To innovate or not to innovate. This is a pressing question for many companies in today’s exponentially changing digital consumer-centric world. As consumer’s needs and expectations continue to evolve, companies need to innovate in order to survive. If successful, innovation can transform a company and push it forward as a leader within its industry; creating economic value for the company and meaningful experiences for their customers. So why isn’t everyone innovating? What’s stopping decision-makers from transforming their business through innovation? One answer is that innovation can be expensive. Presently, decision-makers across industries associate innovation with high costs and low returns. This myth related to the innovation process is a considerable deterrent for companies when deciding whether or not to engage in innovation, or to stick with it. Below, we continue to debunk this myth of innovation.
Invest Now, Save Later
The ability for companies to deliver products and services that meet the expectations or enhance them for the customer, whether the need is convenience or speed, increasingly will become a differentiator for customers. With the growing threat of tech giants and other new entrants, incumbents need to innovate in order to survive. Although some companies see innovation to be an expensive solution to their problems, an investment in innovation will help to save the company time, resources and even bigger costs in the future. As industries continue to be disrupted, the decision for companies to innovate sooner rather than later, can be critical for the future success of the company. As time goes on and new threats arise in the market, what the organization is missing and what they need, will increase, become more complex, and become a lot more costly as time goes on. Investing in innovation today, can help your company save millions tomorrow, and frankly keep your company in business.
Plan Ahead, To Stay Ahead
Innovation is a critical ingredient for success, allowing an organization to stay competitive, stay relevant, and be able to stay ahead. Innovation provides companies with the structure, strategy and tools, in order to identify potential areas of disruption and understand how best to convert disruption into an opportunity for the business. The myth that innovation is expensive, can have a detrimental effect on a company’s ability to capitalize on potential opportunities that can arise as consumer’s needs and expectations change. Tech giants such as Google and Amazon for instance, have innovated their way to becoming leaders in markets outside of their native industries. By putting themselves in their customer’s shoes, and understanding customer’s needs, companies can begin to deliver the future today. Recognizing potential areas of disruption and innovating today, will allow companies to stay competitive and stay ahead.
A Big Price Tag ≠ Success
One of the biggest misconceptions that companies have about innovation, is that in order for innovation to be successful you need to allocate a large budget. Many of our competitors are now starting with Million-dollar budgets for projects right out of the gate. Although resources need to be allocated in a strategic manner, true innovation that transforms a business does not need a big budget. By including the customer throughout the innovation process by considering their needs and expectations, for instance, a company can significantly mitigate financial risk, by designing and testing iteratively with the least investment possible. Yes, new product ideas need to have a business model that a company can commit to and is viable, but resisting the urge to build enterprise solutions before truly understanding if its what a customer wants or will use, is the key to spending wisely. Through constant testing and validation, an organization can be reassured of the potential success of the product or service once it moves into the commercialization phase. Only then should they be spending large amounts of money on an innovation concept. A big price tag is not a prerequisite for successful innovation, and executive disappointment with the ROI on innovation efforts is the top reason innovation fails.
To learn more about how we help innovators succeed, check out our podcast The Disrupticons where we share stories with innovators and why it matters.