Developing an Understanding of Customer Needs and Wants

May 28, 2007 0 comments

Design success depends entirely on how well the design meets the customer's requirements. This means that it is necessary to identify, and where possible, to establish and agree requirements with customers prior to the design process. For example we need to know: what design features are required; why they are wanted; what benefits are needed; what benefits are expected; which benefits are critical to the success of the product; what the performance criteria are; how performance will be measured; what values they are prepared to exchange; where they want the benefits; when they want the benefits; how often they will want them (Timmons et al 1987). There is a complexity of influences that need to be research to access both qualitative and quantitative data. The environmental influences may be grouped into social; political; economic; legal; technological factors. These may be further influenced by factors such as: culture; historical group norms, beliefs and values, behavior patterns, life styles, religion, politics etc.: sociological factors; social class structure, family and peer group pressures, fashion, stage in life: economic factors; level of disposable income, cost in relation to competing goods or services, perceived value etc. All of these will contribute to the individual’s psychological profile governing their view of how well new goods or service packages can satisfy their needs (Maslow 1954: Chisnall, 1994)


Shostack’s Molecular Model

In Adrian Palmer’s book on the ‘Principles of Services Marketing’ 1994 there is an adaptation of Shostack’s Molecular Model to demonstrate how an analysis of the tangible elements and intangible elements of a service experience can help focus on critical elements.

below will be a product development flowchart

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Product Innovation


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