Recreating Alaturca: Consumer goal conflicts as a creative driver for innovation

Deger Ozkaramanli, Steven Fokkinga, Pieter Desmet, Erkan Balkan and Eapen George


"We don't use consumer focus groups." Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo (Hall, 2006)

"A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them." Steve Jobs, Apple (Reinhardt, 1998)

These kinds of observations have led some authors to conclude that consumer research does not lead to substantial innovation. This conclusion has been most comprehensively voiced by Roberto Verganti in his 2009 book Design-driven innovation (Verganti, 2009). Verganti argues that substantial innovation cannot result from research that asks consumers what they want, because they often have no clear idea of what new products could offer them. Consumers' feedback is often lodged in the status quo and their suggestions can only inspire incremental product improvements. He proposes that companies should form their own vision of the future and make proposals to consumers instead of conducting and analyzing consumer research. This vision should be based on interaction with key interpreters, i.e. people and organizations that are in touch with technological and cultural trends and have a vision on meaningful change in their field.