37 Ways to Innovate – Idea 10: Miniaturization

Image

37 Ways to Innovate - Idea 10: Miniaturization

Innovation Tip of the Day:
37 Ways to Innovate – Idea 10: Miniaturization

This idea suggests creating value-adding products by making it “light-weight” or by making a “stripped-down” version.
Similar to a bulky LCD projector, the lightweight portable projector was invented for mobile professionals who always find the need to present something to a small audience anytime and anywhere.
For a small audience, they don’t need an intricate projector with all the high-end features. They would only need a basic projector that can show their presentation even at a lower resolution of 640 X 480 instead of the high-definition 1024 X 680. Mobile professionals and mobile salesmen only need a portable projector with stripped-down basic projector features.

Do you think of any other product or service from which you can create new value-adding product by stripping down to the bare and necessary features?

37 Ways to Innovate – Idea 9: Associate historical settings to your product

InnovationIdea9

This idea suggests we try associating our product with certain historical events.  This creates a wonderful customer feeling of being part of that memorable history despite of not really being there.  Example, one customer born in the late 80’s or 90’s would enjoy knowing that the hamburger was a popular meal even during the fifties.  If that customer wanted to feel what it is like in the fifties, that burger-loving customer would perhaps buy and eat that burger to remember that feeling of being in the fifties.  This works much more effective if the hamburger dining place has a 50’s motiff.

37 Ways to Innovate – Idea 8: Build a Community Around Your Product

IMG_0596 (640x480)

This idea suggests building a support group or a community of patronizers around your product to create that feeling of “Being One” or “Belongingness” with the product.  This comes from our need of belonging-ness to a community in order to feel satisfied and fulfilled.  This works specially for newbies of the product who needed some kind of peer support when they need to understand some features or functions of the product.  This also works for prospective customers who want to be connected, identified or to be “IN”  a group related to the product he/she is interested in.

Example is the Apple cult where the customers patiently line up just to get the early releases of each new model.  Each customer is also made to feel like part of the family of Apple product users.

37 Ways to Innovate – Idea 7: Mass Customization

InnovationIdeas7

Innovation Tip of the Day: Mass Customization

this idea suggests enabling your product to serve more types of customer needs with the cost-efficient level of customization. This may lead to product extensions or small tweaks. This can be achieved by setting a core product component from which modular tweaks can be added or applied.

But do consider the operational demands it will cause. Is your company capable of delivering or producing the tweaks for the customers? What if these customizations became to voluminous and became too confusing or counter-productive for your production operations? This is when there has to be that conscious effort on designing your product carefully and having the right components ready when certain “modular” customizations have to be made for the customers.

37 Ways to Innovate – Idea 6: Disrupt Your Industry

Image

This idea suggests introducing new “disrupting” business innovations into the market. This usually entails capitalizing on the niche market or niche products that the business giants have overlooked and have not explored. This results to a disrupting innovative product with a unique value perspective.

One good example is the successful story of the iPad. In the beginning, many smirked at the idea of the usefulness of the tablet because we were so used to the robustness of the laptop or desktop computers. However, in time, many realized that simplicity, touchscreen and portability made sense. Then people began to appreciate the tablet’s value and actually became willing to pay its ‘not so affordable’ price. Remember that best value tablets are even as expensive as the affordable laptops or netbooks?
That is the power of disruptive innovation. We get to pull the customers away from the norm and into this new innovative product and make it a sustainable succes.

For more details you may refer to topics or books Blue Ocean strategy and Disruptive Innovation.

What are the kinds of Innovation techniques?

Types of Innovation

Sustaining
An innovation that does not affect existing markets.

Evolutionary
An innovation that improves a product in an existing market in ways that customers are expecting. (E.g., fuel injection)

Revolutionary (discontinuous, radical)
An innovation that is unexpected, but nevertheless does not affect existing markets. (E.g., the automobile)

Disruptive
An innovation that creates a new market by applying a different set of values, which ultimately (and unexpectedly) overtakes an existing market. (E.g., the lower priced Ford Model T)

from wikipedia “Disruptive Innovation”

InnovationGE

37 Ways to Innovate – Idea 5: Go Green

Image

 

This idea suggests that we can also design our products and services to go green.  That means to use more earthly-friendly or natural ingredients to be able to lessen  non-recyclable waste or by-product.  This attracts customers who are environmental conscious and would like to avail of the services that leaves non-recyclable wastes or carbon footprints.  Example of this is Facebook and Google who have claimed that they use energy-efficient computers to continuously serve the general public.

 This also attracts customers with sensitive needs and prefer to use products with natural ingredients.

This is same with the case of Body Shop who advocates and sells earth-friendly body care products.  Many customers buy from them because they believe that it uses natural ingredients and does not leave harmful environmental waste.

Cost-wise it may be pricier to produce in some cases but because of the Go Green advocacy certainly many customers will still buy your product and avail of your service even at a certain premium.

37 Ways to Innovate – Idea 4: Low Cost

Image

This idea suggests making the service or product more affordable than the competitors by lowering the cost to produce the said product. It also suggests introducing new budget offers that can WOW or delight the customers.
But to make this really happen, marketing should work work closely with operations and logistics to come up with cost-effective production costs.

Operations should apply process improvement techniques such as Six Sigma for quality and innovation. Operations can also apply Value engineering (similar to service cost analysis) to come up with cost-efficient materials to create or deliver the product.

Logistics should aim for Just-in-time (JIT) service level to production operations by looking at how to make the supply chain more streamlined and low cost in order to deliver the needed materials with the right quantity, right quality at the right time.