Customer-Driven Innovation Through Online Communities: A Conversation Between Two Passionate Partners

Julie Wittes Schlack, Andrea Mar Harkins


Despite market researchers’ best efforts, reams of data, projective models and pricey forecasting studies, it is estimated that 80% of all new products fail.1) Lack of relevance, lack of differentiation, inappropriate pricing, muddled messaging – all of these factors can make or break the adoption and success of a new product. And all of these judgments are made by consumers – the constituency whose voice is too often absent from the New Product Development process in the front end of innovation, where they are best positioned to kill bad ideas early and accelerate the development of good ones.

From 2005 through the present, GSK Consumer Health has relied on several private, online communities – some comprising US consumers only, some bringing together consumers from the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom – to: