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15-Note on Lead User Research

15-Note on Lead User Research

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Harvard Business SchooI 9-699-014

Rov. Octohor 1b, 1998
Iro|c··or 5tc|un T|omIc unJ Ic·curt| A··otíutc A·|oI NímguJc, !.I., µrcµurcJ t|í· tu·c u· t|c Iu·í· |or tíu·· Jí·tu··íon
rut|cr t|un to íííu·trutc cít|cr c||cttívc or ínc||cttívc |unJííng o| un uJmíní·trutívc ·ítuutíon.
Coµyright º 1998 hy tho Prosidont und IoIIovs ol Hurvurd CoIIogo. To ordor coµios or roquost µornission to
roµroduco nutoriuIs, cuII 18OO5457b85, vrito Hurvurd ßusinoss SchooI PuhIishing, ßoston, MÀ O21b8, or go to
httµ.´´vvv.hhsµ.hurvurd.odu. îo µurt ol this µuhIicution nuy ho roµroducod, storod in u rotriovuI syston,
usod in u sµroudshoot, or trunsnittod in uny lorn or hy uny nounsoIoctronic, nochunicuI, µhotocoµying,
rocording, or othorvisovithout tho µornission ol Hurvurd ßusinoss SchooI.
1
Note on Lead User Research
1
]ím 5unt|cz, u ßo·c 5µcuIcr· Iro|c··íonuí IroJutt· munugcr wít| rc·µon·íIííít, |or
Jcvcíoµíng ncw µroJutt·, wu· µícu·untí, ·urµrí·cJ I, t|c |íg| quuíít, o| t|c IutIgrounJ
mu·ít |c |curJ w|cn |c wuíIcJ ínto u ßo·tonurcu 5truwIcrríc·, u íotuí t|uín o| CI ·torc·.
On ínvc·tígutíon |c |ounJ t|ut t|c munugcr |uJ Ioug|t ·cvcruí ßo·c ·µcuIcr· Jc·ígncJ |or
|omc u·c unJ u·IcJ cícttrítíun· to ín·tuíí t|cm `·omc|ow.¨ At t|ut tímc, ín t|c íutc 1980·,
nonc o| t|c uvuííuIíc ·µcuIcr· wcrc Jc·ígncJ |or mountíng |rom uIovc, Iut un cícttrítíun |uJ
wruµµcJ mctuí ·truµ· urounJ t|c ·µcuIcr Ioxc· to ·u·µcnJ t|cm ovcr µcoµíc'· |cuJ· not
nctc··uríí, ·u|cí,. 5unt|cz wcnt IutI to |í· o||ítc wít| IoíuroíJ µítturc· o| ·omc o| t|c
ímµroví·cJ ín·tuííutíon·. ßo·c cngínccr· quítIí, Iuíít µrotot,µc·, w|ít| t|c, tooI IutI to
5truwIcrríc· |or |urt|cr tc·tíng. T|í· ·crcnJíµítou· Jí·tovcr, o| u `ícuJ u·cr¨ nccJ ícJ ßo·c
to ·uttc··|uíí, µíonccr |íg| |íJcíít, ·µcuIcr· |or t|c IutIgrounJ mu·ít murIct.
?
Who are Lead Users?
Most µooµIo uro luniIiur vith tho concoµt ol Ioud usors ut un intuitivo IovoI. Muny custonor
µroducts huvo, ultor uII, hoon dovoIoµod hy Ioud usors. Tho µrototyµo lor µrotoinhusod huir
conditionors, lor instunco, cuno lron during vonon in tho 195Os vho oxµorinontod vith hononudo
concoctions contuining hoor or oggs to inµurt noro hody und shino. IuniIiur consunor µroducts
runging lron Gutorudo to gruhun cruckor crust to sµort hrus to nountuin hikos to surl hourds uII ston
lron consunor idous und innovutions.
Ior uny nurkot or µroduct, thoro viII uInost uIvuys ho individuuIs vho oxµorionco noods
uhoud ol ovoryono oIso. Àn intuitivo notion ol Ioud usors husod on tho uhovo oxunµIos, hovovor, cun
µrovo nisIouding. Ioud usors uro not nocossuriIy rocognizod ¯oµinion Ioudors¨ in u lioId. Ruthor,
thoy Ioud vith rosµoct to cuttingodgo uµµIicutions ol inµortunt nurkot und tochnicuI tronds. Thoy
1
Much ol tho inlornution conos lron I. von HiµµoI, ]. ChurchiII, M. Sonnuck, ßrcuIt|roug| IroJutt· unJ 5crvítc·
wít| IcuJ I·cr Ic·curt| (Cunhridgo, Muss. und MinnouµoIis, Minn.. Ioud Isor Concoµts, Inc., 1998, lorthconing
Oxlord Inivorsity Pross).
2
Ior u luIIor uccount ol this oxunµIo, soo I. von HiµµoI, ]. ChurchiII, M. Sonnuck, ßrcuIt|roug| IroJutt· unJ
5crvítc· wít| IcuJ I·cr Ic·curt|, µugo 1.2O1.21.
This document is authorized for use only in PGDM-062212 by Prof. Sunil Sangra from June 2012 to December
2012.
699-014 Note on Lead User Research
2
gonoruIIy oxµorionco noods u|cuJ ol tho nurkot sognont in vhich thoy oµoruto (soo ExhIbIt 1). Throo
tyµos ol Ioud usors oxist.
1. Ioud usors in tho turgct uµµIicution. This nuy incIudo Ioud usors vho huvo
uctuuIIy oxµorinontod vith dovoIoµing µrototyµos. Tho Struvhorrios CD chuin
storo oxunµIo µrovidos u good iIIustrution ol this grouµ ol Ioud usors.
2. Ioud usors in unuíogou· nurkots i.o., in lioIds vith siniIur uµµIicutions. Ior
instunco, u houIth curo lirn intorostod in untihuctoriuI controI µroducts lor
hununs night uctuuIIy lind u Ioud usor lron tho votorinuriun scioncos.
