innovation strategy

At the core of any effective innovation strategy there is a comprehensive definition of the long-term goals which are easy to communicate and which should be inherent in the organisation culture. The strategy builds on good market knowledge and includes the present and future needs of the clients. An innovation strategy can systematically be structured as follows:

  1. Definition of the innovation goals
  2. Translation into search fields for innovation
  3. Adjustment of the search fields with the market needs ("Which product features will be favoured by the target market?")
  4. Search for new products, technologies, services and processes ("Which technologies enable realisation of the favoured product features and what is needed to apply them?")
  5. Adjustment of the required knowledge base ("Which competences need to be acquired in the company?")

Three basic orientations may be followed in building a successful innovation strategy:
"First Mover" - a highly innovative, quickly reacting company being first to enter the market with a new technology, a new application or a new business model. Companies like Apple or Amazon are typical First Movers.
"Fast Follower" - a company avoiding a big part of the risk and minimizing initial costs for research, development and market entry and instead choosing to convince customers through a highly competitive price, and good quality and service, as perfectly exercised by the computer retailer Dell.
"Trendsetter" is the third possible orientation, suitable for companies which accomplish to implement a new technology, a de-facto-standard or an indispensable new feature on the market.

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