We often hear stories of breakthrough innovations transforming companies or even industries. But little has been written about whether those success stories could help companies maintain their worth in the long run. Were the companies able to remain profitable throughout? With the fundamental changes taking place around the globe, all organizations need to reimagine their customer and user experiences from time to time to maintain their worth in the marketplace. And this is where sustaining innovation acts as fuel.
Focussing On Sustaining Innovation To Ignite New Growth
Following are five key drivers begetting sustaining innovation.
Listen to learn
Listening to your customers helps you understand what they say about your product or service offerings. Provide your customers with an open platform to share feedback and communicate. It will enable you to identify the areas that can be changed to give your customers more value. An organization can utilize helpful communication channels and platforms: social media, online and phone-based customer service communications, and surveys.
A sustainable innovation methodology primarily focuses on yielding incremental value consistently, quarter-over-quarter. A survey by HBS reveals that 30,000 new customer products are launched yearly, and almost 95% of these products fail in the market. Hence, the systematic approach should work towards incrementally creating a far bigger impact, rather than a disruptive idea that may take time to materialize or may not even materialize.
Emotions significantly influence buying behavior. Analyzing sentiments allows brands to monitor the market's response to the brand, new product roll-outs, advertisements, etc., typically by aggregating social media mentions. Gauging sentiments might not be an accurate method of understanding customer preferences. However, it can give an insight into markets' reactions to your brand and communication.
Not many customers bother to call customer service to share their good or bad experiences. Instead, they will take to social media to broadcast it to the world. Keeping an eye on and monitoring closely can help you convert these communications into key drivers for sustaining innovation. Additionally, it allows you to provide exceptional customer service.
Remaining up to date with what other players in your industry are doing can help you stay ahead of the competition. From tracking keywords to monitoring social posts, keeping up with your competitors can help you stay on top of industry trends.
Google alerts, SEMrush, and Branchwatch are useful tools that can help monitor your competitors' brands.
Engage to evolve
To truly benefit from sustaining innovation, cultivate a culture of employee-driven innovation. Simply put, everyone on your team must understand how your product or service works and be engaged in helping to make it better.
Empower your people to share issues and ideas. Know that it is mainly your front-line employees who are at the receiving end of the first-hand feedback from customers, wholesalers, partners, etc. They need to feel safe and empowered to bring this information to their superior's attention, assured that the information will be acted upon to improve the customer experience.
As per the innovation statistics by PWC, 60% of respondents believe internal employees to be the most important partners in delivering people-powered innovation.
The engagement should be 360 degrees in nature, i.e. feedback should be coming from above, below, and horizontally—not just from the boss.
For companies that prefer consistent profitability and stability within the marketplace, sustainable innovation is a powerful tool to stay relevant. While sustaining innovation is not simply copying and upgrading what others are doing, it involves industry monitoring and gaining additional data and insights so that you can make more informed decisions, valuable to both the organization and customers. The situation is not straightforward though. A professional course can help you develop sustaining innovation for the organization.
MIT ID Innovation is a market leader in innovation courses in India. The all-inclusive course structure offered by the institute can help you learn all the required skills to ignite new growth and transform how an organization works.