How We Engage With Clients

Consulting

We enable clients to drive growth in different ways as can be seen at What We Do. We bring strong multidisciplinary skills and a framework within which to understand and address virtually any growth challenge an organization may face. There are important unsatisfied needs in even mature markets that can be identified and addressed to create competitive advantage and drive growth.

We work collaboratively with clients to gain mutual agreement upfront about their current situation, desired results, and metrics for success. Then we provide options along with their respective investment costs. Each project is tailored to the client’s objectives and situation.

As a prelude to consulting projects, we also provide working sessions to educate leaders about the best practices for innovation, and to establish a common language that will empower the entire organization.

Speaking and Workshops

Urko, founder and president of Reveal, delivers keynote speeches and workshops for associations, conferences, and company meetings. All presentations are tailored to client objectives. Some of the subjects Urko addresses are:

  • How to drive innovation and growth as a predictable business process.
  • How to find new markets and generate new revenue streams.
  • How to consistently generate great ideas for new offerings.
  • How to ensure a tight fit between new offerings and market needs.
  • How to dramatically increase innovation success rates and learn more from fewer failures.
  • How to acquire more clients (for professional service providers).
  • How to create a competitive position.

Advising and Coaching

Ensuring that your growth strategy is effective means making wise decisions. Making those decisions in isolation, however, can hamper your results. We offer confidential immediate access to expert advice and coaching that gives leaders a trusted advisor, a sounding board, an objective perceptive, and a support system.

Want an advisor on-call? Need a coach to help you work through a specific project, strategy or quandary? What about an outside, objective perspective to help you understand your work, your challenges and your opportunities more deeply? Reveal is ready.

Whether you’re a veteran strategist and innovation expert or a new leader, we’ll create a tailored plan that suits the way you work and provides the support you need. Together, we can create:

  • One-on-one expert advising consultations
  • Short- or long-term coaching engagements
  • Small group coaching

 

Who We Serve

Business-to-Business

Most companies have plenty of creativity but lack focus. They have plenty of ideas about how to grow, but lack clarity about where the market is under-served. It’s hard to differentiate, create new value, and drive growth if you don’t know where the market opportunities lie. We find opportunities to drive growth, guaranteed, and then help clients capitalize on them. We do this by collaboratively leading you through a flexible but rigorous process that includes the following steps:

  1. Establish your growth objective.

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Associations

The best way to grow your membership and generate non-dues revenue is to deliver unique value to your target members. That’s what we do.

Every association needs to stay relevant in this ever-changing digital world in which target members have more options than ever before. About 62% of associations are experiencing flat or declining membership (The Millennial Generation: Research Study. (2012).

For many associations, this is largely due to the rise of new digital options.

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FAQ

What’s different and better about the customer need statements Reveal captures?
First, market researchers and business luminaries alike have been confusing customer needs with solutions. Voice of the Customer, Design Thinking, Lean Startup, Agile, and ethnographic research practitioners have been operating under the misbelief that “customers cannot tell us what they want, that customers have latent unarticulated needs, needs that they cannot articulate.” This is simply false if we ask customers what they want to accomplish rather than asking them for product or service specifications. While it is true that customers cannot tell us what the best solution should be, they can tell us what they want to accomplish, how they want to feel, be perceived, and experience. The late great Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt pointed out that “People don’t want to buy a ¼ inch drill; they want a ¼ inch hole!” The customer need (job) of making a hole is separate and distinct from the solution, a drill. If we can keep this distinction in mind, we can turn innovation into a business process that predictably:

  • Creates competitive advantage
  • More than doubles new product success rates
  • Improves brand messaging and positioning
  • Improves the customers’ experience
  • Improves sales effectiveness
  • Drives revenue growth

Because we know what type of customer inputs to obtain (job and criteria statements) from our clients’ target customers and how to get them, we provide our clients with a comprehensive set of customer needs, separate and distinct from solutions, prioritized according to how unmet they are. Unmet needs are opportunities for innovation. The more unmet a need is, the greater the opportunity for innovation and growth it presents.

Second, because VoC practitioners don’t believe customers can tell us what they want, they elicit feedback from customers on product concepts. This approach can help improve current products and services, but what is needed for innovation is to first to discover the target customers’ unmet needs and then generate concepts that best address the customers’ unmet needs.

Generating new product concepts without first understanding where the target customers’ unmet needs lie is like shooting at a target blindfolded. There’s a reason why sharpshooters get ready, take aim, and then fire. This sequencing – take aim and then fire – is necessary in order to predictably hit the target. In the realm of new products, our targets are the customers’ unmet needs and we’re shooting new concepts to hit them. Only the jobs-to-be-done approach consistently provides clarity about where the unmet needs lie in a form that is ideal for idea generation and new product development.

Third, in an effort to avoid misunderstanding customers, VoC practitioners capture customer needs in the exact language that customers use. The problem with this is that customers, like all of us, use vague, ambiguous, and even inaccurate words to express themselves. For this reason, the objective of interviewing customers should not be to capture their statements verbatim, but rather to discover and validate with customers the jobs and criteria they are trying to get done. In many cases, the VoC best practice of capturing customer needs verbatim actually ensures failure because it codifies inaccurate and misleading need statements.

What type of clients does Reveal serve?
We work with a wide variety of companies across many industries. The reason we can be effective in all of them is because our client’s don’t need another industry expert; they need a growth strategy expert. They don’t need technical expertise, creativity, or ideas. They have plenty of technical expertise, creativity, and usually too many ideas. What they need is focus; they need clarity about where the best opportunities for growth in their markets lie. That’s what we provide – clarity about where the best opportunities for growth lie – so that our clients can then bring their technical expertise and creativity to bear on issues that they know in advance their customers care about.
What makes the customer needs that Reveal captures “ideal“ for innovation and growth?
We define a “customer need” as “a functional or emotional task” that customers want to get done. For example, CFOs want to:

  • Create financial statements (functional task).
  • Feel confident that the financial statements are in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (personal emotional task).
  • Be perceived as an excellent leader (social emotional task).

All three types of tasks are important to obtain from customers. There are three big benefits that defining needs as “tasks to be done” delivers:

  1. Our clients’ customers can tell us what they want if we focus on what they want to accomplish rather than product or service specifications. The misbelief that customers cannot tell us what they want is simply the result of confusing customer needs with solutions; it’s not true. While customers cannot tell us what the best solution is, they can tell us what they want to accomplish with the ideal solution. This makes it possible to reveal all of their needs and determine which are important and unsatisfied, i.e., the best opportunities for growth in the market.
  2. Because the tasks that customers want to get done are separate and distinct from solutions, task statements do not include any reference to current solutions. This ensures that our clients are not constrained by current products and services and increases the likelihood of breakthrough innovation and growth.
  3. Tasks that are important to accomplish yet are going unsatisfied by current solutions, are opportunities for innovation and growth. The more important and less satisfied, the greater the opportunity for growth. By revealing the important unsatisfied tasks that customers want to get done, we are establish causality about why they purchase what they do. This information is predictive and provides great confidence about where to focus and what to do to drive innovation and growth in a reliable and predictable manner.
Who is an ideal client for Reveal?
Our best clients are leaders who have at least one of the following:

  • It’s not clear where to focus or what to do to drive innovation and growth.
  • It’s not clear what customers really care about.
  • The company’s competitive position is not as strong as desired and it’s unclear how to strengthen it.
  • Digital disruption is threatening the business.
  • Revenue growth is declining.
  • Efforts to drive growth through better sales, marketing, and/or branding have had only limited success.

If any of these statements are true for you, let’s talk.