8. Ioud usors invoIvod vith tho noro inµortunt uttríIutc· ol µrohIons lucod hy
usors in tho turgot nurkot. Ior instunco, u rolrigorution nunulucturing lirn nuy
lind Ioud usors lron tho suµorconµutor industry, vhoro cooIing tochnoIogy
µIuys un inµortunt roIo in running tho conµutors.
OhviousIy, u vouIth ol inlornution µortuining to µroduct dovoIoµnont rosidos in Ioud usors.
Iinding thoso µooµIo, hovovor, is gonoruIIy not ousy. CusuuI survoys cunnot uIvuys unourth thon.
Àµµroµriuto Ioud usors nuy dvoII uµon untroddon vuys, µroving us oIusivo us Wordsvorth`s vioIot
hy u nossy stono ¯huIlhiddon lron tho oyo.¨ Ivon il ono doos lind sonoono vith tho right tochnicuI
huckground, thut µorson nuy not µrovo tho host connunicutor. Ono night ond uµ sitting on u
nothor Iodo vith no idou ol hov to oxtruct unything ol vuIuo.
Lead User Research MethodoIogy
Ioud Isor rosourch, µionoorod hy Prolossor Iric von HiµµoI ol tho Mussuchusotts Instituto ol
TochnoIogy (MIT), µrovidos u nouns ol uccurutoIy lorocusting nurkot oµµortunitios hy systonuticuIIy
tuµµing tho oxµortiso und oxµorionco huso ol Ioud usors. Tho Ioud Isor nothod, dovoIoµod hy von
HiµµoI in con|unction vith 8M sciontist und intornuI consuItunt Mury Sonnuck und orgunizutionuI
µsychoIogist ]oun ChurchiII, uIIovs nov µroduct dovoIoµnont to uriso lron u sonsitivo undorstunding
ol µroduct louturos thut, idouIIy, viII nuttor nost to custonors sovoruI yours Iutor.
SovoruI succossluI Ioud Isor studios huvo hoIµod corrohoruto tho usoluInoss ol Ioud Isor
nothods in sottings runging lron houIth curo to toIoconnunicutions to lood. With incrousing
oxµorionco in Ioud Isor nothodoIogy, its honolits und chuIIongos huvo hocono noro uµµuront ovor
tino. Tho sµocilic honolits ol Ioud Isor nothods incIudo.
 Àccoss to richor und noro roIiuhIo inlornution on onorging custonor noods thun
cun ho µrovidod through truditionuI nurkoting rosourch. Ioud Isor nothods,
hovovor, conµIonont, not roµIuco, tho nood lor truditionuI nurkoting rosourch.
 DovoIoµnont ol hottor µroducts und sorvico concoµts sinco thoso cono out ol
hottor dutu on consunors` IikoIy noods.
 ÀccoIorution ol tho µroduct und sorvico dovoIoµnont µrocoss.
Sµocilic chuIIongos to succossluIIy using tho Ioud Isor nothodoIogy uIso oxist. Thoso
incIudo.
 DillicuIty in µrodicting tho µuthvuy lron sturt to linish. ßocuuso ol tho
unoxµoctod tvists und turns µro|octs tuko, tho uItinuto µuth loIIovod nuy not ho
This document is authorized for use only in PGDM-062212 by Prof. Sunil Sangra from June 2012 to December
2012.
Note on Lead User Research 699-014
3
ohvious vithout tho honolit ol hindsight. Àt cortuin stugos, thoroloro, linunciors
und divisionuI suµoriors cun ho Iolt vith svouty µuIns.
 Tho high IovoI ol connitnont noodod in torns ol quuIity und quuntity ol hunun
rosourcos. Ono study indicutos thut nunugonont in nu|or I.S. lirns connits
onIy u snuII µortion ol tho innovution hudgot lor ourIy nurkot rosourch und
concoµt dovoIoµnont.
8
Tho hius in nost lirns is to viov tho truIy inµortunt
vork us connoncing vith lornuI µroduct und µrocoss dovoIoµnont.
 DillicuItios in ussossing uny givon individuuI's µurticiµution in u tounhusod
ollort. This cun µrovo µrohIonutic lor ussossing royuItios or µronotions.
Conducting a Lead User Study
In t|c 1980·, u mu¡or |ooJ torµorutíon íJcntí|ícJ two íntcr·cttíng trcnJ· t|ut ·ccmcJ t|c mo·t
µromí·íng |or Jcvcíoµíng u ncw ·nutI |ooJ. u growíng µuIíít íntcrc·t ín |cuít|, |ooJ· unJ un íntcrc·t ín
umutcur or `wccIcnJ¨ ut|íctítí·m. Wít| t|í· InowícJgc, t|c, turncJ to Iro|c··or von Híµµcí |or |cíµ. T|u·
wu· íuunt|cJ t|c `Oí,mµít 5nutI¨ µro¡ctt, onc o| t|c curííc·t IcuJ I·cr ·tuJíc· tonJuttcJ.
Von Híµµcí unJ munugcmcnt ton·uítunt Icc !cuJow· íuunt|cJ u IcuJ I·cr ·tuJ, wít| t|c íntcnt o|
Jcvcíoµíng ncw |cuít|, ·nutI |ooJ· t|ut wouíJ tontríIutc to ut|íctít µcr|ormuntc. T|c two Icgun t|c ·tuJ, I,
·tunníng ·µort muguzínc· uímcJ ut ·críou· umutcur ut|íctc· u· wcíí u· rc·curt| urtítíc· ín ·µort nutrítíon. In
t|cír rcuJíng t|c, |ounJ ·oííJ cvíJcntc íínIíng ·omc IínJ· o| ·nutI· to µcr|ormuntc cn|untcmcnt Juríng unJ
u|tcr ut|íctít cvcnt·. 5utí·|ícJ t|ut t|c µro¡ctt wu· |cu·íIíc, t|c, ncxt tonJuttcJ tcícµ|onc íntcrvícw· wít| cíítc
ut|íctc· íntíuJíng Oí,mµíun·, µromíncnt tout|c·, unJ nutrítíon ·tícntí·t·. T|roug| t|c·c íntcrvícw· t|c,
íJcntí|ícJ u ·muíí grouµ o| ínnovutívc ícuJ u·cr· t|ut t|c, |cít touíJ tontríIutc to Jcvcíoµíng t|c `Oí,mµít
5nutI.¨ T|c·c ícuJ u·cr· íntíuJcJ un nutíonuí mcJuíwínníng wcíg|t íí|tcr, u nutrítíon ·tícntí·t w|o |uJ
worIcJ wít| un cíítc nuv, tomIut grouµ, unJ u tomµctítívc Iít,tíc rutcr.
It Ictumc uµµurcnt t|ut InowícJgc uIout µcr|ormuntccn|untíng |ooJ· wu· ·cgmcntcJ Ictwccn
nutrítíoní·t· unJ ut|íctc·. Nutrítíoní·t· wcrc morc InowícJgcuIíc uIout w|ut ·nutI· ·|ouíJ tontuín unJ |ow
t|cír ton·umµtíon ·|ouíJ Ic tímcJ. T|c, turcJ ííttíc uIout tu·tc. T|c ut|íctc·, on t|c ot|cr |unJ, Incw |ow
·nutI· ·|ouíJ Ic |ormuíutcJ |or cu·, ton·umµtíon ín t|c míJ·t o| tomµctítíon. TowurJ· t|c cnJ o| t|c ·tuJ,, to
|otu· on t|c·c two urcu· o| InowícJgc, von Híµµcí unJ !cuJow· run two Jí||crcnt tontcµt Jcvcíoµmcnt
worI·|oµ·. onc uímcJ ut tuµturíng t|c InowícJgc o| t|c nutrítíoní·t· unJ t|c ot|cr uímcJ ut tuµturíng t|c tu·tc
µrc|crcntc· o| ut|íctc·. T|c tomIíncJ InowícJgc |rom t|c·c worI·|oµ· ícJ to t|c Jcvcíoµmcnt o| tontcµt· |or u
vcr, novcí íínc o| |cuít|, ·nutI·.
1
* * * * *
Tho OIynµic Snuck story iIIustrutos hov nost Ioud Isor µro|octs vork. Tho toun tyµicuIIy
hogins vith u IittIo to u nodoruto unount ol knovIodgo uhout tho uronu vithin vhich it oxµocts to
vork. (îoto thut tho OIynµic Snuck oxunµIo is utyµicuI in utiIizing tvo oxtornuI consuItunts ruthor
thun un insido toun to conduct tho ontiro study.) InitiuIIy tho toun nust do its honovork to dovoIoµ
u luniIiurity vith tho lioId. Thoroultor, tho study locusos on tuµµing unµuhIishod knovIodgo thut
rosidos in Ioudingodgo usors und oxµorts. HoIding vorkshoµs vith Ioud usors tovurd tho ond ol tho
8
R.G. Cooµor, Wínníng ut Ncw IroJutt· (Rouding, Muss.. ÀddisonWosIoy PuhIishing Conµuny, 1994).
4
Ior u luIIor uccount ol this oxunµIo, soo I. von HiµµoI, ]. ChurchiII, M. Sonnuck, ßrcuIt|roug| IroJutt· unJ
5crvítc· wít| IcuJ I·cr Ic·curt| , µugo 1.1b1.17.
This document is authorized for use only in PGDM-062212 by Prof. Sunil Sangra from June 2012 to December
2012.
699-014 Note on Lead User Research
4
study uIIovs tho lirn to cuµturo vhut is hoµoluIIy tho vorId`s linost ussonhIugo ol Iiving knovIodgo
cruciuI to tho µurticuIur µroduct dovoIoµnont. Tho ontiro µrocoss, vhiIo vigorous, strossos quuIitutivo
vuIidity ovor stutisticuI roIiuhiIity u louturo thut in un ugo ol incrousing quuntilicution nukos nuny
nurkot rosourchors quousy.
Ioud Isor µro|octs husod vithin conµunios cun tuko livo or six nonths hut gots lustor vith
oxµorionco. During this tino corµoruto toun nonhors invoIvod sµond 12 to 15 hours µor vook or
roughIy uµ to u third ol thoir tino on tho µro|oct lor its ontiro durution. This high IovoI ol
innorsion lostors croutivo thought und sustuins µro|oct nonontun. Iovor IovoIs ol connitnont,
oxµorionco hus shovn, tond to nuko µro|octs ¯drug on¨ und uIso hog dovn uttonµts to liguro out
vhoro tho toun hus Iolt oll.
Às ono night inugino, givon tho nood lor such connitnont, tho study`s succoss roIios houviIy
on soIocting u tuIontod coro toun und rocoiving strong suµµort lron sonior nunugonont. TyµicuIIy, u
corµoruto toun consists ol lour to six µooµIo, incIuding roµrosontutivos lron nurkoting und tochnicuI
doµurtnonts, und roquiros uhout 1215 hours µor vook ol vork. Ono or tvo nonhors sorvo us µro|oct
Ioudors. This toun sizo uµµours to ho Iurgo onough to gonoruto divorso µorsµoctivos, yot snuII onough
to luciIituto toun Iogistics und ruµid toun docisionnuking. IdouI toun nonhors huvo u dooµ und
hroud knovIodgo huso roIovunt to tho toµic, ronuin oµon to nov uµµrouchos, und on|oy thinking
croutivoIy.
In conducting u Ioud Isor study, lour stugos cun ho dolinod (soo uIso ExhIbIts 2 and 3). In
rouding doscriµtions ol thoso stugos hoIov, it is usoluI to rolIoct on tho OIynµic Snuck oxunµIo.
