How do you attract new customers while retaining current ones? For many categories, you attract new customers by showing high satisfaction with current customers. Put the current customer first and you will increase your appeal to new customers.
The challenge is when you have to change your product to meet the different demands of new customers at the risk of alienating existing customers. For example, imagine you owned a prestigious, members-only dinner club with a strong following of older, traditional patrons. They are fiercely loyal and attached to the various details such as the glassware and the color of the table cloths. Any changes are seen with suspicion. You want to bring in new members, but need to change the club to appeal to younger potential members. Too much change will drive away current members.
For this month's LAB, we will apply Systematic Inventive Thinking to address this apparent conundrum.
To begin, we frame the problem as a contradiction:
As the club becomes more trendy, the appeal to younger members increases.
As the club becomes more trendy, the appeal to older members decreases.
The key is to innovate in a way that breaks the contradiction. Don't settle for just a compromise solution. A compromise is a re-design of the club with just enough trendy features and just enough old features to appeal to both groups. Seeking a compromise is certainly possible, but it is more creative if you can break the contradiction entirely.
Consider these three techniques to do that: Division, Task Unification, and Attribute Dependency.