9 Ways to Innovate Nobody Talks About
What is true innovation?
For most people, once “innovation” is uttered they think technology. Yet, innovation by its very nature is so much more than just “technology.“
How should we define it then?
Let’s define innovation as the application of new, creative solutions that meet unarticulated needs, existing market needs, or new market requirements.
Now innovation can be applied to all industries across all levels of development and production. In fact, innovation can occur along five main paths within a business: customer experience, product, technical, services, and business model.
The more paths that innovation occurs on, the more disruptive it will be.
So, to help break down the many types of innovation, let’s look at the ones almost nobody talks about. By the end of the article, you will be able to identify the type (or types) of innovation your business falls under.
1. Incremental Innovation
This type of innovation seeks to improve existing systems, making them better, faster, and more cost-effective.
Gillette. The razor company started out in 1903 by selling safe, inexpensive, and disposable razors. In the past century, Gillette products have evolved to add different features and more blades in order to satisfy customer needs.
2. Process Innovation
This innovation centers around implementing new or significantly improved production or delivery method.
Zara. The fashion company started in 1975 with one brick-and-mortar store in Spain. Zara controls every step of its production and distribution process. Its design team produces 50–60% of its clothing at the beginning of the season, allowing it to respond quickly to market trends and adapt to customer demand.
3. Red Ocean Innovation
This innovation takes an offensive approach within their existing marketplace, aiming to fight and beat their competition. They usually exploit existing consumer demand and choose between providing a product with significant value to the consumer or maintaining low costs to the consumer.
Ryanair. This short-haul airline business provides low-cost airline tickets by using smaller airports further from the city or charging premiums on additional luggage or early check-in. Their service is nothing special but customers like that it keeps costs low.
4. Service Innovation
This innovation revolutionizes how a customer is served by creating a new technology or method for them to utilize a service.
Amazon. The worldwide tech company began as an e-commerce website, selling books to over 45 countries. Now, Amazon’s inventory is diverse and its dominance as an online retailer has changed how people shop.
5. Business Model Innovation
This innovation consciously changes an existing business model or creates a new business model to better satisfy consumer needs.
Rolls-Royce. The British aircraft turbine manufacturer charged airlines for the operating hours of the engines rather than selling their turbine engines. Since Rolls-Royce retains ownership of the engines, the company’s business model takes a performance-based contracting approach which is mutually beneficial for itself and its customers.
6. Sustainable Innovation
This innovation integrates sustainability considerations such as environmental, social, and financial into company systems from ideation to execution. New markets, products, services, or processes are driven by social, environmental, or sustainability issues.
Allbirds. The San Francisco-based footwear startup is known for being comfortable on the feet and minimalist in both design and business strategy. With the help of New Zealand government agricultural scientists, co-founder and co-CEO Tim Brown developed a patented wool shoe material that offers natural, renewable, and biodegradable benefits while still being strong enough to endure the wear and tear of footwear.
7. Frugal Innovation
This innovation aims to deliver more value at lower costs to more people. Entrepreneurs and innovators have to devise low cost strategies to either tap or circumvent institutional complexities and resource limitations to develop and deliver products and services to low income users with little purchasing power.
Samsung. Today, Samsung continues to lead the smartphone market with the highest percentage of global smartphone shipments (18% of market share). Its key competitive advantage is its ability to maintain speed in developing a wide variety of products. Samsung is unafraid of exploration, taking risks with technological uncertainty, and exploitation, using a vertically integrated structure for key product components.
8. Blue Ocean Innovation
This innovation creates a completes a completely new market niche for itself. In the beginning, businesses launch new products and thrive without competition. The name blue ocean comes from the idea that the ocean (market) is clear and free of pollution (competition).
Apple. With the iPod, Apple invented a portable and streamlined digital music player that allowed listeners to consolidate their entire music collection. Beyond looking at customer demand, Apple not only created a successful product but also started a whole new industry.
9. Radical Innovation
This innovation is also sometimes called disruptive innovation. As such, it provides something new to consumers by uprooting industry conventions and by significantly changing customer expectations in a positive way, sometimes replacing existing methods or technologies.
Netflix. Founded in California in 1997 as a DVD rental service, Netflix is now a global entertainment content streaming service. With its mail-order movie rental service, Netflix put industry leader Blockbuster out of business. Now, with its video streaming library, Netflix leads the next generation of digital media consumption.
BOUNS: Open Source Innovation/Crowdfunding
This innovation promotes free redistribution and access to designs, products, and ideas. This means anyone can use existing and emerging forms to create something of their own rather than starting from scratch. This promotes a democracy in the innovation game; there is no discrimination against users or endeavors.
Famously, Ben Franklin did not patent his lightning rod, bifocals, stove, and many of his inventions because he believed that these ideas were too important not to share. He saw that there were uses and applications for his inventions outside his original intentions and kept them accessible to everyone.
BONUS: Experience innovation
This innovation aims to create holistic experiences by creating systems that vastly improve or completely reinvent the customer experience. Customers are a focal point against which everything else is designed and measured.
Nike. Nike has built around its athletic wear and footwear core, surrounding it with fitness clubs, tracking apps, social media, and community giveback programs. It has effectively created a customer ecosystem founded on their core products while still meeting customer needs. The additional resources they offer are supplemental and serve to provide the customer with a comprehensive experience.
BONUS: User-led Innovation
This innovation develops ideas and products that are user-centric. User-led innovation is usually realized to solve problems that consumers encounter, satisfying a demand for a method or product.
Dyson. James Dyson developed his own vacuum cleaner out of frustration with his bag-based vacuum that lacked strong suction. After 5 years of testing and over 5 thousand prototypes, Dyson invented the world’s first bagless vacuum cleaner. His first vacuum was so powerful that its inner-cyclone technology separated air and dust at a speed of 924 mph and could pull cigarette smoke from the air.
BONUS: Supply Chain Innovation
This innovation applies the best practices and technological innovations of the industry to a different type of brand. This should reduce waste and wait times in the supply chain process.
BMW. BMW has implemented the Personal Mover Concept at its plants in South Carolina and Dingolfing, Germany and in its research center in Munich. Employees can walk up to 7 miles per day so the BMW Group Research and Technology House developed the personal mover as a single-person means of transport for covering short distances within an operating site.
Breakthroughs Through Business Innovation
At Black One, we recognize the diversity of innovations and the unlimited ways they can be applied.
With innovation embedded in its system, Black One intends to challenge the status quo all while creating an exciting world of content, products, brands, and experiences.
The most prominent types of innovation that Black One employs are: process innovation, blue ocean innovation, business model innovation, supply chain innovation and a very high degree of experience innovation.
Want to learn more?
Black One is conducting one of the world’s first “IPOs on the Blockchain” through Neufund. Check it out here.
What types of innovation have you identified within your business processes? — leave a comment!
Article compiled by Alina Yen for Black One Entertainment