Just do what?
Posted by Giles Lury on June 10, 2009
Read 1 comment
Over the years much has been written about the different types of innovation but much of this is in regard to its scale – from incremental to breakthrough. We at The Value Engineers have long talked about the 3Ts of innovations – the TWEAKING of what already exists, the TWIST of creating a clever new combination of things and those few but always exciting TWINKLES in the eye.
However another way of considering the different types of innovation is whether it is consumer-led, technology-led or brand-led. All marketing innovations will likely to have some elements of these 3 themes (consumer, brand and technology) but it is the emphasis and priority that changes in each and which leads to brands taking different directions.
Technology-led innovations lead with the application or adaptation of technological advances…to meet consumer needs and them deliver them in line with the chosen brand’s vision and values. A great example of which is the Post-it which was for a while a technology in search of a need showing both the strength and the danger of this approach. Technology can take you to places you or more importantly your customers would never have thought but equally they do ultimately need to address a consumer need!
Consumer-led technology is based on identifying consumers’ unmet needs (existing and emerging) and delivering them in line with your brand’s vision and values by finding or developing the appropriate technology to produce them. An example here might be Dove’s original Creme bar based on the insight that women didn’t like to use soap on their faces believing it dried out their skin.
This is rightly one of the most favoured route of marketers but it does carry that danger that as everyone in your market is likely to be asking the same sorts of people the same sorts of questions, they may all get to the same answers at the same time – which is why the brand is so important.
Which leaves brand-led technology. This is based on defining an innovation strategy that comes from your brand vision and values directly and then developing products/services in line with that and your target groups’ needs – using or developing technology accordingly. An example here would be the Lego watch – a twist on the familiar watch with a built element of creativity and ‘construction’.
Like many things in marketing there is no one right way of doing things and there are benefits and dangers with each approach. A combination is often best.
Whatever way you are approaching it – Happy innovating!