Stage I: Project PIanning (4-6 weeks)
This is ossontiuIIy tho ¯honovork¨ or scouting µhuso ol tho study in vhich tho toun
idontilios tyµos ol nurkots und nov µroducts ol intorost it sooks to turgot. Thoso nurkots und
µroducts, ol courso, shouId lit vithin tho lirn`s koy husinoss gouIs und construints. Tho toun uIso
sooks to dolino tho dosirod IovoI ol innovution. Ior instunco, doos tho conµuny sook u
¯hroukthrough¨ µroduct or doos it vish to noroIy oxtond curront µroduct or sorvico Iinos7
Àt u tucticuI IovoI, tho toun hogins Stugo I hy gotting ¯groundod¨ in tho µro|oct, hy rouding
trudo |ournuIs, hrovsing through nurkot survoys und nurkot dutu, sourching tho Intornot, or
inlornuIIy intorvioving industry oxµorts, vho nuy incIudo custonors, suµµIiors, und intornuI
conµuny nunugors, to got u looI lor curront tronds und nurkot noods. îoxt, tho grouµ dovoIoµs u
sµocilic dutu coIIoction µIun, locusod on koy quostions (such us nurkot tronds) us voII us koy
rosourcos (uµµroµriuto oxµorts und trudo Iitoruturo).
Tho chuIIongo lor nost Ioud Isor studios is to uvoid dovnµIuying tho inµortunco ol this
stugo. Tho huso ol knovIodgo dovoIoµod horo viII rouµ dividonds dovn tho roud. Àccording to Ioud
Isor µrocoss consuItunt ]oun ChurchiII, ¯Tho Ioud usor µrocoss is u vory disciµIinod µrocoss. Touns
thut Iook lor `quick lixos` cun ond uµ disiIIusionod onco thoy rouIizo hov nuch study is noodod holoro
gotting to tho `lun stull.` Touns thut Iouµlrog tho lirst stugo hy innodiutoIy sturting to Iook lor Ioud
usors nuy sot thonsoIvos uµ lor luiIuro.¨
5
5
Intorviov vith ]oun ChurchiII, Àugust, 1998.
This document is authorized for use only in PGDM-062212 by Prof. Sunil Sangra from June 2012 to December
2012.
Note on Lead User Research 699-014
5
Stage II: Trends/Needs Identification (5-6 weeks)
Àt this stugo tho toun olliciuIIy Iuunchos its Ioud Isor study. Tho uItinuto gouI is to soIoct u
sµocilic noodroIutod trond(s) to locus uµon lor tho ronuindor ol tho study. In tho OIynµic Snucks
oxunµIo, lor instunco, tho toun docidod to uddross tvo intorsocting tronds invoIving u groving
intorost in houIthy loods und un intorost in unutour uthIoticisn.
Tho toun initiutos tho trond und nurkot invostigution vith u locusod, conµrohonsivo trudo
Iitoruturo roviov µortuining to tho µro|oct. This hoIµs µrovido u sonso ol tho ¯convontionuI visdon¨
roIuting to tronds und nurkot noods. Ixµorionco shovs thut u lourduy toun vorkshoµ µrovidos tho
host vuy to kick oll this stugo. In tho lirst tvo duys ol this sossion, nonhors hrovso through rouding
nutoriuI soIoctod hy tho toun during Stugo I. Ivory tvo or throo hours, grouµ discussions covor vhut
nonhors uro Iourning lron tho rouding.
Tho noxt tvo duys ol this vorkshoµ Iuys tho groundvork lor intorvioving Ioud usors us voII
us Ioud uso oxµorts individuuIs vho, vhiIo not nocossuriIy Ioud usors, µossoss oxµortiso roIovunt to
Ioud uso. In u huIlduy sossion, tho toun µroµuros un intorviov guido thut covors koy quostions to
oxµIoro vith oxµorts. Tho toun sµonds unothor huIlduy conducting ¯vurnuµ¨ intorviovs vith IocuI
oxµorts. Tho rouson lor this houvy onµhusis, us ChurchiII µoints out, is thut, ¯Sono tochnicuI µooµIo
ut corµorutions huvo novor soon u custonor lucotoluco, und not nuny huvo good intorvioving
skiIIs.¨
b
Tho µrocoss ol linding toµ oxµorts invoIvos quorying industriuI gurus, scunning Iitoruturo,
sourching tho Intornot, und consuIting vith inhouso coIIouguos. ToIoµhono ¯notvorking¨ uIso hoIµs
idontily uµµroµriuto oxµorts. Intorvioving tyµicuIIy tukos µIuco ovor tho toIoµhono, hut it cun uIso
occur in µorson lor cortuin oxµorts vith vituI inlornution.
Throo or lour vooks into Stugo II, tho toun gonoruIIy dovoIoµs u good undorstunding ol nu|or
tronds und is nov µositionod lor tho vituI tusk ol ¯lruning¨ tho custonor nood thut cun ho uddrossod
hy u nov µroduct or sorvico. This noodslruning tyµicuIIy occurs through u sorios ol nootings sµroud
ovor tvo vooks, during vhich tho toun ovuIuutos, intorµrots, und conhinos tho dutu coIIoctod lron
roudings und intorviovs.
Thoroultor, touns tyµicuIIy tuko unothor tvo vooks to rovork und rolino initiuI idous on
noodslruning in Iight ol lurthor intorviovs und roudings. This uIIovs tho toun to zoro in on tho dutu
diroctIy µortuining to tho µro|oct locus und sot usido oxtrunoous inlornution.
