Picking a Lane on Innovation

Canadian consumers are more willing than ever to try innovation. And more than ever, innovation has become a key driver of growth for companies. But where do you start on your journey? Having the right inputs and stimuli are critical to “picking your lane” on innovation. Its starts with identifying the right opportunities that can propel your organization to growth.


What is an Opportunity?


Opportunities are areas that an organization can source growth. Mostly, opportunities address a customer need: unknown, unmet or unarticulated. The best opportunity areas are those where you can meet the need in different ways.


How do you Identify Opportunities?


Identify category growth drivers and inhibitors from internal and external data sources to generate future growth opportunities within the context of your business challenge.

Capture facts, hunches and insights on POST ITS and place them on an Opportunity Map (a large sheet of paper where you can organize insights into themes)…

Step 1: Start with Internal Discovery

Sources of Internal Discovery include:

– Annual category reviews
– Historical business reviews
– Brand health reports
– Past consumer research- qualitative or quantitative
– Customer data (loyalty)
– Internal data segmented to meet your business challenge
– Facebook

Step 2: Conduct some Stakeholder Interviews

– Get input on what’s working and what’s not when it comes to your specific business challenge
– Consider Stakeholders like: category directors, product developers, nutrition/regulatory, agencies, strategy, public relations, insights and finance

Step 3: Move to External Discovery

Sources of External Discovery include:

External Trend Reports
– Mintel, Nielsen, NPD, Euromonitor, Statscan
– Internet Scan/Social Media/Print Publications
– Websites, social media sites (e.g. blogs, Facebook), magazine and newspaper articles related to the business challenge (i.e. subject and target customer)
– Google search results, “Google Trends” search volume tracking

Expert Reports & Interviews
– Subject authorities in areas related to the business challenge
– Customer experts who have first hand knowledge of the target consumer
– Industry analysts, industry associations, special interest groups related to the business challenge

Customer Understanding
– Qualitative or Quantitative Consumer Research

Competitive Review
– External Trend Reports
– Analyst Reports on competitors
– Internet Scan
– Competitor websites
– Social Media
– Competitor Facebook
– Competitive Media
– Annual reports
– Media releases
– Marketing materials
– Store Visits


Opportunity Mapping and Development


Once you have conducted your internal/ external discovery and stakeholder interviews and plotted insights on your Opportunity Map, organize the insights, facts or hunches into themes. Themes generally point you to a consumer need area. These become your opportunity areas- an area that your organization can source growth.


Picking a Lane


Once you have identified the priority opportunities leverage the Business Matrix to access the opportunities with the following criteria:

– Business Potential
– Right to Win
– Capacity to Win

Assign each opportunity area a traffic light for each criteria – green for high delivery, yellow for moderate delivery, and red for low delivery. The opportunity area with the most green traffic lights is your highest potential opportunity. Let’s take a closer look at the 3 strategy assessment criteria.

Business Potential is the assessment of the opportunity area’s size and growth potential. Key questions to consider:

– Does this opportunity area have scale?
– Does this opportunity area provide a financial return that warrants investing time and resources?
– Does this opportunity area have the potential to deliver above average growth into the future?

Right to Win is the assessment of your organization’s level of competitive advantage or differentiation in each opportunity area. Key questions to consider:

– Can you deliver a relevant point of difference versus the competition?
– Is your point of difference sustainable?
– Are there any barriers to entry that will make it difficult for you to win?

Capacity to Win is the assessment of your organization’s ability to successfully execute against each opportunity area. Key questions to consider:

– Does your organization have the capabilities, resources, processes, management systems to successfully deliver against each opportunity area?
– Are your internal stakeholders aligned to the opportunity area?

Leveraging this process and strategic framework will put you well on your way to “Picking A Lane” on innovation.

2019-02-01T11:30:04+00:00 Innovation|