The unveiling of latent needs
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The unveiling of latent needs The unveiling of latent needs Document Transcript

  • 2012Sabrina FruehaufThe Solutions GroupMKT 534Kellstadt Graduate School ofBusinessTHE UNVEILING OFLATENT NEEDS – ANEXAMPLE
  • Table of Contents 1. Prologue 2. Background 3. Procedure a. Uncover latent needs b. List and classify problems c. Prioritize Customer needs 4. The new category 5. Appendix
  • 1. PrologueWithout sounding condescending, there may be a high likelihood of women’s fitness and weightloss being the next big thing. Most women know they want and need to lose weight and stay inshape but seldom do they know the right method for them. Personal trainers can be quite pricyand without anyone’s help it can become frustrating. If you take a women’s magazine like“Shape”, “Glamour” or “Women’s Health”, 80%-100% of what they talk about is how to lookbetter and healthier. Taking it one step further by going online, you discover that there arethousands and thousands of online forums that provide a platform for women to exchange theirstories and seek advice. What all of the platforms have in common is they combine bits andpieces of good and bad recommendations and it seems like every fitness expert has gotsomething else to add. What all the women have in common is they want to look and moreimportantly feel better but most often they have tried enough and are at their wit’s end (and insome cases, there is a bit of laziness involved but my theoryclaims that this is not the rootproblem). A known fact is that every woman is genetically different and therefore requiresdifferent types of exercise and diet adjusted to her body index.What is missing is the lack of personal advice and the fact that women have trouble making theirexercise a habit and building it into their everyday life without having to hire a personal trainer.A couple of things are critical here. A plan taking into consideration their current shape (height,weight, BMI, etc.), their daily schedule, a partner that has the same measures and the same goalsand someone that has the same measures and managed to accomplish their goals and is willing toshare the success story with others. 2. BackgroundConventional strategies like Perceptual mapping, Conjoint Analysis and Value Curve will onlyget you so far. They all share assumptions about the industry being given, categories beingfamiliar or attributes and brands being known. When looking at the product life cycle, studieshave shown that about 85% of spending is used for the Growth, Maturity and Decline stages,whereas only 15% is left for the introductory stage. Companies tend to be reluctant to spendmoney on Research & Development during this first stage as the returns can’t be readilyidentified; instead the returns that may come from the investments lay further out in the future. In View slide
  • order for new ideas to revolutionize the world however, investments need to be made in the“unknown”. You need to allow for a bit of chaos when trying to uncover latent needs and turnaway from conventional stage gates.When new categories form, customers have no familiarity with the category. Customers usuallyhave trouble articulating their needs and it is pivotal to listen to the customers instead of trying topush new technologies into the market. If sufficient latent needs can be uncovered and atechnology found to match those needs then a new category is born. Nutritional waters likevitamin water or facebook as the mother of social networking are only a few exemplifications ofsuccessful unveilings of latent needs.This begs the question of how do you uncover latent customer needs?A latent need defines a need that has potential without being visible. The main difference toconventional strategies is that customers can’t tell us about latent needs. They have to bediscovered first. There are three steps to do so which will be described in detail as follows: 3. Procedure a. Uncover latent needsThe first step requires an ethnographic observation of “jobs-to-be-done” and problemsencountered. This step is also called an anthropological approach as it involves a very thoroughsurveillance of consumers in their natural habitat. Sometimes these observations can be coupledwith selected conversations to maximize the findings and insights. Consult with multipleobservers that were being qualitatively trained to allow for different interpretations. You caneither use current customer filters or new technology filters. Some techniques that turn out to bevaluable for observation are a digital or video camera, a tape recorder for conversation, a sketchpad, a book or magazine to disguise, permission forms if you enter someone’s property andappropriate clothing to blend in.It is important to always keep in mind what you are looking for: namely the problems, thehassles, the frustrations and the stressors that customers encounter going about their lives. Thekey is to observe natural human behavior and how humans deal with the stressors. The follow-upquestion would be what products or services could help them get their job done. How doconsumers go about achieving “outcomes” and tackling the “problem” is essentially what you’re View slide
