Is your business stuck in a rut? Are your competitors getting ahead of you? Are you spending all of your time working “in” your business and none working “on” your business? If you answered yes to any of these questions, now is the time to innovate!
Innovation for business comes in many forms. Whether the product, the packaging or the marketing, there is always an opportunity to innovate.
Product Innovation: The one thing that the leading product innovators have in common is that they provide a solution to a problem. In some cases, even before the customer realises they have the problem. Take for example the “walkman”. Long before the Internet, the clever team at Sony created a device that enabled you to carry your music with you for the first time. Before this, many people did not know they needed to carry music with them but the company recognised this as an opportunity to show people the problem they had – not being able to listen to music while on the move, and provided a solution. Over 150 million units were sold. A very successful product innovation!
Packaging Innovation: There are numerous examples of this in our everyday lives like individual portion sized packaging for food and drinks. One of our favourites however, is “Garden In A Bag”. As apartment living increased the ability to grow herbs in your own backyard became more challenging. With a little innovation, the team from Garden In a Bag came up with a fantastic solution. A paper bag, filled with seeds and nutritious soil, to have your own fresh herbs growing on a window sill or small balcony with minimal fuss. You simply cut the top, add water and wait for it to sprout within 7-10 days!
Marketing Innovation: For this one we are going to come back to those clever people at Sony. When the Sony Walkman was launched, the company took the unusual move of inviting journalists to a park, fitting them each with a walkman and having them learn about the product through experience. As the journalists walked around the park, they were instructed to view the product in use in various places including watching a couple ride a tandem bike, each listening to their Sony Walkman.
So, our key tips for innovation are:
- Look at how your product can overcome a challenge for your customer to make their lives easier
- Be creative with your packaging to see how you can make it simpler for your customers to consume your product
- Market through experience. Look at ways to engage your target market as part of your marketing activity.
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