Gerry Katz of Applied Marketing Science Authors Critique of Outcome-Driven Innovation

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Gerry Katz, Executive Vice President of Applied Marketing Science, has released a white paper critiquing the book, "What Customers Want," by Strategyn CEO Anthony Ulwick. In his book, Ulwick argues that it is time to "silence the voice of the customer" in favor of Strategyn's approach, which it has branded as Outcome-Driven Innovation® . Katz's white paper examines the Outcome-Driven Innovation approach and uncovers some troubling weaknesses in this methodology as a tool for new product development.

silence the voice of the customer

Gerry Katz, Executive Vice President of Applied Marketing Science, has released a white paper critiquing the book, "What Customers Want," by Strategyn CEO Anthony Ulwick. In his book, Ulwick argues that it is time to "silence the voice of the customer" in favor of Strategyn's approach, which it has branded as Outcome-Driven Innovation® . Clients, prospects, and other Voice of the Customer (VOC) practitioners have asked our opinion of Strategyn's approach and how it differs from the well-established Voice of the Customer methodologies practiced by Applied Marketing Science and others in the product development profession for over twenty years.

Katz's white paper examines the Outcome-Driven Innovation approach and uncovers some troubling weaknesses in this methodology as a tool for new product development. Specific topics addressed in the white paper include:

  • How Outcome-Driven Innovation differs from traditional Voice of the Customer techniques
  • Data collection methodologies and questioning techniques
  • Level of detail, i.e. the case for an affinity diagram
  • Fixed syntax vs. customer language
  • Strategyn's Opportunity Algorithm

The article concludes with an empirical evaluation comparing Strategyn's fixed syntax versus traditional customer language as a form of structuring customer need statements. A controlled experiment illustrates how Strategyn's fixed syntax results in a number of undesirable side effects: 1) a higher dropout rate, 2) a longer average survey completion time, 3) a higher rate of fraudulent responses, and 4) a higher number of illogical responses, suggesting respondent confusion. To read the paper in its entirety, please click here.

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Michelle Harris
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