Apr 30, 2012
One of a series by Ken Tencer, Spyder Works CEO
Innovation is about bringing ideas to market rather than letting them languish on a half-forgotten scratchpad. And innovation doesn’t necessarily mean invention. More often, it’s about acting on an opportunity you have already recognized, or adapting existing solutions for other markets or industries.
How simple can innovation be? Consider these examples:
Seeing the same thing in a different way
Think of the publicity coup for Post’s Shreddies – and its 18-point gain in market share – when it reintroduced the timeless breakfast cereal in diamond shapes rather than squares.
Exploring new markets with the same products (or slightly adapted features)
Toy giant Lego has launched a “Lego Friends” brand to target girls in addition to its dominating “boy brands,” such as Star Wars Lego and Lego Ninjago.
Tapping into (or teaming up with) new market trends
Hyundai now provides a multimedia tablet as an owner’s manual instead of the traditional printed book.
Bringing together features from existing products or markets to create something “new”
The maker of SLAP Watch offers a unique twist on silicone watches with interchangeable faces, bright colours, and spring-coil bracelet – all in one item.
Innovation is the engine that drives your business forward. Think about it: customers are engaged by new and exciting products and services. It gives them something to talk about, a reason to buy again, and more often.
You wouldn’t change the oil in your car just once a year – the engine would sputter and die. Your company shouldn’t leave ideation, innovation or the introduction of new – even small – improvements to an annual schedule. Without the tune-up of continuing innovation, your business will also sputter and die.