It’s been a funny old year for research. Right up to the day before the UK’s June referendum on EU membership, polls were predicting a narrow margin of victory for the Remain campaign. Many added that wavering voters would beat a last-minute retreat to the relative comfort zone of the status quo. As it turned out, of course, there was a narrow margin of victory for dynamiting the status quo. Five months later, also contradicting the pollsters, a narrow (and at the time of writing, disputed) US presidential election result delivered another raised middle finger to business-as-usual.
Many B2B companies are built on technical expertise. They start with a great innovation and turn it into a thriving business. Yet in our work, we see many examples where a supplier’s mastery of technology masks an unhappy customer base. And in competitive markets, when your customers don’t like you, you lose them – fast.
Draw a cup. What do you see? A stylish item of crockery? A football trophy? Half of a bra? The point of this classic psychology exercise is to show that what one person says can be interpreted by others in many different ways. Now draw a “seamless integrated solution”. Your IT supplier would doubtless sketch out a perfect system that solves all your problems. But what would you draw?