3 January 2010

Seeing customers as partners in innovation

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Visteon and 3M
A freelance writer reports for the New York Times on 3M Company’s customer innovation center at its headquarters.

“As a company, 3M is at the forefront of a movement that appears to be gaining traction: customer innovation centers, typically located near company research facilities, that provide a forum for meeting with corporate customers and engaging them directly in the innovation process. […]

The idea behind the centers is to foster innovation by combining a richer understanding of customer needs with creative links among 3M technologies. “Being customer-driven doesn’t mean asking customers what they want and then giving it to them,” says Ranjay Gulati, a professor at the Harvard Business School. “It’s about building a deep awareness of how the customer uses your product.””

Even though travel and accommodation was paid by 3M, against New York Times policy, the article is worth a read.

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