ExampIe:
Toµ cxctutívc· ut u tomµun, t|ut munu|utturcJ |curíng uíJ· tontíuJcJ t|ut |or t|cír µroJutt
Jcvcíoµmcnt gouí· un íJcuí ncw µroJutt íínc wouíJ |uvc ·cvcruí Ic, |cuturc·. ít wouíJ ,ícíJ µro|ítuIííít, o| $1
h mííííon ín ít· |ír·t ,cur, unJ ovcr $?0 mííííon ín íutcr ,cur·. Iurt|crmorc, t|í· µroJutt íínc wouíJ utííízc
cxí·tíng tomµun, tct|noíogíc· unJ cxí·tíng murIctíng t|unncí·. In·tcuJ o| ·touríng t|c woríJ ín munncr o|
ííumu· ·ccIíng t|c ncxt Juíuí íumu |or µroJutt· uírcuJ, Iorn, t|c |írm cxctutívc· turncJ to u IcuJ I·cr
·tuJ,.
To IítI o|| t|c ícuJ u·cr µro¡ctt, ?0 µcoµíc |rom cut| o| t|c |írm'· Jcµurtmcnt· µurtítíµutcJ ín u |uí|
Ju, Iruín·tormíng ·c··íon. O| ·cvcruí µroJutt tontcµt· Jí·tu··cJ, t|c mo·t µromí·íng wu· u íow to·t, quuíít,
|curíng ín·trumcnt to uJJrc·· t|c nccJ· o| µcoµíc ín t|cír h0· ·u||críng |rom curí, |curíng ío··. Currcnt
µroJutt· on t|c murIct ígnorcJ t|c nccJ· o| t|í· ·cgmcnt o| t|c µoµuíutíon.
b
Ihid.
This document is authorized for use only in PGDM-062212 by Prof. Sunil Sangra from June 2012 to December
2012.
699-014 Note on Lead User Research
6
At t|c cnJ o| t|c Iruín·tormíng ·c··íon, t|c tcum cnví·íoncJ t|c ncw µroJutt íínc u· Icíng íncxµcn·ívc
(unJcr $?00), cu·, to u·c (wít| no nccJ |or uJ¡u·tmcnt I, u·cr· or uuJíoíogí·t·), unJ wít| ·ígní|ítuntí,
ímµrovcJ ·ounJ quuíít, wít|out utou·tít |ccJIutI or IutIgrounJ noí·c. Iut| curí, u··umµtíon uIout u µroJutt
uttríIutc ícJ to ncw quc·tíon· uIout w|ít| t|c tcum |cít ít |uJ to ícurn morc. Con·íJcr, t|c |oííowíng.
 Icmogruµ|ít·. A ruµíJí, growíng numIcr o| µcoµíc ovcr h0 ,cur· oíJ wouíJ ·u||cr |rom
mííJ to moJcrutc |curíng ío··. Ncw quc·tíon. How mun, o| t|c·c µcoµíc urc uttuuíí,
Iu,íng |curíng uíJ·? W|ut |cuturc· urc t|c, ·ccIíng?
 IroJutt u·ugc. T|c ncw µroJutt íínc wouíJ uµµcuí to µcoµíc ín t|cír h0· tontcrncJ wít|
t|c to·mctít· o| |curíng uíJ·. Ncw quc·tíon. W|ut to·mctít |cuturc· wouíJ µrovc
ímµortunt to t|í· µoµuíutíon o| ugíng `IuI, Ioomcr·?¨
 Tct|noíog,. IcuJíngcJgc µroJutt· uµµcur íntrcu·íngí, ·ímµíc to u·c. Ncw quc·tíon.
W|ut ncw tct|noíogíc· ín our own unJ ot|cr |ícíJ· tun |cíµ trcutc cu·,tou·c, `onc ·ízc
|ít· uíí¨ t,µc o| |curíng uíJ·?
A|tcr t|í· `nccJ·|rumíng¨ cxcrtí·c, t|c tcum |ounJ ít·cí| rcuJ, to cntcr t|c ncxt µ|u·c.
7
Stage III: PreIiminary Concept Generation (5-6 weeks)
With Stugo III, uII µotontiuI unuIogios to urnchuir µhiIosoµhizing onds. Tho toun nov hogins
to gonoruto µroIininury concoµts. Iirst, hovovor, tho grouµ nust ucquiro u noro µrociso
undorstunding ol tho locuI urou. This undorstunding urisos lron tho itorutivo µrocoss ol sooking
soIutions to quostions, vhich in turn gonorutos lurthor quostions. Tho toun continuos intorvioving
Ioud usor oxµorts lor tochnicuI knovIodgo thut µortuins to concoµt gonorution.
Muny ol tho intorviovs occur ut tho Ioud usor`s ovn µIuco ol husinoss. This µrovidos
invuIuuhIo inlornution thut tho Ioud usor night lind connonµIuco und not vorthvhiIo oxµrossing, or
inlornution hurd to oxµIuin ovor tho toIoµhono. (Ior instunco, through unnotutod dononstrutions Iiko
¯Àt this µoint, I turn ny honocrultod vood stuko thus. holoro tho vunµiro oIudos ny grusµ.¨)
Ior concoµts gonorutod in this stugo, tho toun nust sturt outIining tho uttrihutos und louturos
tho idouI µroduct shouId huvo, uIong vith honolits und vuIuos ollorod to turgotod custonors und koy
dosign louturos. (RocuII in tho houring uid oxunµIo hov tho toun uddrossod thoso koy issuos.) Tho
toun sooks to inlornuIIy ussoss husinoss µotontiuI lor tho µroduct or sorvico hoing concoµtuuIizod.
Tovurd tho ond ol Stugo III, tho toun noots vith koy nunugors rosµonsihIo lor inµIononting
µroduct dovoIoµnont concoµts thut viII uItinutoIy riso lron tho Ioud Isor µro|oct. ßy nov, tho toun
shouId ho urnod vith sono vorilying ovidonco thut tho idontiliod noods und µroIininury soIution
idous do indood roµrosont good husinoss oµµortunitios. This invoIvos µroviding dutu on sizo und
µrolituhiIity ol tho turgotod nurkot us voII us unuIysis ol conµotitivo ollorings to nuko suro thut
µroIininury concoµts ollor uniquo honolits und vuIuo to turgot custonors.
