Where to Find Insights for Break-through Innovations

A flash of insight – also known as the infamous Eureka moment – is for your business as important as having a strong vision. Insights are a powerful source of innovation. Although not all insights have the same impact, they are all worth a thousand ideas. Many entrepreneurs have created entirely new market segments based primarily on a single insight.

Cirque du Soleil got the insight that a circus could be fun for grown-ups too. Senseo had the insight that there was a gap between filter coffee and expensive espresso machines. Smart had the insight that there was a market outside the segment of large cars and SUV’s. IKEA had the insight that design furniture could be affordable. And so on.

Having a great insight is much rarer than discovering a great idea. Insights are hard to find, yet once discovered they can have an enormous influence on your organisation’s success.

To discover a ground-breaking insight, you need to do a few things. One of them is to develop an ‘Insight Strategy’. Find the right approach to gather (inspiring) information and an epiphany might arise.

For each organisation a different insight strategy is needed. In this article I have listed a few steps that you can follow to develop your own strategy. If you are still curious for more information after reading this article, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Gather Customer Issues
Collect all existing problems that occur in your industry. They can be small challenges or large problems. If you can solve one of these issues you‘re creating added value for your customers.

E.g. if you are a car manufacturer, think about; flat tires, traffic jams, bird droppings, checking fluids, rust, using winter tires etc.

Aim to solve the most important and urgent problems; the real headaches of your customer. If you do this well, you will definitely develop interesting value propositions for your customers.

Talk with your salespeople, interview your clients, ask your employees and partners. Make a list of all the problems that your customers face and try to solve them one by one.

Map Out The User System

Every product or service has its own ecosystem. In every customer journey there are many points of contact.

E.g. a hotel consists of a building, rooms, room service, a bar, showers, toilets, a bed, a reception, etc. You can zoom in, (hotel room, mini bar, bed, chair, shower, mirror, sink etc.) or zoom out (room service, cleaning lady, bellboy, elevator, stairs, taxi, restaurant, etc.)

See if you can change, shuffle, add or remove elements of this system. It will lead to creative ideas and it might help you stumble upon a novel insight.

Adopt A Consumer
Let your employees discover for themselves who the consumer is and what he or she is thinking.

Let your team work in pairs and live with a real customer for a couple of days. Let them eat with them, interact with them & observe them.

What are their struggles? What are their thoughts? How are they living their lives? What are their values? What do they find important? What do they love? What do they hate?

After this safari, your team has experienced how it is to buy and use your product or service. They will have a better understanding of your business and the needs of your consumers. They will have gathered valuable insights that may very well turn the industry upside down.

Hungry for more?
Are you curious about other ways to find insights and fill your innovation funnel? Contact me via jeroen@hatrabbits.com

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