Mark1012

Topics: Eric von Hippel, Marketing, Innovation Pages: 2 (490 words) Published: September 23, 2013
The Generation of New Ideas

In most cases, companies consider the opinions, wants and needs of their target consumers in order to generate new ideas and concepts. In fact, companies may simply ask themselves ‘What do customers want now and in the near future?’ Sampson (1974), studied the effectiveness of consumers in generating ideas, concluding that they can produce productive concepts and their influence is essentially passive (Cannon 1978, p. 229). Despite this, Sampson goes on to state that due to the rapidly growing markets, it is nearly impossible to satisfy all members of a consumer group.

Amongst a range of generation idea methods, one external technique is the use of focus group methods which consists of an assembled group of consumers who have no knowledge about a particular type of product. An analyst records the two hour long discussion and identifies what has and has not been conversed (Hippel 1986, p. 793). This method of customer feedback, crucially relies on the analyst’s ability to accurately infer useful information which may then translate into a new product concept. Specifically, AussieBum offers customers the opportunity to leave suggestions or compliments about their products in which the business takes very seriously and then utlises the information to generate product ideas.

The manipulation of lead edge users is yet, another course of action business can adopt in order to produce original ideas. Lead edge users are users of a product whose current needs will become common in the near future (Hippel 1986, p. 791). They are significant as they act as a forecast for marketing research providing valuable information about consumers’ impressions and partiality of a product. Von Hippel (1986) introduced the external four-step Lead User Method in 1986, to help companies develop breakthrough products. The steps consist of, Identifying an Important Trend: to identify lead users in different product categories of interest and to...
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