The 7 Deadly Sins of Innovation – By Mat Shore Insight and Value Proposition Expert

My sixth sin of innovation is the knee jerk reaction of branding your own customer or consumer as a fool or illogical when they reject your proposal. The same lack of customer insight drives innovators to believing their customer is a fool because they act or behave in a way that is not yet understood, although no empathy or curiosity is displayed in going beyond the observation to understand the customers underlying motivation.

Sin number 6: Believing your customer is a fool

It’s easy to claim to be customer insight driven or consumer centric.

But walking the talk is much more difficult and counter-cultural than many first think.

Many companies use market research as a way to circumnavigate the views and barriers of customers and reach the end objective they set their sights on at the start of their project.

Customer opinion is labelled as false, un-educated and even foolish because in essence it dares contradict the companies approach.

Watch my short video below on this very subject.

The other way companies treat their customers as fools is to patronise and stereotype them.

The BIC Cristal pen made for women claims to be designed for smaller hands and can write twice as much as a normal BIC. Now, you only have to look at the feedback comments on Amazon to realise that the customer recognises the absurdity of the product, which in turn damages the reputation and market value of the brand. They see it as not only lacking insight, but also fundamentally patronising and superficial.

Never assume the customer is a fool, because they are wise to poor innovation and will turn to forums and social media outlets to discuss and inform other potential customers about the flawed concept.

See more about the Bic Crystal Pen example here:

Mat Shore is a professional innovations speaker and founder of Outside In, a consulting and training company specialising in creating competitive insights and value propositions. You can buy his book ‘The Seven Deadly Sins of Innovation’ now at Buy Mats 7 Sins Book