Posts Tagged idea-accelerator

When did you last innovate your innovation approach?

Creativity Innovation

The old adage, ‘Standing still is the fastest way of going backwards’, feels more true than ever: whether it’s daily Facebook visits passing the 1 billion mark, 24/7 news across your devices, Google’s driverless cars or the Internet of Things… the world we live in is changing rapidly and often unpredictably.  In line with this, marketing challenges are becoming more complex too: brands need to play by different rules to be successful and it’s tougher than ever for new products to launch and still be around a year or two later.

It’s more than just a little strange then that our industry doesn’t seem to be keeping up with the times… and particularly strange that this is true of our approaches to innovation, where surely we have a real permission (and a need) to innovate?  In reality though it seems to be the same formula for innovation: an inputs to workshop to concepts model that is often linear, often slow and often dependent on a select audience of consumers where there’s a risk of killing ideas either too early or too late in the process.

So how innovative is your approach to innovation?

Here are 5 key questions to ask yourself.

  1. Are you ‘thinking big’ when it comes to all the possible data sources that are open to you?

    Whatever category you’re in, there is an increasing volume of data that exists in the ether, just waiting there to be tapped, mined and distilled into useful perspectives and ideas on where to go hunting.

    Social listening can be a valuable start-point to enrich your foundation of learning. While you need to ensure you’re targeting the right conversations in the right places – otherwise forget trying to get a meaningful ‘signal’ – listening in on what people are talking about in relation to your category or its adjacencies can build a powerful and often unexpected picture.

    As a case in point, we extracted over 200,000 online reviews about health and wellness products and used our Review Mapping tool to identify 12 connected opportunity platforms to investigate further: a number of them were in overlooked areas felt to be already well catered to. Since then a number of ideas have been developed and tested, with a large majority being judged as ‘outstanding’ in BASES testing.

  2. Are you getting the true picture?

    Getting to consumers’ less rationalised ‘System 1’ responses has been an ambition of the industry for some time now. While traditional focus groups can be guilty of lapsing into traditional question and answer patterns that are more ‘System 2’ in nature, learning can be deepened with creative techniques, such as metaphor elicitation, or projective and enabling techniques specifically designed to get to deeper motivations and undeclared needs. If you have the freedom to go digital, then mobile ethnographies give you the license to be truly with consumers in the moment, and in this respect are a fantastic tool to get real world perspectives and often more of an unfiltered perspective on what’s important.

    At Antedote we’ve also being embracing the opportunity to use wearables and sensory tech to help explore the actual picture: our ‘Quantified Self’ approach incorporates data yielded from apps and biometric devices to explore new perspectives. Often the gap between what consumers think they do and what they do are what’s most illuminating and a great start point for innovation.

  3. Are you able to get rapid feedback from consumers along the journey?

    Waiting for weeks or even several months for consumer feedback can slow down the innovation journey to a juddering standstill – it’s not just about clients rarely having the luxury of time in today’s marketing landscape, it’s also that those key stakeholders start to get distracted by other initiatives and momentum is simply lost.

    Today we have more tools open to us that enable us to explore ideas in short, sharp, rapid ‘bursts’; ensuring we’re building on them quickly and iteratively. Our recently launched Idea Accelerator tool is already proving a real value-add: in some markets we can begin to get real time feedback on early innovation ideas in as little as 60 minutes after that Ideation Workshop wraps up. We use it to both prioritize ideas and get an early read on how they can be optimized – and being a digital tool you can even get reaction to packaging concepts and other visual support.

  4. Is your idea ‘digi-ready’?

    In today’s digital world it’s only natural that innovation briefs have a digital component, or of course can be the sole focus of your innovation. A visual mock-up of a website or app goes some way in bringing to life how an idea will look and feel, but interaction is often more telling. Digital prototyping is increasingly featuring at some point along the innovation journey. Antedote’s approach to digital prototyping allows you to build in user journeys and uncover learnings for optimization built around user experience.

  5. Are your deliverables harnessing the potential of the digital space?

PowerPoint continues to survive as the main vehicle for a debrief… but often falls short when it comes to selling ideas onwards and upwards within the organization. For innovation in particular we’ve heard instances of ideas needing to be pitched via other means, or clients running the risk of being shown the door. It goes without saying that the digital world offers many means to bring to life desired ideas and experiences in powerful ways: interactive websites, apps, consumer journey films and prototyping are just examples of more powerful ways to get the message across.

So how do these 5 questions leave you feeling about your approach to innovation?

If a little bit nervous, then we believe that’s a good thing: it’s an exciting but uncertain time to be in the world of marketing and this means our innovation approaches need to involve putting one foot forward into the unknown, experimenting and doing things differently… so a little apprehension is a sign of being inventive and moving forward.

So let’s not default to the known and the familiar.  Let’s be bold and be brave. Let’s discover the new.

Image Credit: cc Parker Miles Blohm

Introducing Idea Accelerator

Idea accelerator GIF - repeat

To sign up for a demo of the Idea Accelerator, click below:

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We know that exploring and testing ideas and concepts globally can be time consuming and expensive.

That’s why, we created Idea Accelerator, an online platform that allows us to explore and iterate concepts, packaging designs and communications with consumers globally and in real time – so you can accelerate idea development and your innovation pipeline.

