Innovation types at a glance

To prove oneself amusingly against competitors on the market may lie in the realm of the possible. On a longer distance, however, only very few can do that. Not only competition is growing, but also customers, markets and resources are constantly changing. Therefore, companies are forced to change and to leave their competitors behind with innovative new ideas. Here you will find 10 examples of innovation opportunities.

Innovation types

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus already came to the conclusion that the only constant in life is change. In terms of companies rather than individuals, his wisdom seems even more truthful. Unique innovative thinking is required for efficient change. Fortunately, innovation exists in all possible forms and sizes. Rethink your entire business model or start at a lower level, e.g. to improve the production chain or reinvent customer loyalty strategies.

Choosing the right innovation model

The decision of the innovation model should not be arbitrary and depends on two aspects, namely the chosen innovation object and the degree of innovation. Is it a product, service or business model that you want to innovate? Should the innovation be radical or inconspicuous, long-lasting or entertaining? Ultimately, there are no clear categories into which innovations can be divided, each company has to decide for itself what kind of innovation it wants. Nevertheless, the attempt to categorize offers important insights into the focus of each innovation and can make its implementation enormously easier.

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus already came to the conclusion that the only constant in life is change. If this wisdom is applied to companies rather than individuals, it seems even more truthful. Efficient change requires unique innovative thinking. Fortunately, innovation exists in all possible forms and sizes. You can do this on a large scale and, for example, rethink your entire business model, or on a small scale by improving the production chain.

Choosing the right innovation model

The decision of the innovation model should not be arbitrary and depends on two aspects, the chosen innovation object and the degree of innovation. Is it a product, service or business model that you want to innovate? Should the innovation be radical or inconspicuous, long-lasting or entertaining? Ultimately, there are no clear categories into which innovations can be divided, each company has to decide for itself what kind of innovation it wants. Nevertheless, categorization offers important insights into the focus of every innovation and can make its implementation enormously easier.

1. the profit innovations

Profit innovations are used as pricing strategies. For orientation purposes, products that are particularly appreciated by customers are used, because profit opportunities can be found here. One of the best known examples of a profit innovation is the razor manufacturer Gilette. When the company was founded in 1901, it produced cheap razors and poor quality razor blades. Due to the strong demand of the products, you could increase the prices without having to change the quality of the product.

2nd Network Innovations

Network innovation refers to all types of innovation that promote partnerships with other companies. A popular type of network innovation is to use the processes, technologies and brands of other companies to increase one's own competitiveness. When the American discounter Target was increasingly threatened by cheaper online shops such as Amazon, it entered into several partnerships with luxury brands. These partnerships have enabled the company to stand out from the competition and gain new economic stability. Target currently works with 75 major designers and is one of the most profitable companies in the US.

3. structural innovations

The object of structural innovation is the business model. These innovations are mostly new organizational types of a company. Successful structural strategies can be very profitable as they can improve several aspects at the same time, e.g. work environment, productivity and profit. The general goal is to make structures better, faster and cheaper. The American supermarket Whole Foods benefited from a new type of organization when it decentralized its operations and published its market values (sales, profitability and performance). Increased competition and innovation between stores led to strong growth in the market. The autonomy offered also led to an increased sense of success and self-esteem among employees. They were then able to identify more closely with the company. In addition, the promoted transparency in the company led to a feeling of a say and openness.

4. process innovations

Process innovations are aimed at improving work processes and thus increasing the efficiency of the company. Examples of process innovation measures are crowdsourcing, which should lead to a broader division of labour. A second example is flexible manufacturing processes that make it easier to react to changes. Another process innovation is lean production, which aims to save costs through particularly lean production. This means the strict avoidance of waste and a minimalistic handling of all company resources.

5. product performance innovations

Product performance innovation is intended to expand or specialize the customer spectrum by improving individual existing products. These improvements can include adding features, or combining multiple features into one product. A third type of product performance innovation is helpful when products or services are too complicated for the consumer. In this case, the benefit can be increased by a product simplification.

6. innovations in the product system

These innovations combine different products into a robust system. Supplements can be created to other products of another company or to own products. It is profitable, of course, if other companies develop products that add value for you. Any type of camera manufacturer can serve as an example of a product system innovation, because they are specialists in producing countless additional tools to increase the benefit of a product.

7 Service Innovations

Service innovations are aimed at the relationship between customers and companies. Communication channels are optimized or established. These innovations include, for example, concierges that offer direct service to the customer, guarantees that guarantee reimbursement for products, or loyalty programs in which customers receive special treatments in the form of vouchers or products.

8 Channel Innovations

Channel innovations are aimed at increasing the value of the brand, e.g. through flagship stores that place great value on customer experience. Multi-level marketing is also common, with a third party marketing your products. Another option is pop-up stores, where temporary, cost-effective but effective customer experiences can be created.

9. brand innovations

Brand innovations are similar to channel innovations, but focus primarily on branding. For example, certification can be used to create names that are named after the brand and can also be applied to products from other manufacturers. Value Alignement offers the possibility to represent and present the values and brand identity of a company.

10. customer loyalty innovation

In this innovation, great emphasis is placed on the customer, community building opportunities are used to create a sense of belonging. On the other hand, simplifications of the customer experience can also be useful and help the customer. Finally, Mastery innovation can also help to broaden customers' knowledge of specific issues and help them better understand the products.

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