Purpose-driven innovation

How is innovation defined within your organisation? We rarely get an aligned response from businesses we’re asked to support. Understandable really as stakeholders are impacted by innovation in different ways and look to influence company direction accordingly.

10K60 helps clients maximise innovation spend by ensuring operational, commercial and consumer considerations are factored in with equal importance. In many cases a complete company culture change is required but sometimes just a fresh set of eyes and approach is needed.

Within this blog we won’t look at organisational design and business culture specifically, however, an aligned strategy and collaborative culture is a prerequisite for successful innovation.

Instead we’ll look at the challenges of innovating in today’s challenging environment and maximising chances of a profitable return. Not easy, but very achievable if the right ingredients are thrown into the innovation melting pot at the right time.

Customer is king

The mantra ‘’Customer is King’’ highlights the importance of customers in everyday business. Today’s customer truly is King and expects the best of everything, not just exceptional customer service. Customers hold the power and businesses need to remember this when developing products. Many businesses claim to put their customers first but few actually do. The voice of the consumer is often forgotten during innovation and not enough energy channelled towards solving customer pain points.

Recognising customer pain points can help identify white space opportunities to leapfrog competition and demonstrate bold leadership that’s relevant to consumers. This halos back to brands by driving trust and loyalty; by offering an improved user experience consumers recognise that you’ve designed with them in mind and will subsequently drive sales.

Voice of the consumer

We once worked with an edible oils manufacturer. Edible oils are a great example of an innovative, consumer-centric approach to delivering growth. How many times have you heard a friend say ‘’I only use olive oil when I’m abroad’’ or ‘’this doesn’t taste like it does when I’m on holiday’’? This is insight and the consumers were right! Ten years ago in the UK, edible oils were poor in quality and had a limited range. All businesses were in the same boat so if your only benchmark was beating the industry norm you had no reason to change.

These days, supermarkets stock an extensive range of oils of multiple varieties, flavours and pack formats. Products are positioned for different usage occasions and target consumers.

Innovative packaging can also delight the consumer and increase sales. A great example is Cup-a-wine, the wine glass with a rip off seal that first appeared on Dragons Den in 2009. Laughed off as ‘’tacky’’, the inventor’s request for £250,000 for a 25% stake in his business was rejected by the dragons and later picked up by M&S. Now marketed as Le Froglet, this simple idea has become popular at events, picnics and on train journeys. Classic example of an invention that led to innovation. Successful because it met a growing consumer need for convenience, impulse purchase and occasion targeted products.

Hearts, minds and good processes

10K60 utilises a number of tools to review innovation processes. These enable us to challenge existing ways of working and help clients to;

  • Define and align all innovation activity within their business
  • Incorporate consumer, commercial and operational considerations in their innovation mix to deliver smart execution
  • Unleash the creativity and collective wisdom of all stakeholders
  • Focus on delivering the right proposition to consumers that need and want their products and services
  • Create a customer-centric innovation strategy; from the looking glass of consumers, we help clients become better placed to spot innovation that can take consumer satisfaction to the next level
  • Maximise chances of a good return on their innovation investment

One thing’s for sure, modern day innovation is as much about hearts, minds and good processes as it is about the new product or packaging!