Ready to Innovate? Check Out These 6 Strategies for Real Growth | Executive Recruiters

      Ready to Innovate? Check Out These 6 Strategies for Growth

      “Innovation” is a ubiquitous term in the business world. And that’s for a good reason: When you want to set your company apart from competitors, you need to prove that you can offer customers an unparalleled experience.

      With that in mind, successful innovation can lead to incredible growth, but knowing how to pull it off can be tricky. Ultimately, it boils down to six different strategies. You might find that implementing even one of these leads to a surprising spike in sales:

      1. Create New Experiences

      In the context of innovation and business growth, new experiences refer to new ways in which you can connect with your customers. A strong enough connection will establish lasting brand loyalty and result in more sales. 

      One of the best examples of a business creating a new experience is the creation of the Apple Store. Its sleek aesthetics, friendly associates, and helpful Genius Bar all come together to offer customers an experience unlike that of any other retail store.

      2. Implement New Processes

      One of the less exciting growth strategies is finding ways to increase profit margins and cut costs. But the good news is that you can turn to advances in automation to help reduce costs of production and optimize supply-chain efficiency.

      3. Develop New Features

      Innovation doesn’t always mean reinventing the wheel. Sometimes, all you might need to do is simply work to enhance your existing offerings to pull buyers in. 

      A common example can be found in car manufacturing. Car companies sell the same models for years on end. However, each year, they make some improvements that might just be enough to convince people to buy a new car sooner than they were planning.

      For example, imagine you bought a car three years ago. You’re happy with it, but you catch a commercial that shows off the manufacturer’s latest version, which includes upgraded safety features, striking finishes, and a great infotainment system. In response, you might decide to trade in the car you have and purchase the new and improved model.

      4. Find New Customers

      Sometimes, innovation doesn’t even mean changing your existing offerings. It just means finding new buyers. 

      For example, if you make boutique leather goods and include dog collars in your inventory, you might consider promoting these collars to mainstream buyers. Alternatively, instead of only having them available on your website, you might convince a local pet store to carry them.

      5. Create New Offerings Out of Pre-Existing Products

      Creating new products is an exciting way to innovate. But there are instances where that might mean making your own version of an existing product type. For example, going back to the leather goods example, you might decide to start making leather laptop sleeves. 

      6. Implement New Sales Models

      Lastly, innovation might mean changing the way you make sales. Some pet supply stores, for instance, let you purchase what you need online while also giving you the option to sign up for a subscription. Many customers like the idea of getting a monthly subscription box, so the new sales model might mean current customers will spend more money. It might also help draw new customers to your brand.

      How Should You Allocate Your Innovation Budget?

      Even though the six growth strategies above can help businesses in tremendous ways, most companies aren’t choosing to spread their innovation budget evenly across them. And there’s no magical distribution method that’s going to work for every company, either.

      However, it can be helpful to divide your innovation budget into four quadrants. Here’s an example of how you might choose to distribute your resources in such a fashion:

      Quadrant 1: Evolutionary (Serving Current Markets With Current Capabilities)

      Let this quadrant cover the development of new products and experiences. Specifically, it will encompass three of the growth strategies listed above: New models, features, and experiences.

      These growth strategies are at the heart of innovation. After all, you can’t continue to innovate if you aren’t constantly evolving. Logically enough, then, these strategies will usually take up a majority of the innovation budget. As a rule of thumb, they should take about 40% to 60%.

      Quadrant 2: Fast Fail (Serving New Markets With Current Capabilities)

      “Failing fast” doesn’t sound like a great thing on its own. However,  when you’re in the business of innovation, it can actually be beneficial. The faster something fails, the sooner you’ll be able to fix it. 

      Most companies will allocate a portion of their innovation budgets to “fast fail” processes. These can include developing new models and reaching out to new demographics. In most cases, the fast fail quadrant will take up about 10% to 20% of the innovation budget.

      Quadrant 3: Revolutionary (Serving New Markets With New Capabilities)

      This quadrant will involve another three growth strategies mentioned above: New offerings, models, and customers.

      As you may have guessed, trying to serve new customers with newer capabilities can be risky. It’s a kind of innovation that is often a gamble, so most companies will only allocate 5% to 10% of their innovation budgets to it.

      Quadrant 4: Differentiation (Serving Current Markets With New Capabilities)

      Your last quadrant will involve new offerings and new models. It still can be risky in terms of returns, but it’ll generally be safer than the revolutionary quadrant. Most businesses will allocate 10% to 20% of the budget to this area.

      You might have noticed that one of the growth strategies isn’t listed above: new processes. That’s because cutting costs and optimizing efficiency isn’t something unique to innovation, so it doesn’t necessarily belong in your innovation budget.

      Finding New Ways to Grow

      Every business wants to grow and innovate, and an innovator’s job is never done. Nevertheless, it can be incredibly difficult to determine the best ways to inspire growth. Astronomical company growth doesn’t happen by accident or overnight. But when you have a solid understanding of which growth strategies to use and when, you’ll be well on your way to building a better business.

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