To innovate in business is to change, alter, transform and create new or improved products, services and processes.
This means to allow the freedom of ideas and creativity within a business that welcomes flexibility and change.
Innovation doesn’t have to involve a huge significant light bulb moment. It can be small incremental ideas that over time impact on an organisations growth and maturity.
So is innovation your USP (Unique selling point)? Well in some ways yes but its more than this, it is not just what sets you apart from other comparable companies but also how that creativity is maintained. Imagine you were first business to offer a money back guarantee? The business world gasps before catching on and realising how importance this is for customer loyalty and trust.
It can be easy to mistake innovation for invention. Yes of course invention is innovative, this is why we have patents but it doesn’t always have to be brand new to the market. A business can be innovative to itself internally making changes to streamline and become more effective such as the popular desire to go paper free.
Although new innovative ideas come in various forms from many different sources there are models often used to assist with this and 2 of the most popular are described here.
This model lies heavy in research looking to push a product or service into the market before demand for it even starts. Its quite a risky model as the design and research needs to show viability for a product that hasn’t yet been tested in the market or in fact asked for. An example of this could be to produce or offer something an organisation believes will be the next big thing. With technology – as consumers we do tend to wait for the latest tech and simply want it. Toys are also a good example, aiming marketing at children is a very clever tactic as these are the heart string pullers that will happily use their powers of persuasion until parents give in to the purchase. Create enough excitement about a new toy flying off the shelves and you can almost guarantee a ‘I want it’ response from your young audience.
In contrast, this model is the more common one whereby business reacts to the wants of the consumer. These demands do tend to be more need than want but there are also those consumer wishes than business can take advantage of. You can imagine this takes a good listener and engagement with the consumer is essential. Good examples here are of existing products that customers want more from. More energy efficient items such as solar powered or wireless products. Anything that makes life easier provides a good example.
Its clear that of the two models above the push model requires more creativity and forward thinking whereas pull has lower risk factors catering for an already ready to buy audience.
Learners undertaking the Level 3 Diploma in Management will find this post assists with the following criteria:
Unit 304 BA59 2.1 Define Business Innovation
Unit 304 BA59 2.2 Explain the uses of models of business innovation