities to Mine a Mother Lode of Customer Information Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-06-16

    Customers do not necessarily respond easily or transparently to the direct questions that product researchers may assume will elicit the most useful feedback. Hallmark Cards, Inc. has responded to this challenge by developing an online customer laboratory that it calls the Idea Exchange. The Idea Exchange is a Web site that enables participants to meet online, exchange messages, and share details about their lives both with one another and under the watchful eye of Hallmark researchers. It also allows researchers to pose questions about products and product ideas. The Idea Exchange creates an ongoing dialogue with consumers in the marketplace and invites them to participate in the product development process. It is not a way to sell products to participants, but an invitation to share in the success of the enterprise by having a voice in product development and a host of issues that affect it. (6 pages)

  8. Volvo Trucks North America Uses New Visualization Tool to Capture the Voice of their Customer Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-06-16

    When customer preferences are not well known, and when there is little certainty whether the market will want a new product, it's a good practice to get significant customer input before going too far down the concept trail. To gather this input, Volvo Trucks North America turned to an innovative tool called TradeOff VR. Developed by North Carolina-based Research Triangle Institute, TradeOff VR combines Conjoint Analysis with Virtual Reality. Conjoint Analysis is a quantitative market research technique for eliciting customer preferences for a set of ‘product profiles’ where a product is defined as a set of features or attributes. Virtual Reality depicts prototypes in a 3D virtual environment, letting respondents see and interact with a product's features in detail. The addition of virtual prototypes to Conjoint Analysis allows users to more realistically capture the voice of the customer in the product planning and design process. (5 pages)

  9. How to Conduct Good Customer Visits Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-06-16

    When Bose Corporation's engineers were preparing to work on their home theater concept, they sought expert advice from Santa Clara University marketing professor Edward McQuarrie, author of Customer Visits: Building a Better Market Focus. According to McQuarrie, if you want to be a market leader today, you'd better make regular, carefully structured customer visits standard practice. Well-conducted visits give you access to a rich lode of vivid and credible insights into your customer's business that can clarify your product definition process. This brief article presents a short list of Best Practices for before, during, and after the customer visit. (3 pages)

  10. Listening to the Voice of the Stakeholder Helps Becton Dickinson Respond to Market Changes Locked

    Research | Posted: 2004-06-16

    Becton Dickinson, a leader in the health care field, responded to the challenge presented by new worker safety regulations by creating an elegant new product design accompanied by an extensive education and training program. The firm accomplished this in a compressed time frame by building strong external relationships and involving all stakeholders in the process including end-user customers, health care institution managers, legislators and regulators, distributors and other channel partners. In addition, BD accurately predicted market shifts and added a strong service component to their offering. Becton Dickinson built the relationships that allowed them not only to weather the storm but to grow market share and enhance their ability to develop successful new products in the future. (7 pages)

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