  • trying to answer. Customers are by nature not focused on the product or the category. Theywon’t articulate the solution but they will naturally engage in a process to help them get there.Consumers are driven by pull & push of life’s natural rhythms and most often their actions arehabit-driven. The cue-routine-reward curve that was applied by many researchers shows a cue atthe beginning that a person is trying to resolve. He/she then engages in a process to tackle thecue in order to end up with the yielded reward.Figure 1: The habit loop, extracted from "The power of habit", Charles Duhigg, February 2012The example above illustrates the routine loop of a customer that is facing teeth tingling. Itdescribes the cue (stained teeth), the routine (brush your teeth) and the reward (white teeth).Another fact that needs to be taken into consideration when uncovering latent needs is thathumans are boundedly rational in their decisions and 60% of consumption is temporarilyoriented. Speaking from a majority of our society, it becomes obvious that most consumers aremercenaries with almost zero loyalty. They are seeking convenience and a fast satisfaction moreso than staying loyal to one particular brand. When faced with a problem in their daily lives, thecustomer cares more about “satisficing” than optimizing, which means solutions that simplysatisfy him are sufficient enough. He/she doesn’t need the ideal solution.Having laid out the background for the procedure, it is now time to dive into the example of thelatent need uncovered for our client. This first observational process can require quite some timeand money.As mentioned above, the first step involves the observation of problems encountered inconsumers’ lives. The purpose of the observations is not to provide us with predictability, but togive us some kind of direction. Our primary target is the female desperate to lose weight. Thejob-to-get-done is weight loss and this phenomenon can be observed in almost every secondperson’s life. Women are mostly affected. It is striking how many women have faced this issue
  • throughout their lives.1 It can result in depression-feelings of loneliness, sadness or aggressivebehavior towards your beloved ones or close friends. It is fascinating on the other hand how thesimple act of a good exercise can help reduce these sad feelings and make them happier people.In order to get started, current customer filters were defined to be women. Several trips to thegym were made; online weight & fitness forums were closely observed and a few conversationswith women were held.The problems faced were - I don’t want to exercise but I have to - I don’t have time to exercise - I want to look lean and healthy - I want to eat healthy - I eat less but I don’t lose weight - I don’t want to be watched while exercising - The gym environment makes me uncomfortable - I don’t fit in my jeans anymore - My partner told me to lose weight - I want my kids to have a slim mum and be proud of her - I want to feel good about myself - I want to go to the beach but I can’t because I feel embarrassed - I need someone that can hold me accountable to achieve weight goals - I need to consult with someone that has faced the same problems and challenges - I need to consult with someone that used to be in the same boat but accomplished his/her goal - I need to overcome my lust for candy and soda - I need a mentor that can push me and tell me not to give up - I need someone to motivate me and help me get through the process - I have tried every diet program and haven’t lost weight - I need a controlled environment where calories intake is matched against exercise - I don’t have the money to hire a personal trainer - Every dietician recommends different diets  how am I supposed to decide? - I want to share my experiences and progress with friends and family - I need to find a routine to get me into an exercise habit - I sometimes eat because I am bored - I don’t know what type of exercise fits my weight reduction goals - I prefer to work out at home but need to find the right program for me - I prefer to exercise with a friend to help me motivate myself1 Men have too without a doubt, but for this exercisethe focus will be laid on women
  • - I sometimes snack because that’s what I do every day at that time - I wish there was one simple way of combining exercise, diet and motivationThis is the master list of 30 statements that has been compiled across multiple sources fromabout 500 need statements. b. List and classify problemsThe second step involves listing and classifying the list of the 30 “jobs-to-be-done” found in stepone and evaluating them from a qualitative standpoint. The goal is to put the individual problemsinto broader categories of needs. Each broad need can have 5 to 50 smaller problems and “jobs-to-be-done” subsumed under it.Need 1: Make exercise a habit that replaces a “bad” habit - I don’t have time to exercise - I need to overcome my lust for candy and soda - I don’t want to exercise but I have to - I need to find a routine to get me into an exercise habit - I sometimes eat because of boredom - I sometimes snack because that’s what I do every day at that timeNeed 2: Accountability for the progress of your fitness - I need someone to hold me accountable to achieve my weight goals - I need a mentor that can push me and tell me not to give up - I need someone to motivate me and help me get through the process - I prefer to exercise with a friend to help me motivate myselfNeed 3: Get expert’s advice without having to pay for a personal trainer - I don’t have the money to hire a personal trainer - I don’t know what type of exercise fits my weight reduction goals - Every dietician recommends different diets  how am I supposed to decide?Need 4: Social aspect of sharing success stories - I want to share my experiences and progress with friends and family - I want to consult with someone that has faced the same problems and challenges - I want to consult with someone that used to be in the same boat but accomplished his/her goalNeed 5: Feel better about yourself by minimizing frustration - I want to eat healthy - I eat less but I don’t lose weight - I want to look lean and healthy - I don’t fit in my jeans anymore
