Customer-Centric Product Definition

PDC's classic book on using the voice of the customer to help define products.

Why do nearly 90 percent of all new products fail?

Although most companies know the value of listening to customers, few have developed a real system for turning customer input into top- and bottom-line results.

PDC Principal Consultant Sheila Mello has developed the customer-centric model that not only puts customer value at the heart of product development but also provides a methodology for quantifying and implementing customer-centric market research. Combining first-rate academic research with proven results from major corporations, the model's strategies help companies create measurable, repeatable development processes that can substantially reduce wasted time, effort, and product development budgets.

The approach approach to product development revealed in Customer-Centric Product Definition ensures smoother launches of products for which customers will be happy to pay premium prices.

The process described in the book is designed to help companies develop innovative products that will expand market share by creating extraordinary value. It explains how focusing on customer requirements at the very earliest stage of product development, during product definition, helps companies create winning products that truly meet market needs. The book demystifies the so-called "fuzzy front end" of the product development cycle and presents case histories of successful implementations of a market-driven product definition process.

Readers will learn how they can

  • Contribute to faster cycle time
  • Lower product development costs
  • Strengthen their product development roadmaps
  • Uncover both stated and unstated customer requirements
  • Use those requirements to select and create products
  • Achieve faster time to market acceptance and profitability
  • Reduce support costs

By applying the principles discussed in the book, readers can reduce product development costs by avoiding up-front errors that can sidetrack product development efforts. Moreover, they can dramatically improve top- and bottom-line performance by developing products that not only delight customers, but for which they are willing to pay a premium.

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Expanded outline


Chapter 1: The Case for Market-Driven Product Definition: The Universal Problem

Chapter 2: Applying the timeless Seven P's: Beginning at the Beginning

Chapter 3: The Customer Visit: Who is the Customer?

Chapter 4: Understanding the Voice of the Customer: Hearing What Customers Are Really Saying

Chapter 5: Seeing Life Through the Customer's Eyes: Creating an Image Diagram

Chapter 6: Translating the Voice of the Customer: Identifying Product Requirements

Chapter 7: Establishing Metrics: If You Can't Measure It, You Don't Understand It

Chapter 8: Putting Requirements to the Test: Surveying to Validate and Prioritize Customer Needs

Chapter 9: Beginning Product Commercialization: Using Survey Results to Evaluate Existing Solutions

Chapter 10: From Opportunity to Solution: Generating Creative Ideas

Chapter 11: Hitting the Market's Sweet Spot: Selecting Solutions that Customers Value

Chapter 12: Co-Wired MDPD: Global Product Definition Using the Web