Preview Close Window  

From: Michael Wynne <>
Subject: News from International Mgm't Consulting Associates
[View HTML Version] [View Text Version]
View Printable Version

The Innovation Series: Part Six, Segment Two You Become President of Designer Desks USA!
Mike Wynne's Global Profit Builder
The Innovation Series: Part Six, Segment Two
You Become President of Designer Desks USA!
September 2007
In this issue
-- Questions You Should Ask Yourself
-- How Do Your Benefits Rate?
-- Test Your Creative and Innovative Powers
-- Which Benefits Should You Eliminate, Shrink. Improve, or Create?
-- Analysis of Ratings


This is the continuation of the previous newsletter titled Innovation is About Benefits. There's one big difference in this issue -- YOU GET TO BE THE INNOVATOR!!! You will be President of Designer Desks USA, which is in the process of developing a new desk model.

Questions You Should Ask Yourself
In the previous issue, we explored evaluating the benefits of your products and services. Of course, you should ask your customers to provide their evaluation of those benefits. In addition to that, you should ask yourself these questions:
  • What benefits do you offer with your product or service?
  • Why do customers buy your product?
  • How do customers buy your product?
  • Which benefits do you rate highest?
  • Which benefits do your customers rate highest?
  • Which do they rate lowest?
  • Why are your benefits similar to (or better than) those offered by competitors?
  • Why do these benefits exist?

In this issue, we will address what to do with the answers to the above questions. With the information derived from the answers to those questions, you can now evaluate the relative value of benefits. You and your competitors offer many of the same benefits to customers -- but often in varying degrees.

How Do Your Benefits Rate?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being most valued) how do they rate?
  • When you compare your benefits with the rating of values by customers, how do they tank - higher or lower?
  • As a result of that comparison, how will you change your products or services?

Test Your Creative and Innovative Powers
Test your creative and innovative powers. As president of Designer Desks USA, you are conducting an analysis of the benefits of the desks you manufacture. Here's how customers rated your desks in each of the key feature and benefit areas:

Features Benefits Customer Ranking
Design Esthetics
Height Comfort 10
Leg room Comfort 8
Storage space Capacity 7
Work surface Productivity 8
Structure Durability 4
Price Affordability 9
Assembly Ease 4
Maintenance Ease 6
Flexibility Ability to accomodate office equipment* (computers, telephones, printers, etc.) 8

Which Benefits Should You Eliminate, Shrink. Improve, or Create?
From the above matrix, it becomes readily apparent that customers look for comfort first when purchasing a desk. Starting with height feature and the corresponding comfort benefit, let's see how customers rate the various brands. On a scale of one to ten, with ten being the best, this is how customers rated the height and corresponding comfort of the various competitors.
Brand Comfort Rating  
Brand A
Brand B


Brand C
Brand D
Brand #


For the purpose of this comparison, assume that your company is Brand B. Obviously, for a benefit that customers value as a 10, Designer Desks USA has plenty room for improvement. From the analysis of the above data, you must ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why is height so important, and how does it make people more or less comfortable?
  2. What is wrong with the height of your desk that apparently makes it relatively uncomfortable for most users?
  3. What does Brand D offer in terms of height, and why is it apparently more comfortable?
  4. What must you do to make the height of your desk a 10?
  5. How does height currently affect costs?
  6. How much would it cost to improve your desk height to a 10 level?
  7. Would customers be willing to pay more for more comfort regarding height?
  8. Why not just leave the height issue to the chair manufacturers, and just produce a standard height desk.?

Analysis of Ratings
  1. At the time that you set the specifications for your desk's height, most people were not as tall as today's generations
  2. Brand D offers 8 inches more in height, which presumably makes its desks more comfortable for today's taller generations. This suggests you need more information about height distribution of people in today's workplace. You may need to offer different size desks.
  3. What must you do to make your desks a 10 in terms of height? One idea that came from this analysis was the possibility of designing a desk with an adjustable height. Cost increase 20 percent; could be a problem.
  4. Price received a 9 RATING; what could you do to lower the cost of Your product while increasing height and flexibility which was ranked 8?
    • A design change that increased height and flexibility might alter the esthetic value, and increase the difficulty of assembly.
    • On the other hand, Esthetics was valued at only a 5 level, and therefore might not be a matter of concern.
    • As for the ease of assembly, it received only a 4, probably because most people in offices don't have to assemble their own desks.
    • Durability, received only a 4; perhaps you could save some money by substituting composite materials for some of the steel. In fact, the use of composites might allow you to increase the flexibility, ranked 8 by customers.
You started out just looking at height, and soon found yourself reviewing all the features and benefits and their possibilities.


If you find this problem interesting enough to actually work your way through the new desk design problem, send a copy of your solution to , and we will include it in the next issue.

In the next issue of Global Profit Builders, we will tell you how Designer Desks USA actually met the challenge of developing a new desk model that would embody the customers' high-rated innovative improvements and savings.

If you have been following the Innovation Series in Global Profit Builders, and like what you have seen to date, please forward a copy of this newsletter to at least three people -- or more -- who you believe would be interested in the topic.

Creativity and Innovation are not a one time process; build them into the daily thinking and doing in your business. Start the ball rolling! Develop creative and innovative thinking in your organization! To schedule a keynote or seminar on INNOVATION with Michael Wynne, or to request a free consultation, call (630) 420 2605, or e-mail . For more information, visit Michael's website at

Contact Information
phone: (630) 420 2605

Forward email

This email was sent to, by

International Mgm't Consulting Associates | 1120 Summit Hills Lane | Naperville | IL | 60563