looking directly at current or potential users, interacting with your product or service, in the lab or in the wild
Users are your customers - the better your understanding of them, the better your business.
It's really that simple.
Where your market research can tell you what your customers are doing, and data and statistics can tell you how they do it, user understanding can help you understand WHY they do it. WHY enables you to improve and expand your current business, and to find, or even create, new opportunities and avenues - WHY aligns your value proposition with the needs and desires of the people who buy your product.
There are many ways to better understand your customers - these are the four main vectors of Jesper W. of Copenhagen:
one tailor-made, user-centered brainstorming session, focused on your challenge, pure & simple
a fundamentally human-centered, creative problem solving process
To foment your user-centered value proposition within the company, re-examine it, be inspired, informed and enlightened