Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dark side of Innovation

Continuing with the last article "Innovate to Differentiate"

Innovation is one part of the whole success story. There have been many brands – both established and new product which has failed miserably in the market. We can cite as many examples as we can. But delving deep into the reasons why these products have failed can give us new insights regarding the brand failures.

For example, Hero Honda Karizma was a major innovation in the motor cycle segment. Still it could not woo customers to buy the product in large numbers as the company anticipated. The product had everything that the customers would have loved like total new look, new engine, updated suspension etc. Still it could not pull out money from customer’s wallet. The same fate awaited Daewoo Cielo and Crystal Pepsi - one of the biggest brand failures of these companies.

Now the question is why?

If we dig into the whole problem we can understand that company’s perception about the product was different than that of the customers. Though these products were among the best innovated products, still it could not stir up the expectations of the customers.

Innovating a new product or extension to the old product without proper marketing strategies like positioning, segmenting, targeting, understanding customer’s value proposition & customer mind share the product may have etc, there is an odd chance for the success of the product.

That’s why time and again it has been said that “Innovation” and “Differentiation” are like two sides of a coin. It is the company who innovates and at the end of the day it is the customer who differentiates. But the irony of the situation is that you can never anticipate which side the coin will fall. But the uncertainty can definitely be reduced to a great extent.

Thats why I find a resemblance between product and a human being (to some extent, of course). Every human being is an innovation when it comes out of their mother’s womb. But how they add value and execute themselves in the course of time is what differentiates them from others.

So innovation should go hand in hand with marketing and understanding the need gap of the customers.



4 comments:

kundan_bhaduri said...

On one hand, it is correct when you relate marketing, brand segmenting and positioning with a new product, one must also understand that the turn-around time for "copy cats" to come out all guns blazing is also very small now, compared to what it used to be 15 yrs back. Owe it largely to the unprecedented growth in IT and mass media channels.

However, one must also stress on competitors' strategy analysis, given that brand loyalty is very low in product segments where there is diverse choice in the marketspace. Take for instance, soft drinks; cola segment - you have largely only two major brand families competiting. On the other hand, talk of a women's cosmetic product and you would have a zillion choices.

In such situations, a detailed and continuous market study and competitors' strategy analysis only will allow for the "innovation" factor, rather than product development as a sole factor.

Sampad Kr Swain said...

I really appreiciate your comments Kundan.Your comments were nicely put forward.
But before competitor's analysis, don't you think that understanding customers appeal to any innovation that too taking perspective about your company's core competence is important. And then yeah, companies should keep the benchmarking space dynamic as it will help the companies understand where they are and where they can be!!
E.g. If Apple Computers comes out with A Innovative product in Automobile industry do u think customers will be able to relate to it...U think for urself; will u buy Apple Car as its Positioning in the customer's mind is different.
And secondly, I dont agree with your statement that nowadays "copy cats" have reduced because now companies have access to technolgy which leads to innovation with cheap capital availlable.U can say that we are in an era where Innovation is becoming easily COMMODITIZED(Hope it is not that bold statement).
I hope I am able to convey my mssg across the table.
Still Keep looking for the space as we can have more healthy discussion like these in the near future.

Check my BLOGS:
http"//managementchords.blogspot.com

Pramod said...

in the blog " Dark side of innovation" what i liked the most was the comparision you drew between humans and products.
Kudos Dude.
keep the good work on... :)

Sampad Kr Swain said...

Thanks pramod...
You guys'support will always keep me motivated to write more such blogs in the future!!
Thanks a ton again

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dark side of Innovation

Continuing with the last article "Innovate to Differentiate"

Innovation is one part of the whole success story. There have been many brands – both established and new product which has failed miserably in the market. We can cite as many examples as we can. But delving deep into the reasons why these products have failed can give us new insights regarding the brand failures.

For example, Hero Honda Karizma was a major innovation in the motor cycle segment. Still it could not woo customers to buy the product in large numbers as the company anticipated. The product had everything that the customers would have loved like total new look, new engine, updated suspension etc. Still it could not pull out money from customer’s wallet. The same fate awaited Daewoo Cielo and Crystal Pepsi - one of the biggest brand failures of these companies.

Now the question is why?

If we dig into the whole problem we can understand that company’s perception about the product was different than that of the customers. Though these products were among the best innovated products, still it could not stir up the expectations of the customers.

Innovating a new product or extension to the old product without proper marketing strategies like positioning, segmenting, targeting, understanding customer’s value proposition & customer mind share the product may have etc, there is an odd chance for the success of the product.

That’s why time and again it has been said that “Innovation” and “Differentiation” are like two sides of a coin. It is the company who innovates and at the end of the day it is the customer who differentiates. But the irony of the situation is that you can never anticipate which side the coin will fall. But the uncertainty can definitely be reduced to a great extent.

Thats why I find a resemblance between product and a human being (to some extent, of course). Every human being is an innovation when it comes out of their mother’s womb. But how they add value and execute themselves in the course of time is what differentiates them from others.

So innovation should go hand in hand with marketing and understanding the need gap of the customers.



4 comments:

kundan_bhaduri said...

On one hand, it is correct when you relate marketing, brand segmenting and positioning with a new product, one must also understand that the turn-around time for "copy cats" to come out all guns blazing is also very small now, compared to what it used to be 15 yrs back. Owe it largely to the unprecedented growth in IT and mass media channels.

