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Make Insights Critical to the Innovation Process

Leveraging insights in this way can help target commercial opportunities, and provide the impetus and validity of product concepts. On the opposite side of the coin, the failure of an innovation in the marketplace could very well be pinned on the lack of insights in the first place. Using insights in tandem with methodologies such as “Jobs to Be Done” is a useful way of employing insights to uncover innovation strategies. Design thinking, too, allows insights and market research to take the lead in innovation efforts, and can lead to more rapid initiatives to develop products, experiences and services for testing.

Understanding Consumer Value

Using insights means developing market research that is more than just keeping an eye on competitors or developing a product based on a creative whim. As a blog on eCMetrics, “Using Insights for Innovation Success,” points out, “The real motivation should be to create something valuable for the customer. They should not miss a very important ingredient in this process. What is the essential ingredient? Insight! Brands that have a real and deep knowledge of their consumers are way ahead of competitors. They understand consumer values and needs.”

ECMetrics goes further in pointing out that a more focused and deeper understanding of consumers is key. “The most interesting innovations of your specific product for your specific consumer should be designed based on specific insights. It is important that you are focused on capturing the actual perception of your customers about the product you want to market.” Inviting consumers to participate in the innovation should also not be overlooked. Co-creation and open innovation concepts can help position the overall process better while speeding up both success and, at times, failure of the innovation.

Investing into Insights

In a recent blog post on All Things Insights, “Investing Insights into Product & Brand Innovation,” we looked at how customer insights are a key cog in driving brand and product developments. And so, it’s imperative that the Insights discipline invests in product and brand innovation. Our H2 2022 Insights Spend & Trends Report showcased these results—insights was aiming the greatest share of budget accordingly.

Using surveys, focus groups, interviews and other methods to collect feedback from customers about their needs and wants helps the product and brand innovation process. This gives the organization an idea of what your customers think about existing products and services, as well as ideas for potential new products or services that could be developed. Check out the blog here for more on how insights are driving new growth potential.

In addition, All Things Innovation recently explored the topic of “The Value of Insights for Innovation.” Integrating insights into innovation is always a challenge but rewards the innovation team with a better understanding of their product or service and ultimately the needs of the end consumer. Often, innovations are a response to a competitor’s project or a major trend in the marketplace. But another motivation for the product must not be overlooked: Creating something of value for the consumer.

Building the Foundation

Insights can play a crucial role in driving innovation within an organization. They provide a foundation for understanding customer needs, identifying market trends, improving decision-making, inspiring creativity, enhancing product development, and fostering a culture of innovation. By leveraging insights effectively, organizations can drive meaningful and impactful innovation initiatives. Here are several ways in which insights can benefit innovation, provided by ChatGPT:

  1. Identifying customer needs: Insights help organizations gain a deep understanding of their customers’ needs, desires, pain points, and preferences. By analyzing data, conducting market research, and leveraging feedback channels, organizations can uncover valuable insights about their target audience. These insights serve as a foundation for innovation by enabling the development of products, services, and solutions that effectively address customer needs.
  2. Uncovering market trends and opportunities: Insights allow organizations to stay ahead of market trends and identify emerging opportunities. By analyzing industry data, competitor analysis, and monitoring customer feedback, organizations can spot gaps in the market or evolving customer demands. This information helps drive innovation by enabling the organization to create new offerings or modify existing ones to align with changing market dynamics.
  3. Enhancing decision-making: Insights provide organizations with data-driven information to support decision-making processes. When making strategic or operational decisions, having access to relevant insights helps reduce uncertainty and mitigate risks. Innovation often involves taking calculated risks, and insights provide valuable information to evaluate potential opportunities, assess market viability, and make informed choices that foster innovation.
  4. Inspiring creativity and ideation: Insights can serve as a wellspring of inspiration for creative thinking and ideation. By understanding customer behaviors, preferences, and challenges, organizations can generate innovative ideas and concepts to address those specific needs. Insights provide valuable context, enabling employees and teams to think outside the box and come up with inventive solutions or approaches that differentiate the organization from competitors.
  5. Improving product/service development: Insights contribute to improving the development of products or services by providing valuable feedback and iterative refinement. Organizations can leverage insights obtained from user testing, customer feedback, and iterative prototyping to refine and enhance their offerings. This iterative process, driven by insights, leads to continuous improvement and the development of innovative solutions that meet or exceed customer expectations.
  6. Fostering a culture of innovation: Insights can help foster a culture of innovation within an organization. By promoting data-driven decision-making and encouraging employees to seek and share insights, organizations create an environment that values innovation. Insights empower employees to challenge the status quo, identify opportunities, and contribute innovative ideas to drive the organization forward.

Consumer Critical

Insights can be key to fueling innovation and proving viability. No matter how great your product is, it won’t sell unless people actually want it. Gaining consumer insights is mission critical for innovation teams in this competitive marketplace. As a blog on the subject of insights providing value, by Amit Gupta from Fractal Analytics, puts it, one must look for the three I’s: Insight, Impact, and Innovation, in that order.

The blog goes on to describe three additional I’s that are key to the ecosystem: Interpretation, as in the need for the accurate interpretation of the insight; implementation, as in the need to drive implementation to realize the impact; and influence, as in the need to recognize the influence the innovation will have. And, as always, keeping the consumer front and center.

Video courtesy of Voxpopme


  • Matt Kramer

    Matthew Kramer is the Digital Editor for All Things Insights & All Things Innovation. He has over 20 years of experience working in publishing and media companies, on a variety of business-to-business publications, websites and trade shows.


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