Innovation in Business – We have heard of many major businesses and yesteryear brands now reduced to non-entities. Hindustan Motors (HM) had a monopoly in passenger cars till the 1980s, with its classic Ambassador reigning supreme on Indian roads. With the Maruti car’s arrival and later on several new generation cars, HM lost out miserably. Likewise, Hindustan Lever dominated the washing powder e along with a more affordable product capturing the mass market and Hindustan Lever had to follow suit with a few lower-priced offerings.
Nokia dethroned Motorola and other mobile phone manufacturers to number one position in 1998. Still, it lost out miserably to iPhone, Samsung, Sony Xperia and Motorola a decade later as it failed to update its Operating System Symbian while the whole world was moving to Apple Os or Google’s Android platform.
In today’s fast-changing market, where new entrants come with innovative technologies, market dominance is not for any company’s eternity. They need to innovate to retain their existing position constantly.
Top 10 techniques Innovation in Business
Whether you are a start-up or an established firm, innovation is the key to success. Here are some techniques to keep the innovative spirit live in your organization and keep your market share intact.
Be curious and gather more information.
Market leaders can’t remain market leaders unless they are curious to learn, gather more information, identify market trends, and try to spot new opportunities by looking at the competition. There must be a systematic way to gather information, analyse and apply them to business.
Having a good library, interaction with peers in workshops and conferences, trade meetings, seminars, having interaction with thought leaders will help the company keep abreast of what’s happening in their industry. An air conditioner (A/C) manufacturer Godrej entered the invertor A/c market a bit late compared to its MNC counterparts but innovated with a 5-star rated A/C which was developed in-house. It claims to have an Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (ISEER) of 5.2, which is the highest in the industry. With a market share of 6% in A/Cs, Godrej hopes to raise it to 9% with the innovative product.
According to David Dewolf, a contributor to Entrepreneur, organisations focus more on developing products, technological expertise and big data but don’t spend energy on getting more information, identifying trends and forming conclusions. Therefore, a vast amount of information and data needs to be collected and analysed by the organization, and there should be a systematic procedure for this.
Recognise innovation opportunities
Understand the pain points of existing customers with your products or with that of the competitors. If the industry is not satisfied with existing offerings, there is an innovation opportunity lying dormant. Therefore, every problem or crisis a product faces in the market is an opportunity to innovate and succeed. A stapler is a useful product to help hold your papers together, but what if you have more than 12 papers to organize. Conventional stapler pins can’t hold more than a dozen papers. That’s when Accentra Inc, Pennsylvania based office products company developed the PaperPro that helps to pin 60 papers together. The founder of the company, Todd Moses, observed no fundamental change in the product for the past 100 years, which prompted them to develop the new product, which is now selling millions of units per in more than 100 countries. PaperPro’s example is proof enough that consumers are looking for function and fashion in the products they buy.
Uber is another success story that leveraged on the pain points faced by commuters and travellers in cities. Most often, taxi cab users were charged more, service was poor, and there was no reliability regarding the cab’s arrival and pricing. Uber revolutionized car rental or hire by hooking several thousand taxi owners to be part of the Uber network and charge only for the kilometres covered and not for the return trip. As they completed one assignment, the taxi cab drivers would soon get another enquiry thanks to the GPS app installed on their mobile. It also made tracking of the trip and payments easier for Uber.