Print this page

Customer-Driven Innovation

The benefits by bringing in "outsiders" for think-shops

A round watermelon can take up a lot of room in a refrigerator and the usually round fruit often sits awkwardly on refrigerator shelves and is difficult to carry.  Smart Japanese Farmers have forced their watermelons to grow into a square shape by inserting the melons into square, tempered glass cases while the fruit is still growing on the vine.


A unique, very time-efficient way to tap into your customers' - or your suppliers' - wishes and creativity, to develop new products and services, is available only from SynNovation Solutions.

How do customer thought-shops work?

  1. Bring in SynNovation to help you to plan the thought-shop, and to act as innovation catalysts, to help participants to come up with a wealth of new product ideas, taking you years into the future.
  2. Select a group of your staff – 8 to 20 people from different departments, involved with different aspects of creating, further developing and implementing new products or services.
  3. Invite the same number of current or potential customers to join you for a “customer thought-shop”. You can offer them an appropriate reward for their time.
  4. We may also bring in “naïve” outside resources or special expertise for fresh perspectives, depending on the tasks on which you plan to work.
  5. Spend a day or two having fun while you hear what customers really wish for, and together come up with novel ideas, without being bound by constraints of what exists, or seems impossible. You build on “crazy” ideas until they become tangible concepts, and then identify actions to overcome any hurdles, make the new concepts a reality, and turn them into action plans for implementation.
  6. Use the action plans developed at the thought-shop, to get your company going on the new product ideas immediately after the workshop. Buy-in of both customers and staff is high, as the ideas have been developed by the participants themselves.

What are the main benefits?

  1. The customers (or suppliers) as "outsiders" will provide fresh and different perspectives and wants. Combining the powerful SynNovation process with the synergy between your stakeholders and your staff will bring out a wealth of unexpected and unusual – yet do-able and market-friendly – concepts for products and services that will open up new market possibilities.
  2. The outputs of such a thought-shop are far richer and more rewarding than results you could obtain from traditional market research and / or focus groups. They are also more future- and more results-oriented than ordinary "brainstorming" or idea creation sessions.
  3. The process also creates a new way to establish useful direct communication between you and your customers. You will get insight into what your customers really want, or even wish for but have not yet put in words for themselves. So this also provides PR benefits and customer buy-in to the new products.
  4. The same approach can also be used to develop novel concepts and break-though ideas or major savings by working with suppliers or with different elements in the value chain, to promote collaborative relations and win-win solutions.

Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.

Beatrix Potter