Digitalization. Technological change. All buzz words of our time. But new technical possibilities aren't a guarantee that innovations will be successful. The decisive factor for success and failure is - very "old school" - it's down to the customer alone.
What good is the most innovative new technology if it's not understood by the customer, or even worse: if the benefits completely miss the customer's needs?
To be relevant at all times - especially with today's almost endless possibilities - a change in perspective is needed:
Especially in Germany, as a country of engineers, this change of perspective is a challenge. Our pride in our inventiveness has also led us to continue to work on the optimum solution with passion and love for the new product. The product was our "baby" - we took care of it, knew at all times how it worked, what "quirks" could occur, but also how we could fix them.
Globalisation and digitalisation have changed the paradigms. The customer can purchase products from anyone in the world and is certainly overwhelmed by the demands of the market. That's why the customer has also had to change, and to find out how to find the most suitable product from this incredible mass, quickly and easily. He no longer asks himself, "What can this product do compared to that one?" ...Instead he thinks about: "What do I want, what do I need, which product suits me best?" So he unconsciously scans products and services according to this principle. Those products that he easily and quickly recognizes as "suitable" for him get his attention. Other products, whose characteristics are in fact perhaps better, but don't fit into the individual recognition grid, fall off the grid and don't get the attention they deserve and there's no chance of them being bought.
Sustainable success through innovations with human touch
The good news: Of course, the dedication to developing a perfect product is still highly relevant. If the product fails or doesn't keep its promises, it's still a big problem.
Nevertheless, it's important that the product is not only technically convincing - the customer must feel that their needs are individually recognized within it. The product shouldn't only be able to do what it promises, but it should do so in the way required by the customer.
Not infrequently, an enormous potential slumbers in this "human touch". If companies understand that the HOW is at least as important as the WHAT, then sustainable success stories can arise. Amazon is the best example of this: They consistently focus on understanding what their customers actually need. Ordering "without" shipping costs was only the first step in a series of very successful customer-centric innovations that have put Amazon in a monopoly position.