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How Does Innovation Influence Consumers?

| On 01, Jan 2010

Message: 1304
Posted by: Vadim Zerr
Posted on: Wednesday, 30th April 2008


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen

My name is Vadim Zerr I'm studying International Management at the Nurthumbria University in Newcastle (England). For my Bachelor Thesis I've choosen a topic called: ” What is innovation and how does it influence consumers. An example of Apple and its innovative product the iPod”

The Problem is that I'm not sure whether innovation influence consumers or whether consumers influence innovation? I also don't know where to get those necessary information? 

Could maybe somebody help me and give me some good advices?

Thank you all in advance.

Vadim Zerr 


Message: 1314
Posted by: Joe Marotta
Posted on: Monday, 5th May 2008


This is an interesting question, as it gets into the realm of societal needs and the Voice of the Customer (VOC).  As you can probably imagine, both change over time, and, as new technology emerges, these get more sophisticated. 

So, how does innovation influence consumers? 

One way is by showing them new and more innovative products, thus getting them more accustomed to a higher level of technical sophistication, thus changing their needs.  Interestingly, this could tie in with some of the concepts in Darrell Mann's article this month…


Message: 1640
Posted by: Jack Hipple
Posted on: Sunday, 31st May 2009


As with all such questions, the answer is both. Any company that sells only what it currently knows how to make (vacuum tubes?) or only what a customer wants (longer lasting buggy whips?) will soon be out of business. Teflon(R) and Post It Notes(R) were the results of accidental observations but coupled with some understanding of what these discoveries might mean to the companies. I am sure that the first customer shown an electronic camera and the quality of the pictures it produced, told the interviewers that this invention would never fly. This invention did not come from Kodak, who saw their business as chemical film photography and not providing images to customers. If a customer doesn't know that you can capture an image electronically, they will never say to a market researcher that they should switch from chemistry to electronics to take pictures. From a TRIZ standpoint, this transition is totally predictable as we know that technologies progress along many known lines and one of them is a field line: mechanical, thermal, chemical, electronic, electromagnetic. These technologies and “fields” are very discontinuous, but predictable.

The trick here is to balance these two concepts: what the customer says they need and what we know about technology advancement that will allow us to propose ideas before they become generally known.