Brilliant Idea #271. Invite your best customers to help you with ideas

This is such an obvious idea, but it’s one that organisations so rarely (in my experience anyway) think of.

There’s a lot of debate around whether customers can help you innovate – there’s the famous quote (which in all probability is an urban myth) from Henry Ford that “if I has asked my customers what they wanted I would be breeding faster horses”. I tend to agree – if you are looking for game changing ideas (or horizon 2 or 3 ideas) your customers are unlikely to give them to you if you simple ask for any ideas, but I’m talking about involving them rather than asking them.

If you take some of your best customers on the same journey as you are taking your staff, there are enormous benefits; you see a different perspective, you get insights about how your customers use your product that won’t be obvious and you are likely to end up with significantly more engaged customers.