Sir: Last week, James Averdieck argued that unless you have £2m plus to spend, it is more sensible to invest in the creation of an outstanding product than to promote a merely good one on television (Careers File, 16 March).
I agree, but product innovation is fraught with its own difficulties - even when you think you have a powerful idea.
Around £1.13bn was spent last year on innovation, a high proportion of which is destined to commercial failure. Unless companies take the really radical step of putting the customer in the driving seat and engage with customer values, they will not reduce the risk of failure because they will never know for sure what the customer really wants.
The emotions (customer values) that control purchasing behaviour are deeply embedded, but they can be teased out.
James Averdieck is right. TV advertising is a high-risk investment, but without deeper insight so too is innovation - perhaps one reason the industry continues to rely so heavily on adaptive developments.
Mike Heisig, director, iQube Marketing