April 1, 2022
In this Monthly Dose of Design, we continue to learn about innovation management and dig deeper into one of the four types of innovation introduced last month: sustaining innovation. Why do market researchers need to know about sustaining innovation and how to apply it?
Last month we embarked upon a new 12-part series of Monthly Dose of Design, Innovation Management. We introduced the four main types of innovation which are breakthrough innovation, sustaining innovation, basic research, and disruptive innovation, and shared why innovation is relevant to market research.
This month we are diving deeper into sustaining innovation by discussing why market researchers need to know about it and how they can do it.
When we think of innovation, we tend to think of being radical and doing something ground-breaking that no one has done before. However, improving existing products, brands, and services in increments is another form of innovation known as sustaining innovation.
Sustaining innovation is the most common form of innovation in the innovation matrix. This is because the problem is already known, and the knowledge or technology needed to solve it already exists.
GREG SATELL, HBR.ORG
Smartphones are a great example of sustaining innovation. This is because each year, companies release new phones which have incremental improvements, often incorporating new technologies.
In 2019, Apple released its iPhone 11 with three rear cameras. Then in 2020, Apple released the iPhones 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max with a lidar scanner. Lidar scanners provide these iPhone models with a new type of depth-sensing that aids with augmented reality. By adding the additional cameras and lidar scanner, Apple is setting the scene for some powerful applications of augmented reality.
Read on below to learn about the key reasons market researchers should be familiar with sustaining innovation.
To generate ideas for sustaining innovation, companies need to listen to and learn from their customers, which is what market researchers are great at. By turning customer feedback and communication into insights, market researchers have a thorough understanding of how businesses can continually improve their products, brand, or services and therefore provide greater value to their customers.
By understanding the different types of innovation, market researchers can adapt how they work internally, and externally transform their value to clients.
Market researchers can use this understanding of the types of innovation to provide further value to their clients by developing new products or services which can help meet their client’s needs vs. what each specific type of innovation requires.
Market research as an industry shouldn’t stay stationary. By understanding these types of innovation, market researchers can see where they sit in the innovation process and can innovate by developing new tools for themselves to improve their own work.
Next month we will dive deeper into breakthrough innovation.