Tools for Early Innovation

Customer insight tools you can use to generate, rank and optimize new product ideas
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Instructed by Brian Ottum Business / Strategy
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  • Lectures 19
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 8/2015 English

Course Description

Most new products & services fail. The #1 reason is that their developers failed to do the necessary customer research. What are customers' top unmet needs? What ideas are most appealing to customers? What is the optimal product design? This course teaches four tools that ALL innovators can use: the product innovation charter, ethnography, concept testing and conjoint analysis. These tools get used during the critical early phases of innovation.


This course consists of 46 minutes of videos, broken into thirteen 1-6 minute lectures. There are four downloadable .pdf's with templates students can use on their own projects. Four quizzes test comprehension. The primary method of teaching is case studies illustrating the use of the four tools.


Instructor Brian Ottum has a Ph.D. in market research, focused on the innovation process. After starting his career as a chemical engineer at Procter & Gamble, Brian has supervised hundreds of customer insight projects for clients in many industries.


This course begins with the instructors bio, then shows how early innovation fits in with the entire innovation process. Actual research data is cited to justify spending the time and money on customer research. Then a simple 4-step early innovation process is described. The best tool to use at step is covered. Case studies and a quiz complete each of the four steps. At the end, students are given suggestions on where to go for deeper learning.


This course is for product developers, product managers, marketers, engineers, scientists, designers, market researchers, customer insights managers, market analysts, and business leaders who need to know what tool to use when.

Questions? Email Brian at or call him on his cell: 1-734-260-0597 (9am-9pm US Eastern Time)

What are the requirements?

  • Handouts require a .pdf reader

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Learn a simple process for the early stages of innovation
  • Show the importance of customer insights to eventual new product success
  • Know the customer insight tools to use at each step
  • Increase the odds that your innovations will be successful

Who is the target audience?

  • This is a market research course targeted to business professionals who have responsibility for developing new products or services.
  • Product managers, product developers, project leaders, marketers, engineers, market researchers, customer insights managers and business leaders will get the most out of this course.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

Brian is an expert in innovation market research.


This course covers just the early stages of innovation, giving you the tools that work best.

Section 2: The Early Innovation Process

Having or not having insight into customers' needs determines how successful your new product will be.


There are just 4 key steps to early innovation, and a great customer insight tool to use at each step.

Section 3: The First Step is to Plan

Don't start without a contract.


How a PIC was used for a grocery store product.


PIC for a beloved consumer electronics product.

3 pages

Download this .pdf to see a template for the PIC

3 questions

Check your comprehension

Section 4: Second Step is to Listen

Ethnography is how you really listen to customers


See how ethnography was applied to designing new products for cars

3 pages

Download this .pdf to get details on how to do ethnography

3 questions

Where you paying attention?

Section 5: Third Step is to Create

Know how to quickly and easily rank your top ideas


See how to test new software ideas and identify those with the most promise

4 pages

Download this .pdf to get details on how to do your own concept test

3 questions

Test your comprehension

Section 6: Last Step is to Refine

Conjoint analysis is the most sophisticated customer insight tool. It is used to find the best mix of features and price.


We step through an example of how conjoint can measure how much customers value each individual feature

4 pages

Here are more "how-to" details on conjoint analysis.

3 questions

You cannot be expected to learn this extremely powerful tool in just a few minutes, but this quiz tests the big ideas.

Section 7: Recap

A quick review of the course

2 pages

Here are books where you can dig in and learn more about each tool.

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Instructor Biography

Brian Ottum, Market Research Guru with Ph.D.

For 20 years, Brian has helped companies gather the insights they need to create successful innovations.His consulting practice is focused on the proper market research methods & analytics to create new product ideas, screen concepts, optimize product design, and set price.Because similar tools apply across all industries, Brian has participated in hundreds of projects spanning consumer packaged goods, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, medical devices, chemicals, high tech, law, energy, automotive, publishing, finance and consumer durables.

Brian started his career as a chemical engineer at Procter & Gamble, and also earned an MBA. His Ph.D. was focused on market research during new product development.His dissertation found what separates success from failure by studying 60 new product projects. The #1 factor was market research insights.

Brian has an encyclopedic command of the full range of market research & analytical tools.He has developed state-of-the-art research methods in consumer needs identification (using KJ analysis), catching online survey cheaters (using four programming changes), and product optimization/pricing (using Van Westendorp, conjoint analysis, & discrete choice modeling).

Brian is frequent speaker on innovation topics at national conferences and at company sites.He has written chapters in four books on new product development tools.

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