@infinity314: There's some debate over the validity of poor sales for the Nova in Mexico.
However, there is no question about this one.... Selling Baby Formula in Africa... Many people are illiterate and rely on the picture on a given container to indicate its contents.
Consider that when I comment that we put babies on the on containers of baby food.
@infinity314: I guess one can avoid asking customers for their input, however, that is risky. Consider the Ford Motor Company. They tried to sall the Nova in Mexico and it was a flop? Why? Because it became a joke. "No va" in Spanish means "will not," so it was taken to mean "Will not [go]." A small amount of market inquiry might have uncovered this in advance.
@infinity314 It may be a bad idea to ask customers what they want, but it's still essential to talk to them to find out what they need. A good product designer will still figure out the right requirements from what the customer says (and more importantly, does), even if the customer can't articulate it themselves.