Playing with toy race cars and having a go on a gameshow could give designers valuable insights into what manufacturers really want, it has been claimed.
A seminar to test this and other theories about creating and delivering the ideal innovative product is due to take place in the Midlands next month.
A game of Who Wants to be a Millionaire and racing on a Scalextric track will be among the product demonstrations taking place at " Manufacturers are from Mars, Customers are from Venus".
More than 40 Midland firms are due to attend the event, which will focus on the discrepancy between what the buyer wants and what a company finally delivers.
Generics Group, an international product development and management consulting company, has organised the seminar.
John Greaves, of Generics, said: "Part of the day will be marketing our approach to innovation and how to turn it into a product.
"We want to make the companies think that they can do things differently.
"Lots of people understand technology and lots understand money, but many just do not understand how they link together."
Mr Greaves, formerly a joint managing director of the Stewart Grand Prix Formula 1 motor racing company, said the seminar will focus specifically on three points: to understand, create and deliver.
He said: "It's important that businesses know the significance of all three of these aspects.
"If you ask any company what is integral for success they will name one of these points, but few realise that they must link all of them together."
As an example, he cited the usage of ambulance equipment.
He said: " When it is designed, it is rarely with the ease of the ambulance men in mind even though they are the ones who will have to use it quickly and efficiently.
"That is why we need to be aware of what the customer wants - and they won't just tell us directly."
Creating and designing are equally complex, he added.
"A baby products company came to us wanting to be the best in the field, but when we analysed the number of products they could create, it turned out that they had only covered ten per cent of the possibilities.
"There is a world of difference between saying what a customer needs and then creating and actually delivering it.
"We want businesses to stop and take a look at how they work.
"We need to be efficient. After all, time is money."
The seminar is free and will take place on Thursday April 14 at the TechnoCentre, Coventry University between 9.30am - 2pm.