Stage IV: FinaI Concept Generation (5-6 weeks)
In Stugo IV, tho toun tukos tho µroIininury concoµt dovoIoµod in Stugo III tovurd conµIotion.
Àctivity in this stugo gonoruIIy contors uround u Ioud Isor vorkshoµ ol uµ to tvo or throo duys. Tho
vorkshoµ sorvos to liII in nissing µiocos in tho µroIininury concoµts dovoIoµod in Stugo III us voII us
7
Ior u luIIor uccount ol this oxunµIo, soo I. von HiµµoI, ]. ChurchiII, M. Sonnuck, ßrcuIt|roug| IroJutt· unJ
5crvítc· wít| IcuJ I·cr Ic·curt|, µugo 8.58.b.
This document is authorized for use only in PGDM-062212 by Prof. Sunil Sangra from June 2012 to December
2012.
Note on Lead User Research 699-014
7
to onsuro thut uII µossihIo soIutions huvo hoon oxµIorod. During tho vorkshoµ, tho toun vorks
intonsivoIy vith Ioud usors und Ioud uso oxµorts to inµrovo und udd to tho µroIininury concoµts.
ExampIe.
A munu|utturcr o| |urJwurc µroJutt· µíunníng to Jcvcíoµ uIru·ívc· |or ·moot| ·ur|utc· t|ut urc
Jí||ítuít to ·unJ Jown (c.g., Iuní·tcr·, t|uír ícg·, Jctorutívc moíJíng·) cnJcJ uµ ínvítíng to t|c worI·|oµ |cíJ
Juríng 5tugc IV ícuJ u·cr· t|ut íntíuJcJ u Jc·ígncr o| curí, Amcrítun |urníturc, un íntcrnutíonuíí, rcnown
wooJ ·tuíµtor, unJ u ·µctíuíí·t ín guítur Jc·ígn unJ rc|urIí·|mcnt. Aíí t|c·c ícuJ u·cr· wcrc cxµcrt· ín t|c
·unJíng o| tomµounJ turvc· ín wooJ (cít|cr I, |unJ or unJcr |uttor, µroJuttíon tonJítíon·). 5cvcruí Jc·ígn
µrotot,µc· |or víuIíc µroJutt· cmcrgcJ |rom t|í· ton|íucntc o| Jívcr·c tuícnt·.
8
À voIIorchostrutod vorkshoµ µrovos cruciuI lor succoss. TyµicuIIy, 15 to 18 µooµIo uttond u
Stugo IV vorkshoµ, ol vhich u third nuy cono lron tho µro|oct toun und lron inhouso tochnicuI or
nurkoting divisions. Tho ronuining uttondoos uro Ioud usors or Ioud uso oxµorts. WhiIo nuny ol
thoso nuy uIroudy huvo hoon idontiliod in Stugo II, lurthor µrohing nuy ho roquirod to lind µooµIo
vith uµµroµriuto oxµortiso. WoII ovor u nonth ol µIunning nuy go into dosigning und schoduIing tho
vorkshoµ.
Àt tho vory hoginning ol tho vorkshoµ, vhich idouIIy is hoId ollsito in µIousunt
surroundings, µooµIo tuko turns oxµIuining thoir oxµortiso und intorosts. Tho grouµ thon discussos
tho µrohIon urou und roviovs huckground inlornution. ßocuuso 15 to 18 µooµIo cunnot discuss uny
nuttor olliciontIy, Iot uIono civiIIy, nuch ol tho vorkshoµ occurs in suhgrouµs, ouch ol vhich
discussos indoµondont µurts ol tho µrohIon. Through tho ronuindor ol tho vorkshoµ, thoso snuII
grouµs uro lornod und rolornod lor olliciont crossµoIIinution ol idous und viovµoints.
Tovurds tho ond ol tho vorkshoµ, dilloront suhgrouµs uro churgod vith gonoruting
uItornutivo µroduct concoµts. IriondIy rivuIry hotvoon suhgrouµs olton sµurs invontivonoss und ovon
tho quost lor incrousingIy novoI soIutions. Thoroultor, tho ontiro grouµ noots to systonuticuIIy
ovuIuuto tho gonorutod µroduct concoµts in torns ol tochnicuI lousihiIity, nurkot uµµouI, und
nunugonont µrioritios. Tho ontiro grouµ urrivos ut consonsus on tho nost connorciuIIy µronising
concoµts und dovoIoµs roconnondutions lor lurthor stoµs to rolino thon. Horo, tho vust urruy ol
oxµortiso uIIovs lor virtuuIIy instuntunoous loodhuck. Àccording to Ritu Shor, u 8M µroduct
dovoIoµor vho Iod u Ioud Isor study lor dovoIoµing surgicuI µroduct concoµts.
Às concoµts in our Ioud Isor vorkshoµ voro hoing dovoIoµod, it vus
osµociuIIy usoluI to got ímmcJíutc loodhuck lron tho surgoons und nicrohioIogists
und skin huctoriu sµociuIists. ßocuuso ol tho high IovoI ol oxµortiso und uctuuI lioId
oxµorionco thut tho oxtornuI uttondoos hrought to tho vorkshoµ, tho grouµ gonorutod
idous lustor und oxµIorod thon noro dooµIy thun vouId huvo hoon µossihIo in ono
toono intorviovs.
9
OhviousIy, tho synorgy lron this nooting ol ninds µrovidos ono rouson vhy nost Ioud usors
und Ioud uso oxµorts uro IitoruIIy signing uvuy intoIIoctuuI µroµorty rights to innovutions und µroduct
concoµts thut nuy ston lron such vorkshoµs. Most invitoos gonoruIIy rouIizo thut on thoir ovn thoy
nuy ho unIikoIy to dovoIoµ tho µurticuIur innovutions. Iurthornoro, nuny Ioud usors und Ioud uso
oxµorts on|oy contrihuting to innovutions, ovon il onIy lor tho suko ol innovution, und lind such
vorkshoµs intoIIoctuuIIy stinuIuting. Ior sono invitoos, it µrovidos u voIcono chungo lron un
8
Ior u luIIor uccount ol this oxunµIo, soo I. von HiµµoI, ]. ChurchiII, M. Sonnuck, ßrcuIt|roug| IroJutt· unJ
5crvítc· wít| IcuJ I·cr Ic·curt|, µugo 4.184.19.
