How Product Innovation is Being Innovated


Matthew J. De Reno

Innovation can be described as the process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value for which customers will pay. The process of innovation is complex, expensive, and there is great risk involved for organizations. This risk is especially greatest for those attempting to introduce new products where markets have yet to be defined.

Yet, innovation is critical to survival. Innovation is what keeps companies alive and competitive. But, are there ways to innovate faster and cheaper? Smarter? Can you make more informed and therefore less risky innovations? In short, can the process of innovation be innovated?

Let us consider traditional R&D for a moment. Innovation has traditionally been the chief deliverable of the magic-making, mysterious R&D department. After all, this is the place within the enterprise where the latest and greatest versions of products are vastly improved. It is the top secret area where the next generation of products are traditionally born.

We are inherently fascinated with the inner workings of R&D. How could we not be? After all, R&D is where the toy makers in the enterprise work. It the place where the Dwarves of Middle Earth hammer out their next great blade. It is where James Bond gets his cool, clever, and lethal gadgets. It is where both technology and black latex dress up Bruce Wayne as the Dark Knight.

Talk about product innovations. Bond had a shoe that could extend a hidden blade from its sole. He had cuff links that could fire a bullet. He had a car that could turn into a submarine. He even had a helicopter that could be packed into a suit case. Not to be outdone, the Dwarf Lords of Middle Earth could forge blades that glowed green when the enemy came poking around. Of course Batman, had the Bat Cave – a dream garage replete with the kind of innovative weaponry that could make DARPA research scientists feel as if they were designing yo-yos for a living!

There are other considerations too when it comes to traditional R&D. It is expensive (a fact which is conveniently overlooked in the movies). There is massive cost associated with traditional R&D product innovation and the cost of doing it the traditional way is only going up.

A 2014 Forbes article concerning the pharmaceutical industry cited industry estimates that the IRR (internal rate of return) of R&D spending had dropped in half since 2010, from 10.5 percent to 4.8 percent. That means it cost double to get the same return on your R&D investments!

So what is the solution? Surrender to Mordor? Capitulate to SPECTRE? Give the Joker his due? The answer is no. Help is available and it is called Social Driven Design Innovation (SDDI).

Social Design Driven Innovation discovers the key insights that can drive the next generation of your product innovation. SDDI is about leveraging new thinking, scientific processes, big data technology and cutting edge tools to analyze the language, behaviors, and needs of your consumers, not in a lab — or Middle Earth, a Bat Cave, or a Q Branch, for that matter — but in the real marketplace as it is unfolding.

Folks are talking about their needs to their friends.They are discussing your products on Facebook. They are posting innovative uses of products on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and other social media outlets. SDDI is about catching those conversations, analyzing them, and generating actionable marketing insight from them. These insights are the engine of tomorrow’s next great product innovations.

How does it work? By leveraging the power of big data analytics, SDDI identifies the compensating behaviors of consumers, which in turn leads to their unarticulated needs. A compensating behavior is when a consumer uses a product in a manner in which it was not originally intended, ostensibly to solve a need that is not currently being met. Unarticulated needs are those needs which consumers don’t even know they have. SDDI identifies both to develop new, innovative products that consumers can instantly adopt. SDDI promises to do It fast too, which means it can help you innovate in less time, and less time means you will begin to keep those rising R&D costs in check.

So then, are there ways to innovate faster and cheaper? Smarter? Can you make more informed and therefore less risky innovations? Can you boldly enter the markets of Mordor? The answer is yes, and you won’t need a glowing sword to do so – although it might help. You may, however, find SDDI indispensable.

Learn More About SDDI

  • Contact 113 Industries

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