NPD Jargon Buster: Unarticulated Customer Needs

Learning Centre > NPD Jargon Buster: Unarticulated Customer Needs

Even if you do your research and ask customers what they want, sometimes they can't articulate their real needs. They might not even be aware of them themselves.

Even if you do your research and ask customers what they want, sometimes they can't articulate their real needs. They might not even be aware of them themselves. Even if you do your research and ask customers what they want, sometimes they can't articulate their real needs. They might not even be aware of them themselves.
Contents

It's tough to create a product that meets customer needs when you don't know what those needs are.

Even if you do your research and ask customers what they want, sometimes they can't articulate their real needs. They might not even be aware of them themselves.

What are unarticulated customer needs?

Unarticulated customer needs can be a real challenge.

This is because these needs are not clearly articulated or even known by the customer themselves. They might be hidden or subconscious desires that need to be teased out through research and analysis.

This makes it difficult to create a product that meets customer needs, as you can't be sure what they are.

However, it's important to try and understand these unarticulated needs, as they can be a valuable source of inspiration for product development projects.

Let's look at some examples of how to uncover them.

Use research to tease out hidden needs

One way to uncover unarticulated customer needs is through market research.

This involves studying your target audience, their habits and behaviours, and trying to understand what they want or need.

You can then use this information to develop products or services that meet those needs.

One example of an unarticulated customer need is the desire for a product that is easy to use.

This might be a need that the customer themselves isn't aware of, but it can be revealed through market research.

By understanding what this need is, you can create a product that is intuitive and simple to use, which will appeal to customers.

Ask customers directly

Another way to find out about unarticulated customer needs is to ask customers directly.

This can be done through surveys, focus groups or interviews.

It's important to be as open and candid as possible with customers when asking them about their needs.

An unarticulated customer need that can be uncovered by asking customers directly is the need for something that doesn't currently exist.

For example, you may ask plumbers if they need a specific tool that doesn't currently exist in the market.

This can help you to identify a need that you can then try and fill with a new product.

Use intuition and creativity to probe deeper

Finally, you can also use creative methods to probe deeper into customer needs.

This could involve using brainstorming techniques or design thinking exercises to get a better understanding of what customers want.

By using a variety of methods, you can get a more comprehensive view of unarticulated customer needs and use that information to drive your product development projects.

It's important to remember that even if you do uncover unarticulated customer needs, there is no guarantee that your product will be successful.

This is because there are many factors that contribute to a product's success or failure.

However, understanding and addressing unarticulated customer needs can give you a better chance of success.


It's tough to create a product that meets customer needs when you don't know what those needs are.

Even if you do your research and ask customers what they want, sometimes they can't articulate their real needs. They might not even be aware of them themselves.

What are unarticulated customer needs?

Unarticulated customer needs can be a real challenge.

This is because these needs are not clearly articulated or even known by the customer themselves. They might be hidden or subconscious desires that need to be teased out through research and analysis.

This makes it difficult to create a product that meets customer needs, as you can't be sure what they are.

However, it's important to try and understand these unarticulated needs, as they can be a valuable source of inspiration for product development projects.

Let's look at some examples of how to uncover them.

Use research to tease out hidden needs

One way to uncover unarticulated customer needs is through market research.

This involves studying your target audience, their habits and behaviours, and trying to understand what they want or need.

You can then use this information to develop products or services that meet those needs.

One example of an unarticulated customer need is the desire for a product that is easy to use.

This might be a need that the customer themselves isn't aware of, but it can be revealed through market research.

By understanding what this need is, you can create a product that is intuitive and simple to use, which will appeal to customers.

Ask customers directly

Another way to find out about unarticulated customer needs is to ask customers directly.

This can be done through surveys, focus groups or interviews.

It's important to be as open and candid as possible with customers when asking them about their needs.

An unarticulated customer need that can be uncovered by asking customers directly is the need for something that doesn't currently exist.

For example, you may ask plumbers if they need a specific tool that doesn't currently exist in the market.

This can help you to identify a need that you can then try and fill with a new product.

Use intuition and creativity to probe deeper

Finally, you can also use creative methods to probe deeper into customer needs.

This could involve using brainstorming techniques or design thinking exercises to get a better understanding of what customers want.

By using a variety of methods, you can get a more comprehensive view of unarticulated customer needs and use that information to drive your product development projects.

It's important to remember that even if you do uncover unarticulated customer needs, there is no guarantee that your product will be successful.

This is because there are many factors that contribute to a product's success or failure.

However, understanding and addressing unarticulated customer needs can give you a better chance of success.


Key Takeways

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Innovolo is a product development as a service provider. It offers R&D teams globally extra capacity, capability, and momentum in their product development and obsolescence management projects. Its services are used by clients in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, and medical devices. One of its clients is Kawneer, a leading manufacturer of aluminum products for the architectural and construction industries. Kawneer has been using Innovolo's services to help develop new products and to manage the obsolescence of its existing products. Thanks to Innovolo, Kawneer has been able to speed up its product development cycle and to reduce its costs. As a result, Kawneer has been able to bring new products to market faster and to better meet the needs of its customers.

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