9
I. von HiµµoI, ]. ChurchiII, M. Sonnuck, ßrcuIt|roug| IroJutt· unJ 5crvítc· wít| IcuJ I·cr Ic·curt|, µ. 7.b.
This document is authorized for use only in PGDM-062212 by Prof. Sunil Sangra from June 2012 to December
2012.
699-014 Note on Lead User Research
8
intoIIoctuuI isoIution. Too nuny Ioud usors, to roturn to Wordsvorth, huvo ronuinod Iiko u soIitury
stur in u sky.
ExampIe:
Ior t|c |curíng uíJ ícuJ u·cr worI·|oµ, t|c ·µon·oríng |írm |uJ íJcntí|ícJ ·cvcruí Ic, uttríIutc· t|ut
t|c íJcuí µroJutt ·|ouíJ |uvc. T|í· muJc ít cu·ícr to t|ínI uIout ícuJ u·cr· t|c |írm ·|ouíJ ínvítc |or íntcrvícw·
unJ worI·|oµ uttcnJuntc. A· ,ou rcuJ t|c íí·t o| Jc·íruIíc uttríIutc· Icíow, ,ou mu, t|ínI o| ,ct morc µotcntíuí
ícuJ u·cr· unJ ícuJ u·c cxµcrt· t|un t|c |írm íJcntí|ícJ.
 AttríIutc 1 to·mctít uµµcuí. IcuJ u·c·/cxµcrt· íJcntí|ícJ. to·mctít Jcntí·tr,
·µctíuíí·t·, munu|utturcr· o| uµ·tuíc to·tumc ¡cwcír,.
 AttríIutc ? tu·tomízuIíc íow to·t tuIíng. IcuJ u·c·/cxµcrt· íJcntí|ícJ. mcJítuí tuIíng
·uµµíícr·, munu|utturcr·/·uµµíícr· o| umµíí|ícr· |or µro|c··íonuí |ootIuíí tcum·.
 AttríIutc 3 íow utou·títuí |ccJIutI/mínímuí umµíí|ítutíon o| unwuntcJ ·ounJ. IcuJ
u·c·/cxµcrt· íJcntí|ícJ. ·µctíuíí·t· ín tín, tírtuítr, unJ Jígítuí tct|noíog, uµµíítutíon· ín
t|c víJco unJ mu·ít ínJu·tríc·.
 AttríIutc 1 cu·c o| µurt|u·c (wít|out nccJ |or cur cxum· or ·µctíuí |íttíng·). IcuJ
u·c·/cxµcrt· íJcntí|ícJ. oµtítíun· w|o |uJ µíonccrcJ ·uíc· o| tontutt ícn·c· t|roug| mu··
rctuíícr·, mu¡or rctuíícr· t|ut ·oíJ c,cgíu··c· unJ o||crcJ on·ítc c,c cxum·.
Àltorvurd, tho toun rolinos tho µroIininury concoµt on tho husis ol knovIodgo guinod lron
tho vorkshoµ vith Ioud usors und Ioud uso oxµorts vho uttondod thut nooting. Tho toun µrosonts
sonior nunugors vith inlornution uhout tho µroµosod µroducts or sorvicos, µroviding soIid ovidonco
uhout vhy custonors vouId ho viIIing to µuy lor thon. Ànong tho visuuI tooIs lound usoluI lor this
nooting uro skotchos ol tho concoµts und vidootuµod cIiµs lron tho Ioud usor vorkshoµ.
After the Project: Testing the Concepts
Sinco Ioud usors uro not tho suno us routino usors in u turgot nurkot, concoµts shouId ho
tostod on ordinury consunors in tho turgot nurkot. Tho nuturo ol vuIidution roquirod vurios lron
lirn to lirn, doµonding on hov nuch connorciuI µroniso concoµt ovuIuutors unticiµuto tho concoµt
to hoId.
Quito olton, quuntitutivo nothods lor ovuIuuting routino µroducts do u µoor |oh ol ovuIuuting
tho novoI lunctions und honolits ollorod hy ¯hroukthrough¨ µroducts und sorvicos. Ior this rouson,
nuny Ioud Isor µro|oct nunugors ovuIuuto concoµts husod on snuII grouµs ol usors in tho turgot
nurkots us voII us on thoir ovn |udgnont. In sono cusos, hovovor, hocuuso ol considorutions ol
socrocy, sono lirns huvo oµtod skiµ this tosting on routino usors.
Àt Ioust ono nonhor ol tho Ioud usor toun shouId hoIµ shoµhord tho µroduct or sorvico
concoµt through tho noxt dovoIoµnont µhusos to onsuro thut tho oxµortiso huiIt through tho ontiro
µrocoss ol tho study is luIIy doµIoyod. This uIso hoIµs onsuro thut innovutivo µroducts do not got
tungIod in u voh ol ¯husinoss us usuuI¨ µructicos. Ior instunco, ultor tho OIynµic Snuck study, tho
sµonsoring lirn µIunnod to tost tho nov µroduct Iino tho vuy it tostod uII its othor µroducts. on
housovivos shoµµing in suµornurkots. OnIy tinoIy intorvontion lron tho Ioud usor µroduct
chunµion stoorod tosting tovurd tho turgot nurkot ol vookond uthIotos.
* * * * *
This document is authorized for use only in PGDM-062212 by Prof. Sunil Sangra from June 2012 to December
2012.
