The market is a competitive and saturated place, allowing only aggressive and agile businesses to thrive. It is filled with businesses offering the same products and all competing for the same customers.
The businesses that come out the strongest are those that know how to wow their customers by providing products that the customers value.
How can your product stand out among your competitors and above all, provide maximum benefits to customers? Product innovation is the answer!
What is product innovation?
Simply put, product innovation is a new way of solving consumer problems. This may mean an improvement to your already existing problems or introducing a whole new product.
However, it is not just innovation for the sake of it but it’s about innovation that is providing the right solution for the right problems.
For you to get into a product innovation strategy, you need to ask yourself these questions:
- Is the product still relevant to the market it serves?
- What differentiates our product from our competitors?
- What are the gaps and what are the opportunities?
How do you make innovative products?
Market research is the top answer! For you to determine what kind of product innovation you will embark on, you will need to have a clear understanding of what is prevailing on the market, consumer behaviour and competition. T
In the first article in a series on How Do You Build What’s Next? we mentioned that customers are the heart of your business. The first reason that you exist is that you want to provide a solution for customers that they will buy into, and as you provide the solutions, you want to create more customers and retain them. This means that if you want to build solutions that cater to their needs, you need to listen to them.
By asking customers what they think about your products, you will get answers as to whether they find your product relevant and you can identify gaps that will create more opportunities for product improvement or expansion.
You can also monitor the market through social listening. Pay attention to what your customers are saying on social media and take reviews seriously. You might be wasting resources on opening several branches across the country when all customers want is to be able to purchase a product at the comfort of their homes.
Through social listening, you can also get answers as to why customers prefer your competitor’s products to yours. Additionally, you can get information on other problems that consumers are facing that no one has attempted to solve.
In conclusion, product innovation helps you to quickly cater to the customer changing needs, helps you to identify new business opportunities and helps you stay on top of the competition.
But before all this is achieved, a customer-driven innovation strategy and a robust innovation process must come together to create a sustainable product that customers will value.
“The lifeblood of every business, a unique offering sets you apart, especially when you look to digitize your various products and services.
There is a place for celerity, but not without a clear strategic alignment, without an ability to show how a given product or service delivers real value to a customer.”