'Innovative' Isn't the Same as 'New'20 August, 2014 / Articles
In business, we like the idea of being innovative, thinking in innovative ways, having the latest innovative products in our hands, being more innovative than our competition. Why follow the path that someone else developed? Why allocate time and resources to newer versions of existing products that follows the competition? We can’t afford to do that because we will be swept aside and left behind in the global marketplace.
In the marketplace today, we frequently hear the word innovative associated with a product or service. At one time, using the term innovative implied product and service offerings that were vastly more than the expected introduction of a newer version or incremental improvement. Then and in some cases today, companies and people worked to achieve the status of being innovative. The status is achieved when customers’ judge the product to provide extreme value based on the amount of improvement possible in their personal or business situation. Amazon is a good example. Most of us would describe Amazon producing innovative offers, but they don’t make that claim themselves.
Often it’s the corporate marketing machine declaring that products are innovative, as a synonym of “new”. An innovative product or service, does not convey value – derived from differentiation – because the word no longer provides any information about how or why the product is better than any other option. Using the description of innovative doesn’t equate to real or tangible value to the listener, reader, or potential customer. innovative becomes marketing-speak rather than a true developmental process that is used to chart new offerings that will drive market value and customer benefits.
If innovative is a replacement for the word “new”, then how do we know when we see an innovative product or service? How do we associate more value to the term innovative to differentiate it from what is simply new?
Truly innovative products and services fill the latent needs that we all have. An innovative product or service produces superior value by filling latent needs at a low cost relative to the return. Innovative products and services create opportunities for us to change the way we act in the world.
– They save our precious resources of time and money.
– They inform us and open opportunities.
– They improve our productivity as an integral part of our environment.
– They help us live a better life at work or at home.
– They help us connect with each other and the world.