  • - I want to feel good about myself - I have tried every diet and haven’t lost weight - I want to go to the beach but I can’t because I feel embarrassed - My partner told me to lose weight - I want my kids to have a slim mum and to be proud of herNeed 6: Raise the comfort of exercising environment - I don’t want to be watched while exercising - The gym environment makes me feel uncomfortable - I need a controlled environment where calorie intake is matched against exercise - I prefer to work out at home but I need to find the right program for meNeed 7: Raise the simplicity of exercising - I wish there was one simple way of combining exercise, diet and motivation c. Prioritize Customer needsThe third step is about prioritizing customer needs by applying a quantitative measure called theopportunity algorithm. This step includes more of the conventional survey research. A largesample size is ought to be drawn and surveyed by giving them summary statements that list thebroadly defined needs. The customers are then asked to rate the needs in terms of two factors: 1. Importance to the consumer on a scale of 1 to 9 2. How well each need is presently satisfied through existing products or services on a scale of 1-9Essentially we are trying to answer two questions: How important is it to consumers that thisneed is fulfilled and how satisfied is the consumer with the current offerings?Having analyzed the survey results, the opportunity associated with each need can be calculatedby means of the following formula:Opportunity = (Importance + (Importance – Satisfaction))22 Outcome of inner parenthesis can never be less than zero as high levels of satisfaction do not detract from importance
  • After ranking the figures by Opportunity, the results for the client-specific survey are as such:Figure 2: Prioritization of customer needs for women wanting to lose weight, October 2012 4. The new category The product or service that can solve for the most number of opportunities in the order of the opportunity scores represents the new category. The product that was developed for our client incorporates the following and can be downloaded onto every mobile device: an algorithm that integrates metrics like heart rate, distance, weight and age, skin temperature, breathing. Most algorithms built into a treadmill or watches are misleading as they don’t consider what is going on inside your body. To deliver optimal results to the person, the measure needs to be as personalized as possible.3 Themeasure is then directly linked to the mobile application that tells the consumer how much fat has been burnt and how many calories. So far the product doesn’t really differentiate itself from current offerings, does it? When a person signs up online, she can list her hobbies, her everyday schedule, whether she smokes or not, any allergies, medication prescriptions, past injuries and surgeries as well as if she prefers home work-out or gym, preferred work-out time of the day, and if she likes to work out by herself or with a partner and most critically, her goals, concerns and habits that include snacking, watching TV, or just hanging out. Questions could include: What is a feasible expectation for you? What keeps you from doing it now? What time of day would be the best for exercise, or what part of your schedule can exercise be best worked in? Why should the person care? The more the person reveals, the better the end results will get. That’s why they should really take their time when filling out the questions. Any other fitness 3 Professor Heil, http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Want-To-Get-Fit-And-Stay-In-Shape/190782
  • studio would take some of these measures, store them in a binder and never look at them again(if not requested). Existing applications like “My Gym Pal” are popular at first sight but theyleave people completely by themselves and require utter discipline which only a 10 th percentileof our population can arrange for.Once all the information is registered, thesystem develops several options for a work-out planthat accommodates daily schedule and builds around that. By scanning through the thousands ofonline forums with millions of experts’ advice, the system is specifically programmed to trackdown a habit that may be an easy one to replace. Drastic changes won’t be realistic so that’s whythe system helps to start small. Without intruding too much into people’s lives, simple things likesnacking could be a starting point where the exercise replaces the snack but allows for an appleas a reward.The minute the person starts exercising, the device sends a signal to the mobile application whereit comes up as e.g. “Person X is rocking the treadmill”. It shows the exercise goal and theprogress. The exercise buddy (if the person has indicated someone) gets notified and is probablyalso on the cross-trainer or on the way to the gym.The third component that our service encompasses is the social aspect. People like to share theirstories. “It’s Monday night! I just got back from the gym.”They also like to learn from other like-minded. It takes a good amount of willpower to remainstrong and build an exercise habit but especially with other people having achieved weight goalsand so generously willing to share their experiences, it won’t be as hard. A personal trainer willalso push you and hold you accountable but his service is pricey. Our service combines acalorie/miles counter like NIKE’s, goals and nutrition statistics application like MyGymPal andthe social aspect of the forums personalized to your needs and habits. People are being heldaccountable by their buddy partners, family members or spouses that decide to support duringexercise or someone random from other parts of the world who match their profile in terms ofgoals and body statistics. Again, the amount of people willing to share their experiences and givetips to others in need is incredibly and can be seen across many platforms. Last but not least,baking exercise into someone’s life will pose as a road to happiness and the woman will feelbetter about herself after a few weeks. After all, speaking from experience, exercise with orwithout the weight loss will make everyone happier and will make other needs in life completelyredundant.
  • 5. Appendix1. The habit loop, extracted from "The power of habit", Charles Duhigg, February 20122. Prioritization of customer needs for women wanting to lose weight, October 2012