In part one of our new Innovation at SIG series, we explore why real innovation isn’t simply invention but a process requiring clear structure and consistency
How do you innovate? How do you turn ideas into a reality? And how do you create products consumers need? As any food and beverage producer knows, true innovation isn’t something that happens overnight. And it isn’t something that always comes from a flash of brilliance.
Instead, it comes from unique insights that are carefully collected, tested, analysed, refined, retested, analysed, and so on. Successful innovators start small and learn. They fail fast, learn quickly and try and try again until a real innovation reveals itself – one that can answer a genuine problem or need in the market.
It’s this problem or need that is typically the driver for SIG’s innovation process. And it’s a process based around its so-called Oxygen Innovation Model – a consumer-centric journey that starts by discovering the need and generating ideas, and ends with concept testing and implementation.
This model creates a structured approach thatensures SIG can be efficient and effective in every aspect of the innovation process – leaving nothing to chance, coincidence or gut feelings. It’s also a process that doesn’t simply rely on asking what consumers need, since what consumers say, do and think are three very different things.
Start and end with consumers
Before Apple developed the first-generation iPod, for example, consumers didn’t tell them they needed what an iPod offers. Consumers are often unable to articulate their needs in focus groups or market research, meaning businesses need to observe consumers in their everyday lives – finding out how they purchase products, what drives their decisions, and how they use them.
Only when SIG has valuable information on what consumers are actually doing and thinking, can consumer-centric innovation happen. With potentially hundreds of insights and behaviours, it begins an ideation process, at the end of which ideas are developed as mock-ups and prototypes before formative testing – measuring everything from efficiency and effectiveness to satisfaction from consumer perspectives.
In our Innovation at SIG blog series, we’ll deep dive into all these stages of SIG’s innovation journey. We’ll explore how SIG can create new packaging solutions to meet new market demands. And we’ll put the spotlight on one of SIG’s recent innovations – combismile – examining how it was the result of a structured process uniting observation, ideation, prototyping and testing.
Stay tuned for part two in the series when we’ll look at consumer observation with ethnographic research – the first crucial stage of needs-discovery innovation.