Why is innovation important in today’s business landscape?
- The concept of innovation
- Taking advantage of hidden needs
- Expanding on what is known
Innovation is what keeps commerce going. Every day, someone comes up with another big idea. They only need a push in the right direction for them to reach the next step. This is much more apparent in large companies. These behemoths of whatever industry have become so big because they were the ones who thought of something new first. In essence, they made use of business innovation platforms. In the Philippines, this concept is still relatively new, thus there aren’t a lot of businesses that make use of it.
Those who do, however, are usually startups that dare to take the risk of a non-formulaic start to their business. That said, as long as the innovation that they put forth is useful and relatively impactful to their audience, then chances are, they’ll have a lot of opportunities to enter the market or better, disrupt the market drastically.
Innovation is not something that will always result in a positive. Many people consider it a risk as it goes away from the norm.
But that is what many people nowadays are looking for — something different; something surprising. People are looking for the next big thing.
The Concept of Innovation
Stephen Shapiro defined innovation as simply “staying relevant”. He perceives innovation as a means to constantly be an important figure in whatever industry you are in. Whether you’re a frontrunner or a new contender, as long as you always stay relevant, you increase your reputation, your knowledge of products and services, and your potential to bring something new to the table.
Change is inevitable. The most successful strategies and tactics in the past may be the worst path of action to take today. No longer are traditional processes and classic strategies the go-to solutions. Rather, whenever there are problems or a need for new processes, companies would usually look for new answers. Though they don’t necessarily need to be straight out of the box, they have to be specific, and relevant to the company.
The more personal and specific the solutions are, the more appealing it is to customers.
In most cases, these “innovative” products, services, and solutions are perceived as new things in the market. Innovative products and services, in particular, would usually cause a stir when they penetrate the right market. These are usually the gateway of startups and small businesses into the mainstream. One innovative product can bring wonders to a business almost instantaneously.
Taking Advantage of Hidden Needs
Innovation brings countless opportunities that are oftentimes well out of sight of traditional marketing ideation. When it comes to innovation, your focus is on the question. You’re not simply looking for the right answer. Rather, you’re looking for an alternative way to solve the answer more effectively.
Some of the best areas for innovation are what people call hidden needs. These are the concerns of a particular market that they aren’t aware they want to have. See for example AirBnB, Grab, and Foodpanda — three businesses that skyrocketed thanks to how they revolutionized the accommodation, transport, and food industry respectively. They moved away from the traditional and founded different, unique, yet fairly reliable ways to bring about a better kind of service.
Most of the time business innovations revolve around making things convenient for the audience. Their mindset is that no one is truly satisfied and content on how things are doing now. There will always be something better for people, and our product and/or service will provide that.
Expanding on What is Known
Companies that are seeking innovation would usually say they think outside the box for unique solutions. However, there are some that say innovation doesn’t mean you’re thinking outside the box. Rather, you’re expanding your own box to encompass different things.
The idea of thinking outside the box has a hidden risk to it, particularly if you’re looking at the wrong box. It’s only natural to look for the best answer while considering different fields of expertise. However, if you look too far, then you might not be able to find a relationship between what you were and the answer that you found.
If you think of it as if you’re expanding the box, it more closely resembles focusing on the question and using the resources and the information all around you to come up with the ideal solution.
This way, you slowly absorb important information while also expanding on the knowledge that you already have — effectively increasing what you can use to create something new!
Innovation is something that has been floating around as an essential concept in many companies. The need for relevant change seems to be a concern for most people. In the Philippines, business innovation platforms are one of the solutions to this. IfIf you want to experience relevant, and interesting change for the company, or your products and services, be the one that initiates it.