Who Do You Want Your Customers to Be?

Source: HBR, Jul 2012

When I look at what historically — and sustainably — works as a strategic innovation investment mindset, a single question dominates: “Who do our customers want to become?” 

The better we know and understand who customers want to become, the better we can invest and develop the innovations necessary to get them there. To see customers as the assets they really are, the strategic design and marketing question must shift from “What’s the new value of the innovation?” to “What does our innovation really ask customers to become?” and, even better, “Who do we want our customers to become?” These questions shift the focus from extracting value from customers to making customers more valuable.

The overarching theme and common denominator to all of this is that these entrepreneurs and enterprises were relentlessly investing in the capabilities of their customers. They were innovative by investing in who their customers and clients wanted to become.

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