FRONT End innovation
Innovation has always been a driving force for business growth and competitive advantage in the market, but in recent decades, it has become an integral part of corporate strategy. Companies that do not continuously try to improve their products and services risk their long term sustainability, as front end innovation drives changes to customer paradigms.
At Design Integrity (DI), we focus on the development of innovative, next-gen products that incorporate new features and technologies to leap frog the competition and drive growth. Innovation inspiration can come from any source, and our goal is to help our clients collect the ideas, study and rank them in terms of their potential, augment them with fresh thinking, determine which are worth pursuing, and move the best concepts forward.
What drives innovation?
Innovation can come for any source, and it can affect any aspect of a given business. In the world of new product development, innovative ideas come from employees, outside inventors, entrepreneurs, customers, universities, think tanks, design consultants like our team, students, kids, distributors, or anyone that sees a situation and looks at it from a different angle. Sometimes, innovative thoughts pop into our heads at random times.
The key drivers of innovation are typically, at a high level, growth and profits, but there are several other drivers that come into play, such as business sustainability and brand reputation. At DI, we help our clients to manage their innovation opportunities and drive the best ideas towards market launch.
What inspires innovation?
At DI, our teams and individuals use a variety of methods to develop innovative ideas for new products, designs, services, and technology implementations that can break new ground in the marketplace. Some of the common ways to drive new ideas include:
- review of available market research to gain an understanding of the status quo
- meeting and interviewing end users in their environment
- studying competing products and related products in tangential categories
- assessing new technologies that could add features and benefits
- thinking outside-the-box and documenting a wide variety of new ideas
- putting yourself in the shoes of target customers with different demographics
- capturing every idea whether it seems practical or crazy at first sight
Innovation management requires a strategy and a plan that takes into consideration various factors related to a business’s operations, brands, abilities, market positions and goals. An integral part of an innovation plan is the innovation map, which ranks and places each specific opportunity on a grid in relation to the company’s technical competencies and market strengths.
An innovation map is a great planning tool, as it provides an executive summary of the innovation opportunities in a graphic manner that is easy to understand. Using this tool, we can help our clients to lay out an innovation plan that considers the various trade-offs and balances the risks.
Facilitation and Ideation
Ideation and brainstorming are integral parts of the conceptual design process. The goal is to arrive at that one optimal design solution, but our ideation processes initially strive to create a vast quantity of diverse concepts.
Over the years, our staff has developed a series of proprietary ideation processes that allow our teams to develop creative conceptual design solutions to any given challenge. Sometimes, we apply our brainstorming methods, which are radically different from the standard guidelines that you’ll see up on the walls in conference rooms. Other times, we apply our focused ideation methods to challenges that have specific traits or boundaries.
On large scale projects, several of our staff members are trained to facilitate ideation sessions with mixed groups of personnel from different companies and diverse backgrounds. Each program is different, and each requires different methods and processes to get to that final design solution.
Innovative growth opportunities can arise from a detailed review of a company’s intellectual property (IP) assets. At times, our clients have a broad range of IP that can be applied across new product categories and markets. Other times, competitors have a head start with IP that covers new trends and technologies, whereas an IP strategy needs to be put in place to ensure future market share in emerging product and service categories.
By studying the existing IP landscape across the various market segments and product categories that a firm competes in, a detailed IP asset strategy can be developed to drive growth and secure a long-term position in core business segments.
The field of growth marketing involves a mix of marketing methodologies and business opportunity analyses to drive growth in the marketplace across both current and new markets and segments. Our team blends growth marketing strategies with front-end innovation methods to provide clients with a fresh perspective on new growth opportunities for their businesses.
Contact Us Today
Reach out to talk about how we can help with your innovation efforts.