Many organisations struggle at the first hurdle, which is how to clearly define and identify the business challenge and recognise the type of innovation and behavioural change needed of the consumer. It’s also easy to ignore emerging signals of change in the market that could be used, as well as forgetting about the obstacles to success in terms of limitations in R&D, the channel and, of course, the budget. Plainly speaking, if you don’t frame the innovation challenge at the start, it’s all too easy to focus on the wrong things and fail to deliver on the business objective.
The second key challenge is associated with focusing on insights that you can actually do something with. Organisations can be awash with ‘insights’ but can’t or don’t know how to do anything with them. Some top tips to bear in mind during the process:
Many businesses struggle with this and, as a result, either can’t translate insights into action or waste time on inappropriate ones.
The third key challenge relates to developing and prioritising ‘winners’ that you can actually exploit commercially. While most organisations insist that concepts ‘pass’ an X-Y-Z stage gate process, few actually perform due diligence beyond this and build the business case to show that consumers love it, that it’s competitive, that it fits with the brand and channel, that it can be made and, of course, makes money. If you fail to address these issues you’re likely to waste time on concepts that are not viable or overlook the winners.
You’re almost at the end of your innovation journey but there’s still one very important hurdle to tackle and that involves keeping the business energised and ready for action (and change). It’s critical to engage internal and external stakeholders to allow you to get your concept to reality. Classic pitfalls include:
Consequently, many good concepts go to waste and never deliver on their potential. Innovation isn’t rocket science but there are many obstacles on the long road to success and so it’s perhaps not surprising that so few succeed commercially.
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