Why Your Business Struggles to Create Innovative Products

For many businesses, the hardest thing is figuring out what to create and how to make it happen. This sounds like a no-brainer; if things are going well, your company should be able to roll off ideas like water from a spout. It turns out that the trickiest part of innovation is coming up with good ideas in the first place.

How do you identify opportunities that your company can exploit? And how do you take those opportunities and turn them into real products that make a difference in the marketplace? This blog post will show you how to make sense of innovation with an outcome-driven process.

The main problem with innovation is that it is usually product-centric

The front end of the innovation process can be confusing and warrant a lot of questions. There are many reasons behind this, but the main reason is that product development is based around the product rather than the customer.

Innovation should be outcome-driven, which means you want to drive it towards outcomes that a customer needs to get from using your product. This could be new revenue, reducing costs, or increasing speed. It could also be completing a very specific job. For example, the iPod was designed to do one thing: store and play music, which would be the outcome for the customer.

You have to start by understanding what the customer wants, not dictating to them what they need. Too often, businesses try to cram their own agenda down the throats of their customers, instead of listening to what they have to say.

When you implement the Jobs-to-be-Done theory, innovation is focused on outcomes

When you focus on the outcome that the customer wants, it becomes easier to see how you can build a product that can help them. You’re no longer constrained by what you think a product should do. Implementing this strategy consists of these steps:

  1. Define your product’s market around the job that needs to be done, not the products that may seem similar to yours.
  2. Identify what outcomes the customer wants from that job through research and analytics.
  3. Figure out which of those outcomes are unmet and quantify them.
  4. Segment your market into unique groups of people who share these unmet outcomes.
  5. Develop a product development strategy in which you innovate around these unmet outcomes.

This process is known as outcome-driven innovation (ODI), and it is the best way to ensure that your products stand out in the marketplace.

ODI is effective because it focuses on how customers measure value

Each customer has several metrics that they use to gauge how well a product has produced the outcome they desire. These metrics are customer needs, and for each outcome, or job to be done, there can be over 100. By knowing what these are, you are able to visualize how customers measure value. This can help you align marketing, product teams, R&D, and sales with these metrics to create customer value from the very beginning instead of trying to prove it later.

When you implement this process, you will see that innovation is much more predictable than you think; it just requires a different way of thinking about it. With outcome-driven innovation, you can successfully bring winning products to market.

For more information on outcome-driven innovation, learn more from its founder here: https://strategyn.com/outcome-driven-innovation-process/

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