Is Innovation Success Elusive? Five Ways You Can Beat the Odds
There are many reasons why successful innovation can be elusive. Maybe the idea wasn’t big enough. Perhaps you weren’t the first to act. Possibly you didn’t dedicate the right amount of marketing support. While successful innovations aren’t created equal, each shares one key foundational element: understanding consumer demand.
“Enduring success depends on a consumer demand-driven innovation system,” said Tobias Puehse, vice president, Innovation Practice, Nielsen. “While every company has an innovation process, most are insufficient. The difference between high and low performers is how the process gets executed. Real-time, forward-looking data make good innovation processes deliver great results.”
A successful innovation process depends on three enablers: data, analytics and organizational alignment. But it all starts with the consumer.
Five guidelines will ensure your planning is aligned with a consumer-centric innovation eco-system:
1. Align Plans With Consumer Demand
Start by knowing which categories are value growers (dynamic, with strong sales activity) and which are value destroyers (sluggish, with low sales activity). And before you innovate, ask yourself:
- How can high confidence translate to demand?
- Is there high innovation intensity?
- What are the benefits and category whitespaces?
- Does my innovation differentiate sufficiently?
2. Develop Compelling Concepts
Innovation is not price cutting—that’s just a race to the bottom. Constant low prices erode brand equity. Consumer loyalty is tenuous, but you can make a meaningful difference by creating an emotional attachment to brands if they offer a unique advantage, they are relevant and, above all, they’re trusted.
3. Leverage Brands that Connect with Consumers
Global brands vs. local brands? It all depends on understanding the critical connection with consumer demand. In certain parts of the world, like Indonesia, local brands are winning by taking advantage of their unique understanding of the market place. Know your consumers and follow their lead.
4. Fast Track Online Inclusion of Media Plans
Online media has the advantage of personalizing and connecting your brand to your consumers–leverage that advantage. The most influential sources for new products come from word-of-mouth marketing tactics, and the explosion of social media has the power to make your brand a friend or a foe. Leverage that connection with one-to-one media campaigns that capitalize on personal communications that speak directly to the heart of consumers.
5. Be Bold With Your Distribution Strategy
Are you investing more in modern trade because of the big array of assortment or pack sizes? Innovation exists in both modern and traditional trade, but you need to know which channels make the most sense for your brands.