Approaches to innovation
Innovation in your business can mean introducing new or improved products, services or processes.
Analyze the marketplace
There’s no point considering innovation in a vacuum. To move your business forward, study your marketplace and understand how innovation can add value to your customers. For more information on analyzing your marketplace, see the page in this guide on planning innovation.
Identify opportunities for innovation
You can identify opportunities for innovation by adapting your product or service to the way your marketplace is changing. For example, if you’re a specialist hamburger manufacturer, you might consider lowering the fat content in your burgers to appeal to the health-conscious consumer.
You could also develop your business by identifying a completely new product. For example, you could start producing vegetarian as well as meat burgers.
You could innovate by introducing new technology, techniques or working practices – perhaps using better processes to give a more consistent quality of product.
If research shows people have less time to go to the stores, you could overhaul your distribution processes, offering customers a home-delivery service, possibly tied in with online and telephone ordering.
If your main competitor’s products have a reputation for being cheap and cheerful, rather than trying to undercut them on price you could innovate by revamping your marketing to emphasise the quality of your merchandise – and consider charging a premium for them.