Some of my blogs were about innovation. This subject keeps me thinking. No wonder, it is a major subject for marketing and marketing research. I don’t want to fall in the trap of categorising (after reading Daves blog on the wholes in the knitting). But there are a few different reasons to start innovation, and it is worhtwhile to look at the differences in innovation behaviour. To name five kinds (not at all complete):
1 emerging innovation.
This just happens. No clear owners. Over time the habits change. Tools are used differently. At office the tie is no longer seen (only at finance and consulting offices). Someone makes an adjustment to something. It slowly spreads. After a decade nobody remembers it has ever been different. Words get a different meaning. New words are used. Not a big deal. A seemingly slow process you don’t even notice. But the effect is huge. Like the movement of the sun. Just look at a movie from 20 years back, or fashion two years back.
2 new niche-innovation.
Like in evolution, sometimes the environment changes and the new environment creates new opportunities. Internet was something like that. It created a vaste innovation space, attracting innovative types, creating innovative companies
3 gun-to-head innovation
This is intended innovation for businesses that have seen society change and are in the ‘problem zone’: newspapers for instance. An extremely difficult innovation space, because at the same time the company is still extremely dependent on ‘the old habits’ and innovation is often in conflict with the core business. On top of that free thinking is quite difficult with a gun pointed at your head
4 profit driven
Nowadays in FMCG innovation is commodity. You can’t survive without. It is: finding new products. A whole industry is built around that (and I am part of that industry). The interesting thing is that in this environment real innovations do not work, they are not as profitable. A little difference in packaging, a small adaption that fits within the categorie rules is more likely to generate short time profit. A huge innovation for instance was the Magnum: more ice, more chocolate and a new look on icecream (indulgance). If you look at it from Mars it is not a huge distance from ice before Magnum. The good news about that is that ‘old world methodolodies’ like traditional market research work fairly good in this context. Maybe this kind of innovation is very much mimicking nature evolution within fairly stable systems.
5 fun and passion driven innovation
There is always this one person, or a couple of persons, that is absolutely maverickal crazy about an idea. Most of them end up poor. Some of them blame society for a lack of succes. But if you look at a lot of successes (Nike shoe’s, Innocent drinks) behind it is a burning passion to create.
I think it would be interesting to think of a 100 new innovation spaces. If you want to become rich you categorise them, and build pre-constructed solutions for all. In due time your categoresation will of course have to adapt, be it through proces 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5, or a combination of those.
This is my last Blog. I must say that I almost feel sorry. I thought it would become a two-week burden and didn’t know I would like this as much! Maybe to be continued on my own site.