The Meaning of Innovation!

What is the meaning of Innovation for your business?

For a manager, innovation should be defined as developing and delivering products or services that offer benefits which customers perceive as new and superior. Opportunities for innovation are created by environmental changes which generate new customer needs or make possible better solutions to current needs.

The Meaning of InnovationThe continual changing environment creates opportunities for innovation in a couple of ways.

The first, changes in demographics, living standards, political forces, technology, culture, lifestyles, and fashion create new needs.  The list of such changes and the resulting new needs can be extended indefinitely and companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Coca Cola, and others owe their continued success to seizing these opportunities.

The second, environmental changes make possible new solutions to both current and new customer needs. They have opportunities to develop and deliver new products and services that are more efficient than current ones.  Through such innovations, companies can boost their growth and earnings potential by offering superior customer value and by making competitive offerings obsolete.

In summary, to identify opportunities for innovation, managers need to analyse and assess the implications of the environmental changes and ask themselves what are the key changes occurring in the economy, society and technology and what threats and opportunities do they present for customers, competitors, and their own business?

Invention is different from innovation. many inventions fail to build markets.  An invention is a new product whilst innovation is a new benefit.  Customers do not want new products, they want solutions that offer new and superior benefits.  To be a successful innovation a new product or service must meet four benefit criteria;

  • Important. It must offer benefits that will be perceived as important by customers.

  • Unique. The benefits offered must be perceived as unique.  If customers beleive the new offering provides the same advantages, then it will not be valued.

  • Sustainability. The new offer should not be easily copied by competitors as this will have limited market opportunity.Speed to market and brand building provide the most effective means to sustaining the value of innovation.

  • Marketable. The company must have the capability to market the product, which includes designing a reliable and effective offering, producing it at a price that customers can afford and establishing effective distribution systems to deliver and support it.

SWC Digital helps firms achieve these innovation benefits and deliver them as part of your marketing strategies.  Call us today for an informal chat about how we can help your organisation.

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