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Voice-of-Customer Methods: What is the Best Source of New-Product Ideas?

Robert G. Cooper and Angelika Dreher

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The aggressive revenue growth goals of most firms point to the need for a deliberate, systematic and managed approach to generating game-changing new product ideas. We identify a number of sources of new product ideas, and then report the results of a survey of 150 firms to identify which sources are the most popular, and more important, which sources are the most effective—in terms of generating robust new product ideas. The results are provocative when we compare a number of voice-of-customer (VoC) methods for idea generation against other popular sources of ideas.