Business Insights, Innovation
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
So quipped Steve Jobs, one of the most prolific innovators of the 21st Century. Thanks to his profound knowledge and uncanny vision, it’s safe to say that he was one of the first pioneers that ushered in the ‘smart’ world.
A world that we now enjoy. In case you’re wondering, the smart world is a vibrant global community that thrives in the realms of technology, automation, and innovation.
And for that, he will be sorely missed…
Heck, just take a look at our smartphones. We are now able to communicate via video calls, take photos of our projects, check our bank account balances, make purchases via e-commerce stores, and even monitor the stock market in real-time!
More than a decade ago, such activities would have sounded like a plot-line straight out of a science fiction movie.
But with the advent of the iPhone (which then inspired the smartphone revolution), we can plan our lives by the tap of a screen.
And that’s the beauty of innovation. Not only does it transform the lives of singular individuals, but also revolutionizes the masses on a global scale.
How can innovation shift the trend of your business?
You’ve probably heard this before, but running a profitable business is no walk in the park. Just ask any successful entrepreneur out there, and they will admit that they’ve had to be super creative with their ideas and strategies. All in a bid to edge out the competition.
And at the heart of all this is innovation….
Indeed, when one introduces innovation to their business, they’re able to transcend the confines that once held them back, and expand their operations.
But before the dreams of profitable expansion become a reality, there are three factors that one has to analyze when innovating their business
Understanding the aspirations, issues, and desires of your target market
This is vital for uplifting the market position of your business. It all starts with studying the various facets of your industry and knowing the consumer mindset that is in place.
So what happens when you do this?
Well for starters, you’ll be able to anticipate some of the problems and challenges that consumers in the market face on a regular basis.
You’ll be able to know the aspirations that fuel them to make their purchases, and what attracts them to certain products.
It’s all about having access to critical intelligence.
Keeping this in mind, here are some of the ways in which you can collect such vital information.
Building bridges and partnerships with external parties
The advent of technology, coupled with the internet of things, has increased the complexity of consumer purchasing trends. So much so that it is impossible for a business to singlehandedly understand every notion that inspires consumers’ purchasing activities.That’s why partnerships and collaborations between companies and consumers are important. To enable increased expertise, depth, and scale in research on their target market.
Keeping this in mind, there are two ways in which your business can foster these partnerships and in turn, acquire the appropriate skill-set to understand the target market.
In fact, it is important for companies to collect feedback from their clients, and improve the customer lifetime value
Coming up with a strategic model for your innovation plan(s)
At the core of any innovative plan or direction for your business is the strategic model. To create an innovative model, here are some of the factors you need to address first:
Get your customer’s feedback- As aforementioned, knowing what your customers want is vital. After collecting this info, you can implement it in your strategic model.
Cross-industry connections- Creating a team of individuals with wide knowledge across the board is critical in establishing a solid innovation plan. As you connect these individuals with a common goal, they will come up with ideas which might be more effective than the ones you had put in place.
Crowdsourcing- Crowdsourcing is great for innovation because it not only provides an avenue for new ideas, but it can also be used to fortify the structure of your strategic model.
The extra research and work that crowdsourced individuals put into analyzing your innovation model will give you confidence in executing it.
Experimentation-Last but not least, experiment with your innovative model. You can start small, perhaps with a control experiment that targets a few customers. By analyzing their response to the new model, you are able to hypothesize whether or not the new model will be a success.
So if you plan to continue with your model, you can tweak it before releasing it to the entire consumer market.
In the end, innovation is more than just a flicker of an idea in the mind. It’s a process that requires research, a strategic model, and a lot of testing and dedication in execution. With this knowledge at your fingertips, you can now easily shift the direction of your business with effective innovation strategies.