Long term success is the goal of every startup, and in order to achieve that, every founder has to be adept at making the right decision when faced with seemingly good or feasible decisions.
In short, getting hold of competitive advantage is key to the survival of your business. And the only way to make sure that happens is by allowing product innovation to become your company’s culture.
According to business dictionary :
Product innovation is the development of a new, redesigned or improved good or service.
Companies that do not have a clear strategy for product innovation – especially one that aligns with their business goals – will most likely face problems when optimizing their business.
So, how do you create this strategy?
In this post, we are going to walk you through the five steps to formulating a product innovation strategy that will help you create a winning product every time.
But we won’t just stop there.
We’re also going to show you traits that you should look out for that’ll help you determine if you have a good product innovation strategy.
What Is Product Innovation Strategy?
Product innovation strategy is a plan for creating new value for your product or service with the aim of having a competitive advantage in your market.
Innovation, for the sake of it, only reduces the efficiency of your business. In order to achieve the best possible outcome, you need to clearly state your mission and goals; define your target market; and address your customers’ needs better than anyone.
The customer should be the focus of every innovation. While it is nice – even life-changing –to be the creator of something as disruptive as an iPhone, it is important to always keep the needs of your customers in consideration.
Else, you’ll end up with a product like the shoe umbrella.
When formulating your innovation strategy, it is important to make sure that it aligns with the goals you have for your business.
If an innovation doesn’t contribute to giving you an edge, then it is not worth pursuing.
How To Create A Winning Product Innovation Strategy In Five Steps
Innovation can seem like an impossible task. But it doesn’t have to be that.
We have outlined 5 steps that will help you create an innovation strategy that takes into account your needs and that of your customers.
The steps are :
- 1. State your goals and your innovation approach
- 2. Familiarise yourself with your marketing landscape – including competitors and customers
- 3. Clearly state your value proposition
- 4. Put in place systems that enhance your innovative capabilities
- 5. Implement your strategy
State Your Goals And Innovation Approach
If you’re making a plan for something, you have to establish what your end result should look like, right?
That is why the first step involved in the process of formulating a product innovation strategy is to define your goals.
How do you do this?
First, you assess your company’s current position, taking note of your strengths and weaknesses.
Then you state the direction you want your company to be headed in. You set milestones that you want your company to achieve in the future.
You have to think long-term and determine what you want to achieve in the future.
Familiarise Yourself With Your Marketing Landscape – Including Competitors And Customers
Once you’ve clearly defined your goals, the next step is to study your target market.
After all, no innovation can be successful if there is no market for it.
You want to delve deep into the market dynamics and find out what your customers really need. Study the market trends and figure out their preferences.
You should also look at your competitors and study their strategy. You should not just copy the strategy, rather, it is advisable to pick important lessons that you can apply in your own case.
Clearly State Your Value Proposition
What will set your product apart from that of your competitors?
That is something you have to determine.
You need to find out what makes your innovation unique and how you can use it to gain a competitive edge in the market.
This should be something that creates value for your customers. And something they are willing to pay for.
Create a unique value with your innovation and you will be able to get ahead of your competition. Especially if your innovation identifies a gap in the market.
Put In Place Systems That Enhance Your Innovative Capabilities
The next step is to assess the systems and institutions you have in place and try to develop important ones that will help you implement your innovation strategy.
Some of these systems include :
- Research and development, etc.
Implement Your Strategy
Once you’ve covered the previous steps, it is time to implement your innovation strategy.
You should always take a holistic approach and not lose view of the ultimate goal. Every step you take should help make sure that your long-term goals come to fruition.
That is why your strategy should have boundaries that will help you focus on the achievement of your goals.
Characteristics Of A Good Product Innovation Strategy
How do you know if your plan to grow your market share through product innovation is a good one?
Obviously, you won’t be able to validate your plan without implementing it first.
However, there are a few characteristics that successful innovation strategies have in common. These are :
- 1. A good innovation strategy must indicate which innovative approach is the best – whether it is the disruptive approach or product improvement approach.
- 2. A product innovation strategy must clearly state which unsatisfied customer’s need to target in order to provide value.
- 3. A good product innovation strategy should clearly define your target audience.
A good product innovation strategy should help you identify the best option that’ll help you forge ahead in your market. But it is also important to continuously test your strategy and keep track of data obtained.