Resources for Keeping the Consumer at the Center of Your 2019 Innovation Efforts

October 30th, 2018

As insights and innovation leaders, you are leaning into new approaches and adding value while under increasing pressure from your organizations. One way that you are continuing to add value is consistently driving the connection to the consumer and making sure that communication is strong—even across all handoffs. To ensure that the consumer is always at the center of your 2019 innovation efforts, here are a few startup-inspired resources to refresh the conversation about leading with consumer empathy:

1. HBR Emotional Intelligence Series: Empathy

It’s no secret that empathy is the key to great product development and organizational growth. This book helps you navigate just what it means to be empathetic, the importance of it, and how to overcome challenges to an empathic mindset.

2. LeanStack

This blog by Ash Maurya is all about continuous innovation, and includes everything from quick growth hacks to printable canvas templates.

3. 6 Scrappy Ways to Find Consumer Pain Points

There are several tools at your fingertips to quickly ground yourself in your consumer. And, you don’t even have to worry about those hefty recruiting or incentive fees!

4. Mixed Methods Podcast

This user research podcast says to “expect to test assumptions, examine methods, and engage in some old fashion experiments.” Well-known user research experts are featured.

5. Predictably Irrational

In this book, Dan Ariely makes the claim that we, as consumers, behave in fundamentally irrational ways, from buying a car to losing weight. Yet these behaviors are predictable, making us Predictably Irrational

6. Innovation is About Making Progress, Not Running Experiments

It’s common for innovation and startup teams to feel stuck, running around in circles, struggling to answer questions like: where are we right now? What do we need to do next? This article pushes teams to really think about the progress their making by conducting experiments.

7. Empathy Mapping

Easy to digest, empathy maps are a great kickstarter to help visualize user, consumer, and customer behavior and attitude. This resource walks you through the basics of empathy mapping and detailed thought-starters for each step.

8. Defining the Problem + Context: The True Enabler of Hustling to the Solution

“Ideas or solutions built without the foundational Define phase face pitfalls of being irrelevant to the consumer, incremental instead of disruptive, or simply not strategic for the brand, product, or company.”

9. The One Biggest Error In Customer Interviews: Mistaking Opinions For Facts

Alex Osterwalder: Mistaking customers’ opinions for facts is the top error when trying to get some scrappy consumer insights. Osterwalder provides some tips for digging into the facts instead of focusing on opinions.

10. 3 Vehicles for Testing Leap of Faith Assumptions

Opinion-based research can often led teams to feel false confidence in a product, service, or business model idea, only for the idea to end up costing the company hundreds of thousands of dollars because it didn’t have true product-market-fit. This misleading research is avoidable by pivoting the research setup and testing Leap of Faith Assumptions.

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