Hall explained that businesses become successful innovators by relentlessly focusing on delivering "overt benefits" to customers and making sure that those benefits provide a "meaningful difference." Hall says that many times the key overt benefit for your company or product is the reason you got into the business in the first place.
In his book, Hall provides the following exercise to help identify overt benefits. (These questions have been modified slightly in order to apply to the context of this article.) Write down the first answer that comes to mind when you read each question. Then after thinking about it for a day, rewrite the answer, pushing deeper with fresh eyes.
- Why did you develop this product in the first place?
- What injustice, problem or pet peeve did you set out to address with this product?
- What are you most proud of regarding this product?
- What would your most loyal customers boast most about regarding this product?
- Complete this statement: This product is the best/first/only . . . Explaining to customers your product's overt benefits may require talking about a product in a new way. The dairy industry often gets so concerned with standards of identity, stating product grade and other ingredients that it forgets to mention the overt benefits it has over other foods. One of the most overlooked benefits is inherent high-quality protein content.