In my previous article how to get your start-up off the ground I spoke about the importance of securing the right partners and strategies for a successful venture. So, what’s next?
You’ve – given life to a brilliant idea, put your name out there, made good profits, gained market leadership….
So does it stop there? Innovation is a cycle. It requires constant time & effort to ensure your product or service is up to date. Meeting the ever changing consumer demands; constantly adapting with a continuous process.
Organisations are now paying more attention to the topic of innovation. They’ve come to realise that adding new value is the strongest form and also the best way to inspire customers to change or reconsider their buying habits.
Let’s look at a few companies who’ve leaped ahead of their competitors with their novel thinking; turned the ordinary into something extraordinary.
- Instagram and Vimeo revolutionised the way people share photos and videos. Unique, creative and fun
- Nike has come a long way since its production of sportswear. Keeping true to its slogan – ‘Inspiration and Innovation for Every Athlete in the World’ – is now offering their customers much more than just looking good. Nike is helping athletes improve their performance too. e.g. Nike+ FuelBand & Flyknit Racer
- Google – eyewear is not just for better vision anymore. It’s for making calls, sharing pictures, recording moments, all while you’re taking a stroll or hanging out with friends. A tiny computer built into the frame of a pair of glasses
However, can these companies sustain their products over a longer period of time? Can they continue to be ‘great’ thinkers? Companies like BMW and Audi continuously manufacture better and faster cars and manage to keep their customers interested. Technology/Software firms however have a major challenge in maintaining and evolving in the services they offer.
- Apple has most often been at the top of the list in creating novel products and services for its consumers. The company however is facing strong competition from the East. This was evident when Apple stocks dropped from $700 to $440 over the last six months. The Digital Revolution played a pivotal role in Samsung’s focus since the year 2000. They’ve proven how innovation can play a big role in changing market share in a very short time.
- facebook hit a turning point and changed the way younger generation interacted and shared information the world over. The brand’s challenge is differentiating useful and not so useful content, which is resulting in some users switching to alternative networks. facebook needs newer concepts to keep up their momentum
- Jessops Group Limited, a brick and mortar business went into administration and closed down all their stores as profits started going downhill due to consumers moving onto cheaper and easier online purchasing. British entrepreneur Peter Jones re-launched it as Jessops Europe Limited, offering its products for the same price as online. A break-through chance lost by the former owners.
The morale of my story is that all companies must innovate; not just at the beginning, not incidentally, not just a few employees, not just to maximise profit. Companies must make the creation of value for customers its priority.
Ashok Suppiah, CEO, mitra innovation