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The Most Innovative Designers

How to Get Meaningful Customer Input to Make Dramatic Improvements in New Product Development

INNOVATION IS DIFFICULT. Some published estimates place the failure rate of new product introductions between 40 percent and 75 percent.1 That’s hardly a surprise, since the typical process used for product innovation seems to defy logic.

Think about it: Product marketing groups attempt to understand emerging customer needs through market research, focus groups, and customer interviews. That information is then passed on to R&D departments that attempt to turn it into useful or even breakthrough new products. However, customers are notoriously unable to articulate their emerging needs, and even when they can, a company’s ...

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