What your customers can’t tell you about the perfect product: Malcolm Gladwell

When Malcolm Gladwell speaks, we should all listen.  This guy is a genius at presenting complex and sometimes intuitive logic in ways we can all go ‘ahhh’!

The author of Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers – all Top 100 bestsellers in the USA.  In 2005 he was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. He is the author of “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference,” (2000) and “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” (2005), both of which were number one New York Times bestsellers.

3 observations I gleaned from this great video clip:

  1. Market research/focus groups don’t work if customers don’t know what they don’t know. aka The Spaghetti Sauce experience. You cannot ask them what they like and expect a rationale response on which to base your product development.  Mass testing of all product combinations may be the answer.
  2. When customers describe what they are experiencing, you need to remember that what they describe is personal and not necessarily objective.  Interpreting customer responses from what they say might lead you down the totally incorrect product development route – aka What type of coffee do you like? experiment.
  3. There is no such thing as the perfect product aka The Perfect Pepsi.  Product proliferation results as suppliers try to supply each profitable product niche.

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