Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Having customers develop your next product

Earlier today I read a really interesting article on on Carbon Motors, the designers of a new law enforcement vehicle that’s been getting a lot of press lately.

Unlike other law enforcement vehicles, the Carbon Motors car was developed with input from over 3,000 law enforcement professionals, and apparently it’s getting rave reviews from potential users and with good reason. Rather than settle for a modified street legal car designed by engineers, the Carbon Motors car has been indirectly designed by other law enforcement officers.

One of the differentiating factors in Carbon Motors’ new product development process is its Carbon Council, which is “designed for our team to obtain honest and candid feedback from people who are either involved in the process or who drive the vehicles.” There’s an open invitation online for anyone who qualifies.

For us, this case validates research and learnings we’ve accumulated through prior client projects on launching new products and services. You may want to read one of our recently published papers, “Improving Product Launches” as well as what panelists at our most recent forum had to say about the importance of customer insight in the sucess of a product launch.