Is your product innovation consumer-focused or are you on a path to innovative destruction?

Is your product innovation consumer-focused or are you on a path to innovative destruction?

Rapid advancement and proliferation of smart technologies coupled with the explosive growth of data and information, have completely redefined brand and consumer relationship, making the latter more empowered. Gone are the days when companies made products and customers simply bought them. Today’s consumers are in the driving seat – it is all about what they want to buy and not what brands wish to sell.

In a fiercely competitive market characterized by new entrants and agile start-ups, there is no doubt that businesses need to innovate and innovate fast to stay afloat and retain and gain market share. While companies have got that down already and are increasingly focusing on consumer experience, this approach rarely translates into consumer-driven product innovation process. The key challenge facing businesses is non-alignment of systems, processes and people with a consumer-first approach and secondly inability to match the pace of rapidly evolving consumer demands and needs.

Consumers have become increasingly discerning and selective they know exactly what they want and are willing to pay for and business who can listen will be able to get their business and generate value.

Failing to ensure consumer focused innovation will lead to obsolescence

No matter how big a player you are, in today’s landscape businesses that fail to keep pace with consumer demands are bound to go out of business eventually. A classic case in point here is of Nokia – From market domination to complete obsolescence in less than a decade.

A brand that was a leading player for over a generation, connecting people across the globe and enabling them to experience the mobile revolution, fell swiftly with the launch of iPhone in 2007. While Nokia entered into the smartphone market, its position plummeted way too quickly. On one hand where Apple was aiming to improve user experience by focusing on software/operating system innovation, Nokia’s focus on hardware innovation led to its decline. Once a market leader was soon forgotten. They failed to understand consumer sentiments and demands and facilitate consumer focused product innovation. And in no time, Nokia’s market domination fell to Apple and Samsung.

Developing customer insights system to drive innovation

Business need to adopt data analytics to have access to customer insights that provide visibility into various drivers including consumer behavior, needs, motivation, concerns and preferences and wishes. Such information has the power to fuel consumer-focused innovation allowing you to tap into newer opportunities and drive business growth.

Apart from using data to identify customer-specific needs, you also need to adopt an agile approach for product development to ensure faster time-to-market. Data analytics also help gather competitors’ data and provide visibility into winning or failing strategies. Innovation is a continuous process and in a rapidly shifting landscape data analytics and consumer insights can power business growth and spell the difference between success and failure.

Visibility into real-time consumer insights, footprints and interactions offer tremendous potential to transform the way business approach innovation and eliminate the risk of becoming obsolete. If you wish to get started on consumer driven innovation and drive business growth, get in touch with us.

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