Customer Advisory Boards – Listening Labs for Client Feedback

A recent Fast Company article by Meg Miller, How Fashion Brands Are Starting To Design Like Tech Companies, investigates how clothing brands, like Lululemon and Ministry of Supply, have established labs to test new product designs directly with customers. Just as tech companies employ iterative test-and-learn methods, fashion companies are adopting similar co-creation approaches.

In our work at Farland Group, we build customer listening engines for our clients, known as Customer Advisory Boards. Imagine twenty C-level clients sitting around a Board table with your executives—this Board becomes a lab.

Unfiltered, direct customer feedback heard during advisory board meetings often leads to product and service improvements—or even new product areas. When a company listens to its customers, iterates based on feedback and adjusts its course, it stays competitive. As Meg mentions,

Putting the time and effort involved in soliciting feedback and prototyping designs will pay off, the thinking goes, when you have a product that you know your customers will want—because you asked them.”

Given the pace of change taking place in the market today, companies need fast ideas that will have impact within a short time frame. Customer Advisory Boards are a great approach for B2B businesses to foster this type of innovation.

Related Stories

A Strong Pipeline is the Key to Revitalizing Customer Advisory Board Membership

Posted on 07.29.2021 by in Customer Advisory Boards

Retirements and role changes in the C-suite can wreak havoc on Customer Advisory Board membership, taking it from robust and static to multiple open seats in the blink of an eye. While this might cause panic at first, it  

Continue Reading »

Customer Advisory Board Engagement: Strategies for Driving Action in between CAB Meetings

Posted on 07.8.2021 by in Customer Advisory Boards

Successful Customer Advisory Boards (CABs) feature a high level of member engagement during meetings – members offering perspectives and direct input into the topic areas presented. Keeping that momentum going in between meetings is imperative but can be challenging  

Continue Reading »

Building a Strong Membership is Key to Customer Advisory Board Success

Posted on 03.25.2021 by in Customer Advisory Boards

Customer Advisory Boards (CABs) are an integral part of an overall customer marketing program, but they are very different engagement vehicles from events and require a special kind of mindset and planning for the long term. Of all the activities  

Continue Reading »

Staying Connected in a Virtual World

Posted on 12.15.2020 by in Customer Advisory Boards

My colleague Camille Antonetti recently shared that her word to describe 2020 was ‘adaptability’, which got me thinking about the word that sums up 2020 for me. Connected is my word. Given many of us have been working from  

Continue Reading »


Customer Advisory Boards

Customer Advisory Boards are powerful engines of engagement, insight, and business transformation. Make the most of yours.

Meeting Facilitation: Virtual and In-Person Boards » Taking Your Customer Advisory Board Meetings Virtual »

Learn More »

Engagement Strategy

Like any good relationship, customer engagement is a long-term, reciprocal effort. When done well, meaningful engagement leads to better business results, faster.

Engage Your Customers to Help You Stop Pitching » Getting to a Customer Engagement Mindset »

Learn More »

Understanding the C-Suite

Building C-level programs that are meaningful and bring value to you as well as to your c-suite customers is challenging. Veiled sales pitches won’t win the day with this audience. Deliver what executives want: ideas, inspiration, innovation, influence.

Building a C-Suite Client Experience Strategy » Do you Know What Your Customers Value? »

Learn More »