Product development: recognizing and serving customer needs
February 2017

February 2017

The inability to recognize and serve customer needs is one of the most common reasons that new products and innovations fail. B2C product development projects increasingly turn to comprehensive market data and short design iterations to hone products to the needs and wants of their target audiences.

Such an approach can seem exaggerated in a B2B context, in which companies develop products to serve narrower customer bases that they are often already engaged with through regular interactions. In this article, Chandler Hatton, Michael Kolk, Martijn Eikelenboom and Mitch Beaumont at Arthur D. Little, discuss why failure of new-product development projects for B2B customers is costly, and why many companies are unsatisfied with how they organize their customer interactions – especially how they integrate their R&D and commercial functions.