Innovation is about more than just bringing new and improved products and services to market. It’s about finding new ways to increase the efficiency of your business and, most importantly, improve its profitability.
There is an important difference between invention and innovation. Invention is coming up with a new idea. Innovation is the commercial application and successful exploitation of an idea. Innovation means introducing something new into your business. This could be:
- improving or replacing business processes to increase efficiency and productivity, or to enable the business to extend the range or quality of existing products and/or services
- developing entirely new and improved products and services – often to meet rapidly changing customer or consumer demands or needs
- adding value to existing products, services or markets to differentiate the business from its competitors and increase the perceived value to the customers and markets
Innovation can mean a single major breakthrough – eg a totally new product or service. However, it can also be a series of small, incremental changes. Whatever form it takes, innovation is a creative process. The ideas may come from:
- inside the business – eg from employees, managers or in-house research and development work
- outside the business – eg suppliers, customers, media reports, market research published by another organisation, or universities and other sources of new technologies
So, it is important for businesses to continue investing in innovation during difficult trading conditions, so that they are in a better position to compete when conditions improve.
Marketplaces – whether local, regional, national or global – are becoming highly competitive. Competition has increased as a result of wider access to new technologies and the increased trading and knowledge-sharing opportunities offered by the internet.
Introducing innovation can help you to:
- improve productivity
- reduce costs
- be more competitive
- build the value of your brand
- establish new partnerships and relationships
- increase turnover and improve profitability
Businesses that fail to innovate run the risk of:
- losing market share to competitors
- suffering from falling productivity and efficiency
- losing key staff
- experiencing steadily reducing margins and profit
- going out of business
Innovation can be risky but the benefits gained from it can be critical to the continuing success of your business.
Contact details Design Council Helpline 020 7420 5200