Designing Disruptive Products with Tracy Hazzard from the Selling Disruption Show with Mark S A Smith
The paradox of today’s world is how nothing is ever fully new while the world continues to change. That is why when it comes to creating products, what you need to do is not necessarily come up with grand ideas. Sometimes, a few tweaks could go a long way. You need to start designing disruptive products. Tracy Hazzard visits Mark S A Smith’s Selling Disruption Show to talk about how you can disrupt product design and, at the same time, share some examples of what she has done before. Tracy also taps into the importance of listening to the market, introducing the concept of intentional invention. Tune into this great episode to find out more about disrupting product designs and growing your company further into the future.
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If you tap into something that customers want to buy instead of the only option they have to buy, then you’re going to improve your sales instantly. #SellingDisruptionShow #MarkSASmith #podcastinterview Click To Tweet
How do we disrupt with product design?
We get a little caught up in the idea that we to reinvent everything and to be honest with you, disruption can be small. It can be a little ripple that ends up a big wave. We think about that all the time because it’s about making small changes that have big results for whoever the users or the buyers might be. If we can do that then we are creating a bigger market for our businesses and our product sales, but we’re also creating a better outcome for our users. At the end of the day, it’s a human-centered approach.
How do we listen to the market on an ongoing basis to get real data versus confirmation bias, which is fairly typical? People put out surveys that essentially confirm what they think that they want to find versus surveys that discover what customers think. What’s your approach to listening to the market to figure out what design next?Rather than know, like, and trust, go to trust, like, and then know more and buy more. #SellingDisruptionShow #MarkSASmith #podcastinterview Click To Tweet
I learned early on because I was working at Herman Miller and they were working on the Aeron chair, which is a famous mesh chair. I was on the material side of things. This is a material that no one had ever seen or used before in the marketplace. How can we research and understand whether or not this is going to be accepted into the marketplace? We’re a big fan of what we call market proof testing. That’s where we focus everything on. A lot of people will focus group test. We find that products that are truly innovative, that are truly going to disrupt, that are going to become amazingly big sellers. There’s no question that Aeron has been the top selling chair for many years. I still have mine that is 25 years old and it’s amazing. It still lasts that long too so it’s well-built on top of everything. It had been sad if they had listened to the focus group who told them, “No one’s going to buy that. It doesn’t have leather and cushions on it. It’s uncomfortable.”
That’s where we get caught up in getting this confirmation bias that we want them to accept this chair, so we lead them to accept it. It’s a mistake or we get the wrong audience who’s responding back to us. One of the things we did there is we ask questions in a different way. We try to find a way to sell them something that is similar to or has a feature that would be a baby step from where they are now. Can we put a more tech-savvy fabric on a regular chair and show them that first and get buying feedback on it? If we want to make a juicer blender, can we sell the juicer and the blender? Get the exact right audience and then talk to them about whether or not the opposite does it so, “Do the juicers blend and the blenders juice?” and have an actual conversation with people or real users. How can we facilitate these conversations with actual dollars exchange? I’m not a fan of the ones where you build a community and you start to have surveys and conversations with them. They tend to be early adopters and they tend to lead you wrong.
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