Note on Lead User Research 699-014
9
Incrousing oxµorionco vith Ioud Isor nothodoIogy ovor tho yours suggosts thut throo
oIononts uro nocossury lor u succossluI study.
(1) ·uµµortívc munugcmcnt thut viII µrovido tho µro|oct tho crodituhiIity und Iong
torn connitnont roquirod,
(2) tho uso ol u tro··Jí·tíµíínc IcuJ I·c ·tuJ, tcum o| |íg|í, ·IííícJ µcoµíc conµrising
tho vory host µooµIo vith yours ol oxµorionco, croutivity, und good toun skiIIs,
(8) u cIour unJcr·tunJíng o| t|c µríntíµíc· o| IcuJ I·cr rc·curt|, vhich nuy guin lurthor
lron uso ol u consuItunt vho cun couch tho µrocoss through tho nuuncos ol tho
nothod.
ßy its vory nuturo, innovution ronuins un unµrodictuhIo µrocoss thut doos not Iond itsoIl to
Iockstoµ uIgorithns. Tho nothods doscrihod uhovo nuy µrovido u koy to tho succossluI courtshiµ ol
tho nuso ol innovution.
This document is authorized for use only in PGDM-062212 by Prof. Sunil Sangra from June 2012 to December
2012.
699-014 Note on Lead User Research
10
ExhIbIt 1 Position ol Ioud Isor RoIutivo to Murkot
CharacterIstIcs oI Lead Users
1. Ioud usors huvo nov µroduct or sorvico noods thut viII ho gonoruI in u nurkotµIuco, hut
thoy luco thon nonths or yours holoro tho huIk ol tho nurkot oncountors thon.
2. Ioud usors oxµoct to honolit signilicuntIy hy linding u soIution to thoir noods. Às u rosuIt,
thoy olton dovoIoµ nov µroducts or sorvicos thonsoIvos hocuuso thoy cun`t or don`t vunt
to vuit lor thon to hocono uvuiIuhIo connorciuIIy.
8. Ioud usors uro not tho suno us ¯ourIy udoµtors¨ usors vho uro unong tho lirst µooµIo to
µurchuso un oxisting µroduct or sorvico (soo liguro hoIov). Ioud usors uro lucing noods
lor µroducts und sorvicos thut Jo not cxí·t on tho nurkot.
Routine
Users
Laggards
EarIy
Adopters
Lead Users
Time
This document is authorized for use only in PGDM-062212 by Prof. Sunil Sangra from June 2012 to December
2012.
Note on Lead User Research 699-014
11
ExhIbIt 2 Sunnury ol Ioud Isor Rosourch Procoss
1O
Stage 1: Preparing to Launch the Lead User Project
 Select the new product/service areas of interest.
 Designate a cross-disciplinary research team of 4-6 people to implement the project.
 Refine the focus through discussions with key stakeholders.
 Develop a data collection plan.
Stage 2: Identifying Trends and Key Customer Needs
 Broadly explore trends through interviews with lead use experts and reading in the trade
literature.
 Select the markets and core needs that will be the focus of concept development.
Stage 3: ExpIore Lead User Needs and SoIutions
 Generate preliminary solution concepts by interviewing lead users and lead use experts.
 Collect market data for a business case.
 Present needs data and preliminary solutions to management.
Stage 4: Improve SoIution Concepts with Lead Users and Experts
 Hold a 2-3 day workshop to further develop concepts.
 Finalize concepts and develop a written new product or service proposal.
 Review the project output with management.
 Test appeal of the concept(s) on target market(s).
 Hand-off the concept(s) for commercialization.
1O
I. von HiµµoI, ]. ChurchiII, M. Sonnuck, ßrcuIt|roug| IroJutt· unJ 5crvítc· wít| IcuJ I·cr Ic·curt| , µugo 2.21.
This document is authorized for use only in PGDM-062212 by Prof. Sunil Sangra from June 2012 to December
2012.
699-014 Note on Lead User Research
12
ExhIbIt 3 Mu|or Ioud Isor Rosourch Àctivitios und Suggostod Tino ÀIIocutions
11
Stage/Major Activities Who Suggested Time by Activity
Stage 1: Project PIanning
 Develop master plan.
 Learn about the current marketplace.
 Further refine the project focus.
Project planners
Project team
4-6 weeks totaI
10+ hrs. (over 1 month)
3-4 weeks
Stage 2: Trends/Needs Identification
 Conduct literature searches.
 Ìnterview top experts.
 Ìnterpret/analyze data/select specific
needs to focus on.
Ìndividual team members
Whole project team
5-6 weeks totaI
10+ hrs. per week
1+ hr. (weekly meeting)
Stage 3: PreIiminary Concept Generation
 Ìnterview lead users and experts.
 Gather data for business case.
 Define new product or service
requirements, generate concepts.
Ìndividual team members
Whole project team
5-6 weeks totaI
10+ hrs. per week
1+ hr. (weekly meeting)
Stage 4: FinaI Concept DeveIopment
 Plan lead user workshop.
 Ìnvite participants.
 Hold workshop ÷ improve concepts with
lead user/experts.
 Finalize concepts.
Ìndividual members
Whole project team
5-6 weeks totaI
10+ hrs. (over 2 weeks)
2-3 days (typical length of
workshop)
2+ weeks
10+ hrs. (2-3 meetings)
Project Wrap-Up
 Evaluate project outcomes.
 Plan next commercialization steps.
Management/project team
2-3 meetings
10+ hrs. (2-3 meetings)
Approximate Length of Project: 5-6 Months
(with increasing experience and team members who dedicate over 50% of their time, the duration of a
study can be reduced)
11
I. von HiµµoI, ]. ChurchiII, M. Sonnuck, ßrcuIt|roug| IroJutt· unJ 5crvítc· wít| IcuJ I·cr Ic·curt|, µugo 8.9.
This document is authorized for use only in PGDM-062212 by Prof. Sunil Sangra from June 2012 to December
2012.

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