How does something truly innovative come into being that at the same time opens up a whole new category?
Brands must constantly reinvent themselves and stimulate the market with new innovations. That is the only way to achieve market growth. But doing that requires a clear innovation strategy and cooperative, iterative innovation processes – which we call ‘agile innovation’. To achieve this, we embark on an innovation journey with our customer. An innovation journey is a collaborative, market-led process for generating robust concepts for products and services based on a consistent innovation strategy.
“What use is the sunrise if we don’t get up?"Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Where do the greatest potentials and areas of innovation lie for my brand?
Based on targeted trend, market, and consumer analyses, emerging innovation areas or we look for ‘white spots’ in the specific market. To do that, we define the international trend drivers behind successful new products, explore innovation-relevant need states within the category and factor current consumer trends into our analysis. Combining these different factors into an innovation matrix highlights potential and growing fields of innovation. We call this process ‘opportunity mapping’, which we understand to mean the future of demand. Identified areas of investigation are fleshed out with the help of lead users in both online and offline forums in order to plumb their feasibility.
Where, what and for whom should I innovate? Which innovation is appropriate for which brand?
Without a dedicated innovation strategy, companies lack orientation and focus in their search efforts. That is why our goal is to develop and map a binding innovation strategy for every brand in the portfolio, which we accomplish in a strategy workshop. In this way it is possible to identify areas of potential, avoid cannibalization within the portfolio also among the innovation initiatives, and draw up a roadmap for the next few years. Our many years of experience with different innovation processes within companies also enables us to expertly advice our customers when it comes to organizing and implementing innovation processes creatively and realistically.
How do I move from the strategy to strong, testable concepts?
Our competence lies in open innovation processes linking internal and external knowledge. We furthermore recommend that the innovation process take place alternately both online and offline.
This involves generating concepts based on selected white spots in two-day ‘ideation workshops’. The workshop brings external challengers together with people within the firm who have responsibility for R&D, marketing and design. This increases the practically-based relevance of the concepts generated and ensures they are contributed to by all divisions within the firm. In a next stage, lead users join the team either via an online innovation laboratory or in a real-world workshop. They bring the consumer’s perspective to the table and make a full contribution to the ideas form their own point of view. Working with service, packaging and product designers, detailed prototype studies are produced during the workshop, or in the case of a new service storyboards are drawn up.
After initial checking of the concepts through a qualitative and quantitative test, we accompany the subsequent development process in a consulting capacity all the way to the launch, mediating among the agencies involved and within the company.