• Start With Your Consumer 
    Review available research and market trends to understand your target consumers’ needs, potential unmet needs, and overall market potential. Understand how people are feeling about your current products, changing trends and where market opportunities might best exist for your brand in the future.
  • Situations Where You Need To Win
    Understand where your consumers use your brand most often (in the bathroom, in the car) and where you most need to win. For example, for a leading sun lotion brand, “generating products that win on the beach” might provide the best starting point for new product innovation.
  • Have Different Innovation Pillars
    Look to draw up a list of different “innovation opportunity areas”. We normally recommend that you choose 3 or 4 different “innovation pillars” that are linked to different consumer profiles or needs. A sun lotion brand might have pillars that include convenience, a better tan, greater protection etc.
  • Build On Your Equity
    Understand your brand’s perceived strengths and weaknesses, and have at least one “innovation pillar” that is a good match with your brand’s existing strengths today. This will encourage creative thinking that builds on your brand’s equity and that will be more accepted by your target consumer.
  • Focus on Technology Strengths
    Understand the strengths of your current technology pipeline and look at technologies used by your competition.  Don’t forget technologies used in different categories to your brand. Consider having one “innovation pillar” focused on exploring the different ways of exploiting a given technology.
  • Think Like Your Competition
    Pull together a fact file of all your key competitors including their different product benefits and claims. Map out the gaps between what they are offering and the main consumer needs. Are there any “white spaces” that you could exploit or do you need to fight them head on.

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Once you have identified a potential innovation objective and different “innovation pillars”, check back with your brand and business objectives - this will help you to define an innovation strategy that is even more focused. Don’t get bogged down with data - get some early consumer feedback on initial ideas linked to each of the innovation pillars.  Good luck and do get in touch if you want another perspective on the objectives that you have selected for your project.

 

Ideas First® are a specialist creativity and product innovation agency. We are passionate about helping our clients develop innovative new ideas and concepts that are truly creative, stand out from the crowd, and that drive business growth.

 

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