Innovation means different things to different people. Some love to argue about the importance of so-called disruptive vs. incremental innovation. Others will dismiss a certain approach and sing the virtues of another. Personally, I’m very proud of Falak’s agnostic approach to innovation. We don’t put ourselves in a certain box or align ourselves to a certain methodology. But I’m getting off topic…
There is no single right approach to innovation, but what most innovation experts would agree on is the importance of knowing your customer. Some don’t use the word customer; they prefer the term “user”. Regardless of the term you prefer, knowing your customer is a really good place to start. The more you know the better.
But what does “knowing your customer” actually mean? It means knowing demographic things like age, gender, education, occupation, nationality, religion and ethnicity. In addition, it helps to know their “psychographics” as well. These include emotional factors and behaviours like opinions, interests, political and moral values, and their intrinsic attitudes, biases, and prejudices. HubSpot explain it this way “Demographics explain ‘who’ your buyer is, while psychographics explain ‘why’ they buy.”
One of my favourite ways to get to know customers better is through the use of customer journey maps. A customer journey map is a visual representation of every physical and emotional experience your customers have with you, your product or service. It can be a powerful tool in understanding your customer/users needs, identifying operational inefficiencies and creating a differentiated experience for them. It is also a valuable tool in putting your whole team on the same page.
Once you’ve mapped the journey, you can start identifying areas for improvement, or even create whole new products or services that can better serve your customers’ needs. Sadly, very few companies in the Gulf go through the trouble of really getting to know their customers, let alone use tools such as journey mapping. Remember, Falak can help with all your innovation needs.