I imagine a company that produces children's shoes . So cute. It is little known. He cannot afford expensive market research, he does not have the budget for an advertising campaign in the specialized press for mothers that has exorbitant costs, but he has invented a new product : a shoe suitable for the first steps. It has a special reinforcement of the heel, promotes the formation of the plantar arch, and is proposed with a very innovative aesthetic. But there are big discussions about the price. The technology used would allow to sell the shoes at much lower prices than the big brands. But lacking the means to create a large distribution and a great reputation, it is expected to sell low volumes.
One day, reading the blog of a friend, the young PM discovers that mothers on the web are many, fierce, and eager to have their say. He had never been interested in their sites but now he finds that there is a way to speak directly to them. It takes the technical data sheet of the shoe, translates it into a nice and accessible language, eliminates only the reserved details of the patent. Publish it on the blog, and comments flock. The aesthetic direction to follow appears immediately clear, in half a day the long company debates that have lasted for months no longer make sense. It was enough to ask them. Then she decides to continue the conversation, and ask the mothers what price they would be willing to pay. There are intense discussions among about twenty avid readers: some fear that to lower the price the company must lower the quality, and they do not trust. Others ask to try them first.
Reached fifty names of mothers of 12-18 month old babies, he asks them to register for a test. Send home some prototype shoes and open an online questionnaire for them. Incredibly, unlike traditional market research, 90% of the questionnaires are completed: mothers have mobilized for his cause (many are fed up with paying astronomical prices for children's clothing, but suffer from guilt if not they are reassured of the quality etc … in short, the usual stories). Some even showed them to his orthopedist, and says that he found them excellent. In the forum following the test, three orthopedists intervene, called by the search engines for “plantar arch”, and a technician from a health laboratory. Everyone makes useful contributions .
The PM has finalized the final product thanks to the comments and is ready for launch. Do you think that in addition to distributing the shoes in traditional channels, it could open an online store . What she calls her mothers “ambassadors”, enthusiastic because they were the first to try on the shoes, whose comments were listened to, sure of their fact because they tried them, spread the news and bring hundreds – in a short time, thousands – of visits to the store. Volumes triple compared to initial estimates, and online sales are twice that of offline.
The following year, all the mothers of the store are involved in the creation of the new shoe that will improve the previous one. Suggestions abound. The tip was a bit delicate, it must be reinforced because the children at first steps often continue to crawl and ruin it all. The upper needs to be lightened a bit because reports of devastating calcions come from the nest. A section of the shop opens dedicated to the opinion of orthopedists and experts. In short the news of the small company that makes excellent shoes at affordable prices spreads and…
open source innovation . Why is it still a dream? The tools are there. It is, because before triggering everything I imagined, the young PM should ask the boss for permission. And that would look at him as if he had snorted everything, and, very serious for the near future of the young visionary, he would think that it represents a danger for the company , because he would even like to spread sensitive data such as the technical data sheet of a product on the web still to be launched.
I don't know about you, but I am convinced of one thing: this story does not end here …