“Nobody asked the dogs what they wanted”
Once upon a time, a pet-foods company struggled to sell a new dog food product they’d recently introduced to the market.
The company’s CEO called the department heads together to discuss why the new product wouldn’t sell.
The head of production said he’d done everything right; it wasn’t his department’s fault.
The heads of the sales, advertising, finance, packaging, shipping, and distribution departments had done everything right. None of them were to blame.
The CEO demanded, “Darn! What happened? Why won’t our new product sell?”
A junior staffer shouted from the back of the room, “Sir, it’s just that the dogs simply won’t eat our doggone food. You see, nobody asked the dogs what they wanted.”
Idea for Impact: Customer Focus Drives Company Success
Your research and development efforts will be successful only if they’re driven by a thorough understanding of what your customers want. Engage your customers. Pay close attention to their needs in every phase of product/service design including idea generation, product design, prototyping, production, distribution, and service. Remember Peter Drucker’s dictum that “the purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer.”