Constant innovation is a necessity in our modern world. Why? Because products and services are always getting copied and it’s difficult to stop people and organisations from doing so. Of course you can trademark brand names, logos, etc. However, many products and services can be very difficult to protect with a patent. Small changes to the components that make up the product or small changes to the processes that collectively represent the service ultimately can result in a product or service which is a copy but not from a legal perspective.
So your only real way to stay ahead of the game is by a process of constant innovation. Constantly coming up with new ideas and implementing them keeps your customers engaged and your competitors behind you in the business race.
(Photo Credit: Sean Nash)
The trick is to not get too complacent. Experiment and test the market. Just because a particular product or service has performed well doesn't necessarily mean that it will stay like that in years to come.
Get the most knowledgeable people of that product or service together in one room and get them to brainstorm on ways that the product could be improved or simply revamped. Sometimes a simple change in packaging can give a product a completely new lease of life.
Reach out to your customers, either one-on-one or via focus groups. Get their feedback on the pluses and minuses of your product or service. Ask them where they think it could be improved. Also ask them why the use your product or service. This can be quite enlightening as occasionally you may find that your customers use your offerings for something other than what it was originally meant for. Could this open new markets for you?
Get together with your best people and analyse the feedback you get back. Anything that makes sense to change? If so act on in now. I need to reemphasize this though… Don’t just change for changes sake – make sure it fully makes sense to do so? Is it going to improve your brand, product or service? If so, then put a team in place to make it happen. That’s constant innovation.
Consumers are demanding more and more choice, quality and variety. Stay ahead of the game by keeping up with this demand.