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Customer-Centric Innovation

Selden and McMillan, in "Manage Customer-Centric Innovation—Systematically," contend that customer-centric innovation will better sustain a company. Using your own experience and other resources, do you agree? Provide examples and supporting evidence from multiple sources to support your position.

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A copy of this paper, from Harvard Business Review, is easily available online from intelspace.eu.

To answer this question, first you would define customer-centric innovation.

Financial Times Lexicon has a definition for this term:
Customer-centric innovation revolves around customers and their needs. The process starts with insights on customer needs with the goal of designing a new product or service that delivers on these needs in a way that is intuitive and accessible to customers.

Customers may be involved in various ways, for example, ideas generation, market research and at-home testing.

It is possible for a company to be customer-centric without surveying customers directly and explicitly as insights about needs may be obtained by simply observing customers in their natural environment.
Financial Times also has two examples of companies that developed customer service ideas based on customer observation (Bank of America's "keep the change" concept for mothers) and in house testing (Credit Suisse's "age explorer suit" for the elderly with arthritis).

You may notice that while Bank of America shows how the new idea leads to so many new customers and new accounts, Credit Suisse's experience does not do that, it just provides insights. If you are writing your essay to agree with Selden and McMillian, it might be useful to find examples that specify the benefit to the company, since the question uses the word ...

Solution Summary

Customer-centric innovations are analyzed. The evidence from multiple sources to support your position is provided.