However, one must also stress on competitors' strategy analysis, given that brand loyalty is very low in product segments where there is diverse choice in the marketspace. Take for instance, soft drinks; cola segment - you have largely only two major brand families competiting. On the other hand, talk of a women's cosmetic product and you would have a zillion choices.

In such situations, a detailed and continuous market study and competitors' strategy analysis only will allow for the "innovation" factor, rather than product development as a sole factor.

Sampad Kr Swain said...

I really appreiciate your comments Kundan.Your comments were nicely put forward.
But before competitor's analysis, don't you think that understanding customers appeal to any innovation that too taking perspective about your company's core competence is important. And then yeah, companies should keep the benchmarking space dynamic as it will help the companies understand where they are and where they can be!!
E.g. If Apple Computers comes out with A Innovative product in Automobile industry do u think customers will be able to relate to it...U think for urself; will u buy Apple Car as its Positioning in the customer's mind is different.
And secondly, I dont agree with your statement that nowadays "copy cats" have reduced because now companies have access to technolgy which leads to innovation with cheap capital availlable.U can say that we are in an era where Innovation is becoming easily COMMODITIZED(Hope it is not that bold statement).
I hope I am able to convey my mssg across the table.
Still Keep looking for the space as we can have more healthy discussion like these in the near future.

Check my BLOGS:
http"//managementchords.blogspot.com

Pramod said...

in the blog " Dark side of innovation" what i liked the most was the comparision you drew between humans and products.
Kudos Dude.
keep the good work on... :)

Sampad Kr Swain said...

Thanks pramod...
You guys'support will always keep me motivated to write more such blogs in the future!!
Thanks a ton again

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dark side of Innovation

Continuing with the last article "Innovate to Differentiate"

Innovation is one part of the whole success story. There have been many brands – both established and new product which has failed miserably in the market. We can cite as many examples as we can. But delving deep into the reasons why these products have failed can give us new insights regarding the brand failures.

For example, Hero Honda Karizma was a major innovation in the motor cycle segment. Still it could not woo customers to buy the product in large numbers as the company anticipated. The product had everything that the customers would have loved like total new look, new engine, updated suspension etc. Still it could not pull out money from customer’s wallet. The same fate awaited Daewoo Cielo and Crystal Pepsi - one of the biggest brand failures of these companies.

Now the question is why?

If we dig into the whole problem we can understand that company’s perception about the product was different than that of the customers. Though these products were among the best innovated products, still it could not stir up the expectations of the customers.

Innovating a new product or extension to the old product without proper marketing strategies like positioning, segmenting, targeting, understanding customer’s value proposition & customer mind share the product may have etc, there is an odd chance for the success of the product.

That’s why time and again it has been said that “Innovation” and “Differentiation” are like two sides of a coin. It is the company who innovates and at the end of the day it is the customer who differentiates. But the irony of the situation is that you can never anticipate which side the coin will fall. But the uncertainty can definitely be reduced to a great extent.

Thats why I find a resemblance between product and a human being (to some extent, of course). Every human being is an innovation when it comes out of their mother’s womb. But how they add value and execute themselves in the course of time is what differentiates them from others.

So innovation should go hand in hand with marketing and understanding the need gap of the customers.



4 comments:

kundan_bhaduri said...

On one hand, it is correct when you relate marketing, brand segmenting and positioning with a new product, one must also understand that the turn-around time for "copy cats" to come out all guns blazing is also very small now, compared to what it used to be 15 yrs back. Owe it largely to the unprecedented growth in IT and mass media channels.

However, one must also stress on competitors' strategy analysis, given that brand loyalty is very low in product segments where there is diverse choice in the marketspace. Take for instance, soft drinks; cola segment - you have largely only two major brand families competiting. On the other hand, talk of a women's cosmetic product and you would have a zillion choices.

In such situations, a detailed and continuous market study and competitors' strategy analysis only will allow for the "innovation" factor, rather than product development as a sole factor.

Sampad Kr Swain said...

I really appreiciate your comments Kundan.Your comments were nicely put forward.
But before competitor's analysis, don't you think that understanding customers appeal to any innovation that too taking perspective about your company's core competence is important. And then yeah, companies should keep the benchmarking space dynamic as it will help the companies understand where they are and where they can be!!
E.g. If Apple Computers comes out with A Innovative product in Automobile industry do u think customers will be able to relate to it...U think for urself; will u buy Apple Car as its Positioning in the customer's mind is different.
And secondly, I dont agree with your statement that nowadays "copy cats" have reduced because now companies have access to technolgy which leads to innovation with cheap capital availlable.U can say that we are in an era where Innovation is becoming easily COMMODITIZED(Hope it is not that bold statement).
I hope I am able to convey my mssg across the table.
Still Keep looking for the space as we can have more healthy discussion like these in the near future.

Check my BLOGS:
http"//managementchords.blogspot.com

Pramod said...

in the blog " Dark side of innovation" what i liked the most was the comparision you drew between humans and products.
Kudos Dude.
keep the good work on... :)

Sampad Kr Swain said...

Thanks pramod...
You guys'support will always keep me motivated to write more such blogs in the future!!
Thanks a ton again