Innovation Labs... for Customer Success

The most successful corporate innovation labs have one thing in common ...
 they focus on customer success. 
When the overall mission is for a better customer experience, it is easier for your teams to focus on the right results. Also, adjacent employees (FYI, your Lab’s other “customers”) will be less threatened and participate to align company systems for a single voice with THEIR customers.

Include analysis metrics that quantify opportunities so you get buy-in from corporate business units. ABInBev’s ZX Ventures keeps Finance at their core by defining themselves as an “Innovation and investment group.” 

The Lowe’s Innovation Lab focused on customer success while designing LoweBots. These autonomous robots helped buyers with tools and techniques that traversed retail departments and disparate databases. Customers more effectively accomplished their goals while Lowe’s discovered real-time patterns to optimize inventory management. Sales from customer success drives innovation.

Work directly with real buyers for real feedback. Know what they want. But more importantly, understand what they need. 

Distill your visionary observations to the simplest functions that add specific value. The goal of this “Minimum Viable Product” (MVP)(read The Lean Startup) is to learn more about your customers and validate the best iterations of your promise.  As you strive for Product/Marketing Fit, your “Product” is your MVP and your “Market” is what buyers appreciate the most and buy.  

The right Market conditions are more important than obsessing over the perfect Product. 

Get incomplete, yet valuable, solutions out into the world to understand, iterate, optimize, and sell.