Know your customer - and get CREATIVE!
Yesterday, during our last Disney class workshop on Disney’s creative process, we completed a number of group related activities, the last one of which involved thinking of creative ways to improve GWU. We ultimately landed on the idea of increasing opportunities to attend GWU, and exploring the different ways this could be achieved. At the end of our session, James and Leah our cast member leaders informed us of Mickey’s 10 commandments. The first of which is Know your audience - Don't bore people, talk down to them or lose them by assuming that they know what you know. Hearing this and conducting this exercise reminded me of an article we explored in class, a Forbes article titled “Three Imperatives for Social Innovation,” which discusses 3 service innovation recommendations from the perspective of the CEO of Noodles and Co. The first imperative listed is Understanding Future Customer Needs. It includes choosing the need, create a picture of what is important, and driving behaviors and motivation towards that vision. When you think about successful companies in general, they have all figured out ways to identify and address specific needs of specific customers. During our project, we were able to identify students who are interested but currently are unable to attend GWU and identified specific ways to meet their needs. We ran with this approach prior to hearing Mickey’s 10 commandments and without necessarily recalling our prior Forbes reading. Overall, I think this exercise revealed that we can all identify the importance of knowing your customer and figuring out a way to address their needs. Where the difference lies is how we address these needs, and the amount of creative thought processes involved. The successful companies appear to be the ones that discover creative and out of the box solutions to address them.