This proprietary approach enables us to recruit, quality and interact with respondents in multiple markets concurrently. Using Idea Accelerator we can moderate a detailed discussion with respondents in real time, exploring likes, dislikes and ways to improve and refine an idea or concept. Study participants can interact with visual, written or video ideas or concepts in detail via desktop, tablet or mobile and response data is tagged and captured for analysis and aggregation for each individual idea or concept.

About the Idea Accelerator:

  • Accelerates the innovation process (a multiple market concept study can be done in hours vs. weeks and months with traditional approaches)
  • Identifies specific elements that are working and not working in a idea and concept and why
  • Enables “in the moment” crafting of ideas and concepts with consumers
  • Allows for immediate idea and concept testing and retesting — can get ideas or concepts in front of consumers within the hour
  • Improves success rate in quantitative concept testing
  • Inexpensively enables exploring and testing ideas and concepts in early development
  • Removes the “test, pass, fail and replace” model currently often used to craft concepts
  • Reduces cost of failure

 

At antedote we use proprietary technology and multidiscipline thinking and enjoy partnering with our clients to move their products and services forward, taking ideas from concept through development and launch.

3 lessons marketers can learn from tech’s open source movement

Unlock Open Source

Open source practices may seem counter-intuitive at first glance. Why would you offer universal access to your product’s design or blueprint for others to build and improve upon?

In Silicon Valley, these open source practices are well established in software development with heavy hitters like Google, Microsoft, Netflix and Amazon having released millions of lines of code to the public and hosted hundreds of projects for the purpose of making greater advancements at faster speeds. It was actually through this development model that Android’s open operating system has gone on to become the world’s largest computing system.

Before you entirely dismiss this development model as one that is only viable for software development, I encourage you to consider the method to the “madness” (Tesla did as they took an unprecedented step of opening up all of their patents in an effort to grow the EV category at large). There are lessons that we, as marketers, can take from the open source movement, and apply to our innovation and product development processes.

Lesson 1: Make your consumers work for you
In the open source model, the users of the system are seen as co-developers, who all have access to the code and can build upon it and fix all the bugs in the software at a faster rate. What if you were to leverage consumers as co-creators of a product/concept brought in to offer feedback early in the development process?

Traditionally consumers are brought in closer to launch to screen ideas, concepts or prototypes that have already been almost completely fleshed out. At this stage, the consumer feedback solicited is often reactionary and limited to only the aspects of the product/service that can be optimized or tweaked versus an overhaul.

Consider the value of inviting consumers to feedback earlier in the process, where there is still flexibility to actually change and adapt the product based on insights from research. Instead of having a functional conversation with consumers about which features, characteristics, functionalities they like/dislike, brands can leverage initial ideas as stimulus to engage in deeper, more meaningful conversations to unearth consumers’ unrealized and unspoken needs, behaviors and motivations. These data points will better inform and guide development as they are grounded in actual needs and behaviors. More so, by bringing consumers into the development process, where they are encouraged to co-create, it starts establishing an emotional connection as they start to feel vested in the actual product and brand itself.

Lesson 2: Greater exposure for better optimization (and reduced risk)
With the open source model since the code is accessible by all users, it is continuously analyzed by a large community, which results in more secure and stable code. What if traditional NPD opened their process to include a bigger consumer community to constantly analyze, iterate and optimize an idea?

Currently consumer research does not live continuously along the traditional stage gate process, so there are a lot of assumptions (albeit informed) being made from idea creation to concept validation through to actual launch. By increasing the touchpoints for consumer feedback throughout the journey will help you optimize your idea, and also reduce the risk of launching a product that will not resonate or is not relevant to consumers.

Establishing this iterative and constant learning partnership with consumers can result in a great deal of value add for you as an organization. As it:

  • Leads to learnings that can help steer product development and design without slowing down the process
  • Provides data to help encourage internal buy in and alignment
  • Sparks ideas to launch entirely new initiatives to address the consumer and market needs that come out of this iterative research approach.


Lesson 3: Leverage barriers to identify future opportunities
Companies will often pivot to an open source model to crowd source solutions that they need addressed quickly or haven’t been able to solve internally or when they are limited in resources be it funding or audience instead of having to close down and letting everything they have built go to waste. What if you applied this approach to NPD for the ideas and prototypes that never made it or were deemed unfeasible to identify the parts that can be leveraged and built upon?

Even if an idea or prototype doesn’t perform as well as you may have hoped, by inviting consumer feedback along the product development journey allows a brand the ability to reposition the product. This helps you still leverage the technology and investment that have gone into the initial development by figuring out how to redirect resources and development based on consumer insights and market trends to lead to actual commercial opportunities.

At first glance, the open source movement may appear to be only applicable to the software development, however, there are practices that all marketers, no matter your vertical, can apply to the NPD process. By truly treating the consumer as a co-creator and inviting feedback from them along the journey from conception to launch will allow you to learn faster and make smarter decisions based in insight and data to get to end products that truly solve for unmet, unrealized and constantly evolving consumer and market needs.

To learn about antedote’s new platform, Idea Accelerator, that allows you to explore and iterate concepts early in the development journey with consumers globally and in real time, please click below:

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