Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Process Of Innovation 2

How Do I Find the Opportunity to Innovate?

In the recovery and counseling
world, there is a saying about change: People do not change till the pain of remaining the same is greater the pain of changing. 

Even though a person may have unsatisfied needs, wants, and desires, they may settle for the status quo.  Innovation is all about making people come to the point where they absolutely have to change. 

Remember, people are looking for solutions to problems.  When a consumer buys your product or service, what they are paying for are solutions to something they are trying to accomplish.  Problem: I need to trim my hedges.  Solution?  Hedge clippers that can help an amateur look like a pro.  Why?  I need to have my yard looking better.  Why?  Because the last time my father-in-law was here he made a comment about how overgrown our bushes are and since his yard is always immaculate, I don't want him to think bad of me.  That is the real need!

If you are looking for opportunities to provide innovative solutions for your customers, you have to be always asking, "Why are our customers really buying our product or service?" 

If you want to get ideas how to know your customer better, I highly recommend you watch the show "Undercover Boss." A common theme on that show is how out of touch the front office is with the customer and their needs.  The more we do not know our customer, the more we miss the opportunity for innovation.  

Getting back to our opening statement, where are your customers feeling the pain to change?  How can you make the pain of staying the same greater than the pain of changing?  Price? Peer pressure?  The old model is so outdated that it can hardly be used anymore or you cannot get parts for it.  Wellness programs pressure people to be healthier at work to lower their employer health premiums, so workers are looking for healthy food to buy when they are shopping.

Those are the opportunities for innovation.

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