New Product Blueprinting
Front-end innovation for B2B organic growth

World Views

Global VOC:  How to combine regional data for global insights

How global are your VOC projects?  For years, AIM clients have conducted interviews in all parts of the globe – North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia – you name it.  Often, these have been projects designed to create products and services for those specific markets.  But we are hearing more about Global VOC.  In this scenario, products that used to be developed for individual markets are being re-imagined as single worldwide platforms, with options or variations to serve special market needs.  When properly executed, this strategy helps increase efficiency, reduce costs and drive innovation.  Getting there is another story.  Here are a few things to consider when scoping the front-end work:

  1. Plan your sample carefully.  You will want to make sure all current and potential markets are represented when you decide where to conduct your Discovery Interviews.  This may result in a bigger list of countries than originally imagined.
  2. Assure regional buy-in.  Don’t shortchange the number of interviews you do in any region.  You may think you know the answers – and you really might, but be sure to talk to enough companies so your local people are satisfied and believe their region or country has been “heard”.
  3. Get creative on method.  If you insist that all Discovery Interviews are “by the book” in the classic, conference-room format using projection and Blueprinter Software, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment.  Certainly you should encourage as many traditional interviews as possible, but also be willing to compromise.  Flexibility will help you set up and complete your interviews within your deadline.  You may need to forego the projector, conduct the interview via web conference or meet with fewer people at a given meeting.  Getting enough data from a wide range of companies is better than getting perfect data from just one or two companies.
  4. Filter massive data in Excel.  If your sample size balloons and you have hundreds of data points, you might want to input parts of your data into a spreadsheet outside of Blueprinter® software at first.  Some of our clients collect “problems” and desired “outcomes” along country codes and other fields, but wish to segment the data or summarize in pivot tables.  They find it easy to do this in Excel, narrow down to “Global Top Picks”, write “outcome statements” and then import back into Blueprinter® as they prepare for Preference Interviews.
  5. Think platform.  The resulting products, according to our clients, are often based around the foundation of global performance specifications, which they have determined have universal appeal.  Then, minor aspects of the product are sometimes adjusted for a given region or country based on specific differences uncovered in the Discovery phase.

If you’re a Blueprinting customer and want to discuss how to implement Global VOC, we’d be glad to talk with you about it.  If you’re considering Blueprinting and the above process interests you, please let us know.