When insights made all the difference to services
Insight is the magic word in so much of business.
It's gold dust to advertisers, product makers and service designers alike because when you really hone in on some previously unseen detail of human experience and do something about it, this can have massive effects on your business.
Uber did it when they realised how much people love certainty. Their cars aren't nicer, faster or different from any other taxi, but the app tells you everything you could possibly want to know. When will it arrive? How long will my trip take? How much will it cost? Is my driver good?
The London Underground did it when they realised that people don't mind waiting if they know how long they have to wait for. Signage telling customers when the next train will arrive doesn't make the trains come any faster but it does make people feel more relaxed.
Airlines all over the world did it when they realised that people often lose bits of paper but they rarely misplace their phones. Mobile boarding passes make life a lot simpler for a lot of people and airline staff.
The four friends who created Skyscanner did this when they realised that other people, like them, got frustrated with having dozens of tabs open just to look for a low cost flight. They made their aggregator into a website which was acquired for $1.6 billion.
First direct bank did this when they realised how many people hated banks and how frustrating it was to call customer care centres in another country where they couldn't understand your accent. They were the first internet-only bank and they promised local call centres 24 hours a day. They completely disrupted the banking experience, so it's not surprising that 90% of their customers rate the service as "great".
There are loads of stories out there from when an insight transformed or made a business. What's the coolest one you've heard?