16.5. Selecting Customers for Interaction
A firm may obtain input from the customers with whom they have a close relationship because confidentiality can be a major issue, especially for business-to-business products and services.
What types of customers should be selected for interaction? There are three criteria that should be considered for customer selection. First, a firm may obtain input from the customers with whom they have a close relationship because confidentiality can be a major issue, especially for business-to-business products and services. A product manager can trust close customers to keep sensitive information confidential. A close customer may also display his/her commitment in conducting NPD activities efficiently. For instance, while developing the 777 aircraft, Boeing initially obtained input from eight different airlines from North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region, but actively interacted only with its close customers such as United Airlines, British Airways, and All Nippon Airlines (Betts, 1994).
|Development Stages||Activities Performed by the Customers|
|Idea generation||Describe needs and wants; suggest desired features, benefits, attributes and preferences via brainstorming sessions; identify problems not solved by existing products; evaluate existing products by suggesting likes and dislikes; identify gaps in the market; provide a wish list (product requirements).|