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The Fast Path to Corporate GrowthLeveraging Knowledge and Technologies to New Market Applications$
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Marc H. Meyer

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195180862

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195180862.001.0001

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Understanding User Needs

Understanding User Needs

(p.73) Chapter Four Understanding User Needs
The Fast Path to Corporate Growth

Marc H. Meyer

Oxford University Press

Segmenting markets for growth should provide one or more clear targets to which a company can extend its core technologies and other business assets. Those targets are some combination of new users or new product or service uses relative to the company's existing customers and applications. The next step is to define user needs within those target markets. This type of activity—often called ethnography—is the best way to truly understand the needs and frustrations of potential customers. Target users are often served by existing solutions that must be displaced by a superior offering. That superiority must be based on more than cost. Clayton Christensen argued in The Innovator's Dilemma that new product lines that have a disruptive impact on an established market typically provide better functionality in addition to cost advantages. User-centered design links the needs, goals, and aspirations of target users to the design of new products and services.

Keywords:   segmenting markets, new users, new product, service uses, target markets, ethnography, Clayton Christensen, The Innovator's Dilemma, new product lines, user-centered design

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