Follow Your Instincts. Improve Your Business.

March 2, 2012 in Culture, Ideas, Thought Leaders

Gerd Gigerenzer, a German social psychologist and pioneer in the study of intuitive thinking, has shown that when we use gut reactions to deal with complex choices, they’re usually as good—if not better—than detailed analysis.

Gigerenzer’s findings were mainly focused on rational thinking in the field of medicine. However, his experiment results are widely applicable to many areas of business, including product development and innovative marketing strategies.

Gut reactions help on the development end:

• To conserve resources. If less time is spent on each problem, think of what can be accomplished.

• To utilize brainstorming sessions. Feeding off of the input of others can produce quick decisions of a higher quality.

Gut reactions help on the marketing end:

• To benefit from the impulsive nature of consumers. If their guts tell them they need it now, you and your company benefit.

• To catch the market while it’s hot. Get your product noticed before its primary marketing niche has the chance to dwindle.

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More Science Than Art

November 15, 2011 in General, Thought Leaders, Tools

Determining the causes of product success has been the subject of great interest and rigorous study since the beginning of the modern marketing era, starting in the 1950s.

From academia to large companies, from consultants to advertising and public relations agencies, from businesspeople to sociologists, psychiatrists and even neuroscientists, there has been a determined march forward to discover the mysteries of why people buy the products they do.

The guesswork of the distant past has been replaced with high-quality research and well documented field experiments. It may not be physics, but important principles have emerged from this collective effort, validated time and again through decades of application.

New Product Development is now more a science than an art.

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Apple’s Core Rules

October 20, 2011 in Critical Success Factors, Innovation, Thought Leaders

Several years ago, The Economist ran an article titled “Lessons from Apple.” Left for dead a decade earlier, the company now sets the pace in the consumer electronics industry. The article highlighted four main strategies it used to establish leadership:

  1. It looks freely outside its walls for new product ideas, an approach referred to as “network innovation.”
  2. It orients product design around the needs of its users, rather than technology.
  3. It seems particularly gifted at knowing when to ignore market input and go with its gut—even in the face of criticism. Apple was ridiculed when the iPod launched, for example.
  4. And, it is able to “fail wisely,” as the authors put it: use mistakes to learn, and then move on.
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