Innovation = knowing your customers


 Human centred, people centred, customer centred, user centred,... several terms are hot nowadays if we talk about designing new products, services or business models. They all want to make us clear that innovation is no longer about inventing new products or services as such, it's about listening and understanding to your customers.

Innovation starts by knowing who your customers are. By getting a better understanding of who your customers are and what they are looking for, you will get a better picture of what you actually could offer them. This is exactly one of the main reasons why I like to work with the FORTH Innovation method. In the FORTH Innovation method customers are closely involved in the ideation process.

Moreover, the importance of taking a customer centred approach, instead of a product driven approach is commonly acknowledged nowadays. However, still a lot of organisations haven't found a way to really implement this approach.

Here are 5 tools that put you on the right track: 1. Create personas A persona is a fictional person who represents a major user group for your products or services. They act as ‘stand-ins’ for real users.

2. Make an empathy map The empathy map is a tool that helps sketching the profile of a customer segment and understand his environment, behaviours, concerns and aspirations. They support the creation of personas.

3. Map the customer journey The customer journey map describes the journey of a user by representing the different touchpoints that characterize his interaction with your service.

4. Observe Observation is about observing users behaviours so when they are using your product or service, or inside the context. This provides much more accurate results than asking users about their behaviours when they are away from the context of their activities.

5. Listen And remember that it all starts with listening to your users.

Do you also want to get better customer insights and detect customer frictions for your organization? Drop me a line ( and I will help you detecting them.