Where to look for new growth opportunities? There is a growing body of evidence 1 suggesting that companies focusing on customers as the starting point of their strategic innovation efforts develop more successful and innovative offerings than those companies that start by searching inside their own organization. Why is that? Only by gaining a deep understanding of customers, their true needs and expectations, as well as their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with current offerings, will you gain the insights needed to develop solutions that customers really will want to buy. Most companies, unfortunately, don't know why customers do or don't do business with them in the first place.
In addition to understanding your customers, it still pays to have a sound, solid understanding of what your goals are, where your company is coming from, and which strengths it possesses that could be leveraged for new growth. And so, in order to discover opportunities for new growth and strategic innovation, focus on the following steps: (1) Understand customers and noncustomers; (2) Understand your company; and (3) Frame your growth initiative.
Understand Your Customer and Noncustomer
The Conventional Approach to identify opportunities dictates that you analyze the current situation, define your objectives, and develop an approach on how to bridge the gap. We suggest looking outside ...