Insights for Leaders

What Customers Don’t Know

Posted on: February 20th, 2012 | 0 Comments

“If I’d ask my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse.” — Henry Ford

Innovator extraordinaire, Steve Jobs believed: “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups.  A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz observed: “Customers don’t always know what they want. The decline in coffee-drinking was due to the fact that most of the coffee people bought was stale and they weren’t enjoying it.  Once they tasted ours and experienced what we call “the third place” – a gathering place between home and work where they were treated with respect – they found we were filling a need they didn’t know they had.”

The Bottom Line: Leaders realize when innovating, there is a time when it is best NOT to ask for their customer’s opinion.