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Do You Know Your Target's Customers?
One of our number, Gerry Berstell (see this link, bottom of the page, for a brief bio), recently published an article in Strategy & Innovation, a newsletter put out by Harvard Business School.
Gerry’s specialty is in conducting and analyzing in-depth interviews with customers to identify what caused them to buy the product or service in question, and their reports on the user experience. The technique focuses on what job the customer is trying to get done and how the product or service performs in that context. Using this approach allows Gerry not only to paint vivid pictures of what motivates customers and defines their satisfaction, but can also lead to creative new ideas about better solutions to the “job to be done”.
The value of this approach is especially evident in the instance of due diligence, as when a buy-side client of ours is attempting to understand the business of a target -- its strengths, weaknesses and development potential -- under tight time constraints. We know of buyers who didn't bother to examine a target's customers in detail before purchase and rued the day.
Read a synopsis of Gerry's article, "Let the Customer Make the Case".
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