Most industries are facing a more competitive landscape than ever before. As a result, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to establish your business as a market leader. Simply expecting past success to facilitate continued growth will result in your business getting passed by as your competitors devise newer, more creative ways to anticipate and address the needs of customers. The key to growing your business over time is to embrace continuous innovation.
Innovation is the process of identifying ways to make a product or service better through the use of new processes and techniques which create added value. It is an essential step for a thriving business.
At Webolutions, one of our core values is, “We Continuously Improve.” This means something very specific to us – we embrace constant change; we learn and evolve to create fresh, new possibilities which create increased client value. We work in areas – web design & development, digital marketing and performance intelligence – that are constantly evolving at rapid pace. If we don’t embrace continuous innovation, we risk being left behind or not being recognized as a true market leader.
To ensure we’re the ones leading our industry, innovation has become a core component of our company’s DNA. We recognize that embracing continuous innovation can be frightening for many businesses. We recommend reading the following article to help facilitate the process of adopting a mindset of innovation:
Key Takeaways from this Article
This article provides six important lessons that will help your business shift its mindset and embrace the innovation necessary to ensure ongoing success.
Innovation Is Different than Inventing
You don’t need to invent something completely new to innovate within your industry. In fact, some of the most successful companies in the world never invented anything new. Instead, they found ways to improve upon existing processes and technology to provide consumers with a product or service that better met their needs.
First-Mover vs. Fast-Follower
While there is a common belief that being the first-mover is critical for becoming the industry leader, there is actually a strong argument to be made that fast-followers are in the best position to succeed. First-movers have to put in a tremendous amount of work to develop the new innovation, create the market and educate consumers. While there are advantages to being the first-mover, there is also no guarantee that you will establish your business and your product/service as the industry standard.
Fast-followers are often able to leverage this work done by a competitor and then innovate to improve on the infrastructure that is already in place. Netflix and Spotify are great examples of fast-followers who quickly established themselves as the industry leader.
Agility Is Essential
Innovation requires agility, which involves being able to adapt and succeed in a rapidly changing environment. When starting out, this need for agility is inherent in a company’s makeup. However, once a business becomes successful, there is a tendency to rest on past achievements rather than prioritize the culture of agility which led to the initial success.
A culture of agility requires flexible leaders with an aptitude for listening, learning and growing. It also requires a drive to continuously evaluate processes and tools being used in order to streamline and simplify methods. When new technologies provide the ability to improve on processes, they must be evaluated in order to determine which are the most valuable for your business.
Take a Global View to Innovation
If you’ve done a good job hiring, you most likely have a team full of smart people leading your business. However, there are limits to what can be accomplished by your internal team. The most successful companies take a broader view of innovation and buy or license processes and innovations from other businesses. This allows you to acquire new methods and technologies which would otherwise be unavailable to your team.
The greatest impediment to innovation is a fear of failure. In reality, there is a great deal to be learned from failure. True progress only comes from experimentation and the knowledge acquired from evaluating both your successes and your failures. Creating a culture that embraces failure encourages your team to think outside the box and increases the likelihood of successful innovation over time.
Always Innovate with the Needs of Your Customer in Mind
The needs of your customer should always drive your innovation process. In order to develop a better product or service for your customers, you must first understand what they are seeking and then attempt to create a solution that more affectively addresses their needs. You’re more likely to provide the added value your customers are seeking when you place their needs at the heart of the innovation process.
Additional Resources to Help You Understand Continuous Innovation
We recommend reading the following articles to further expand your knowledge of how to create a culture of innovation at your business:
- Continuous Innovation: Where Midsize Businesses Truly Grow More Competitive – Discover the important role data plays in your ability to continuously innovate and gain a competitive edge in your industry.
- 6 Steps to Get Started on the Path to Continuous Innovation – Discover the important steps to take as you begin creating a culture of innovation at your business.
Putting this Information into Practice
Adopting a culture of innovation can be a daunting process. The first and most important step is to have an open mind regarding the potential ideas which may move your business forward. Innovation can come in many different forms, and the most successful companies are able to identify opportunities for growth in many different areas of their business. By staying open minded and heeding the lessons discussed in these articles, you can set your business along the path to becoming an industry leader in our ever-changing world.
Let Webolutions Help
At Webolutions, we’ve developed a strong culture of innovation and adaptation. While this drives our processes as a marketing agency, we also have the knowledge and experience to guide our clients as they seek to innovate in their industries. We start out by engaging your team on a guided discovery journey which helps evolve your mindset and see yourself through a series of new lenses. During this Market Positioning process, we help you understand the real transformations you create in order to establish your true marketplace differentiation.
You’ll exit this process with a Market Positioning Action Plan™ that helps you to more effectively connect with the needs of your target customers. This knowledge can be used to identify the types of innovations that will deliver added value to consumers seeking your products or services.
Webolutions is a full-spectrum business consulting and strategic implementation company. We help businesses across the country identify and effectively bring their unique story life, allowing them to scale faster, smarter and easier.
Our specific areas of expertise include:
- Differentiating Brand Development
- Marketing & Communications Strategies
- Customer Journey Planning & Implementation
- Enterprise Website & Application Development
- Systems Integration
- Organizational Development Strategies
- Team Alignment & Performance Solutions
- Business Performance Intelligence Systems
To speak with one of our experts about how you can more effectively message, communicate and market your company’s continuous innovation for your company of at least $5 million in annual sales, call us at 303-300-2640 and request a free marketing innovation consultation. During this 60-minute introduction, we discuss your specific needs, share ideas and insights, and help you start outlining your plan. You can also email any questions to [email protected].