Innovative Solutions in Industry
Today's rapidly advancing technology has many implications on the marketplace and requires industries to embrace innovative solutions to stay competitive. Innovation isn't just about creating new products, it's about discovering completely new markets with untapped consumer needs. Furthermore, in the age of Internet commerce, the act of innovation becomes an even greater challenge with an abundance of new ideas found online. Therefore the drive toward selecting and executing the right concepts and bringing them to market faster than your competitors takes on an urgency that has been previously unknown, though will increase rapidly in the years ahead.
As a result, the driving forces behind innovation - previously technology and control of quality and cost - have shifted away from issues of efficiency and are now solely focused on the creativity and growth of the organization toward a future state of competitiveness.
Five Steps to finding an innovative solution:
In many different industries, customer-centered companies looking for innovative solutions to meet the needs of the modern consumer might consider the following approach:
- Identify the problem
As with just about any first step, it is crucial to identify the correct problem. Make sure you're trying to solve the consumer's problem and don't try to provide a fix for something that isn't a important in the eyes of your cusomters.
- Analyze the Problem
Examine the problem inside out, extract every variable and value that causes it (and remedies it). Focus on the frequency of the problem, how severe it is, potential causes, and what if any special circumstances impacting it. Another primary focus should be on the timeframe of the problem. How long has it been occurring? Has it been getting worse with time? And, are there factors that could cause it to worsen in the future?
- Classify the decision criteria
Clearly define the desires that lead to purchase intent, here you want to identify any and every decision that factors into the decision making process. Which of these criteria is most important? Will the decision be based solely on existing standards or are there any unique values that can be used
- Identify several solutions
There is no substitute for variety and the goal at this stage is to not leave a more valuable solution on the table. Therefore, don't stop at the first solution you come up with. Instead, evaluate any alternative scenarios as objectively as possible, assessing the pros and cons of each to ensure that the solution you're pursuing is the most competitive and thereby profitable one.
- Select the optimal solution
After you've evaluated all the options and values gleaned from steps one through four, you have to choose the most customer-centric solution to move forward with, developing a base of support within your organization and preparing for any internal or external contingencies.
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