Monday, April 12, 2010

Customer Oriented Company: Raidlight case study

I was watching French TV show Capital, which was discussing about the sport clothing market. What was interesting that it was comparing Lafuma, a fleece jacket producer, which was using a traditionnal approach to launch a new product in the market:
  • They were conduction market research and monitoring what the competition was making.
  • They hired an expert which has already worked on several accounts to bring new ideas
  • They had long development timeframe before launching in the market
Afterward, they compared to another French company, smaller, but probably way smarter in their approach, Raidlight. Raidlight is expert in hicking and running clothing, and has very limited access to market research. They have based their success on their ability to create new products based on their customers' ideas. They gave the example of some running sticks which model has been thought and design by a customer, which gave them the right and the idea to develop it into a flagship product. Once again, another jacket has been thought by a customer, which in reward will see this jacket named after him.

They have created a section on their website called "l'atelier de conception", where the company publishes some needs, for example, their will to develop a new kind of bag for hiking, and where customers will be invited to tell their needs and ideas.

This is for sure a true "web 2.0" approach, as the company is able to be innovative and match customers' needs thanks to a customer centric approach. Hence, customers are contributing to the value creation chain of the company.

I find this example very interesting and I wanted to share it with you. I believe that it is very interesting and important to get your customers involved into your product creation process, in order to verify the potential of your products.

Customer relationship management (CRM) is not only about data warehouse and softwares, it is also about how to get fresh ideas in the market you would not be able to.