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Innovation at 3m

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Q1. How has 3M’s innovation process evolved since the company was founded? Why, if at all, does 3M, known as the “hothouse” of innovation, need to regain historic closeness to the customer?


3M Corporation has small laboratory or research and development section with some technicians and doing experiments on sandpaper and developed some core technology at that time for 3M like masking tapes. After such core technologies development 3M achieved global reputation and become “hothouse” of innovation. However the process grows slowly and allows 3M to recognize user needs because 3M researchers contact different employees in factories.

In 1990’s 3M have 30 key technologies and get much market growth and for more development and product 3M employing more engineers and scientists. 3M corporation goes high in innovation but they are not able to found what customer need is because of least interaction and closeness with customers and users. This is because 3M need some marketing research and identifies customer needs rather focusing on products and technical stuff.

Q2. How does the Lead User research process differ from and complement other traditional market research methods?


Lead user research is the process in which products may be innovate and developed products on the basis of the information and data collect by customers or user and with respect to the need of users. By the help of lead user research organizations are able to identify the client need and move toward to create some innovative products by getting the ideas from the users.

The lead users are the people who are able to get the solutions of the problem that organizations customers faced. Usually the team of lead users consist creative and enthusiastic people according to individual fields and ready to involve yourself in the process of innovation and development....

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