When it comes to innovation, everyone’s looking for a breakthrough.
Or at least, they think they are.
In reality, breakthroughs aren’t everything – a lot of innovation is incremental and gradual. It may not jump out at you as being radically new and different, but it creates value and keeps brands strong.
At Happen, we see three ways of using insight: protecting existing brands, growing brands (taking them somewhere a bit new), and transforming them with something entirely new. That last one is where the true breakthroughs happen.
When you’re on the hunt for insight, it’s crucial to know whether you’re looking to protect, grow or transform, so that you know what kind of insight you’re after, and where to look for clues.
Insights can be found at a number of different levels: some are deep, fundamental truths about human behaviour and emotions, while others exist at a more detailed, nitty-gritty level – relating to things like pricing and packaging.
“You’ve got to be very aware of the outcomes you’re looking for,” says Happen’s client director Sara Adams. “If someone comes to me and says, ‘I’ve got this product, it’s ready but I just need to know how to position it,’ I’m going to design a research process that starts with people-level understanding: people’s lives, their hopes, fears, passions… and connect that with attitudes related to the category. You may get your insight by connecting stuff that’s completely non-related to the category.”
“Alternatively if someone comes to me and says, ‘We need to improve our packaging for this product,’ the level of insight you need is more practical, more functional, and it’s specific to that category. You’re looking for clues about what people do and don’t do, when, where, how often, and who with, to find those micro-frustrations that reveal an opportunity for innovation.”