Industry markets at all levels have become highly competitive as a result of the introduction and availability of new technologies, as well as the rising opportunities in trading and knowledge-sharing facilitated by the internet.
In a competitive environment, innovation or the exploitation of new ideas is crucial to any business that wants to bring improvements in its processes, market products, services, efficiency, and finally, profitability.
Innovation in business
Innovation in business typically means using a newly introduced idea for commercial applications, and it fundamentally involves introducing something new to a business like:
- Improving business processes for better results
- Adding value to existing products, services, or markets and increasing their perceived value
- Launching new and improved products and services that meet consumers’ latest demands
Innovation and creativity can either come from a single major breakthrough (an entirely new product or service) or from a succession of minor, incremental changes that stem from:
- Inside the business (employees or internal work)
- Outside the business (customers, suppliers, published market research, media reports, academic institutions, sources of new technologies, etc.)
How to approach business innovation
Business innovation is considered a success when the ideas are correctly filtered and identified for implementation with applied resources. Doing so helps businesses improve productivity, minimize costs, establish brand value, develop new partnerships, optimize turnover, improve profitability, and successfully compete in the market. There are several ways one can achieve this:
- Analyze the marketplace – The first rule in business is to study the marketplace without fail; spending time and resources on something that is not well-researched is pointless. Understanding how innovation can move the business forward by adding value to customers is critical to successful business innovation.
- Identify innovative opportunities – Another way to introduce innovation in a business is by identifying opportunities where the products and services can adapt to the way the market is changing. For example, sustainability has become a huge factor that influences purchasing decisions. Therefore, introducing sustainable elements to existing products and services will cater to those consumers.
- Introduce new products and services – Innovation in business is also possible through the introduction of an entirely new range of products or services. It could either be based on customer demands or something that will further add value to customers.
- Introduce new technologies or processes – By implementing new technology, work practices, or techniques, businesses can ensure better operations with consistency in quality.
- Revamp marketing – Reworking the marketing strategy to highlight the quality of the products and services is another approach to introducing business innovation. Innovative marketing strategies have always successfully drawn audiences to products and services.
How to plan business innovation
Sometimes, innovation is born out of the blue as soon as an idea strikes. However, it is less than ideal to wait for an idea to come to you—chances are it may never come, and that is a risk a business should never take. It is wiser to include innovation as part of the business strategy.
Businesses that have a solid strategic vision of how they want their business to grow commit much of their time studying trends within that industry. This makes it possible to shift innovative efforts to the areas that matter and yield results. There are several ways to assess ideas for business innovation with profit potential:
- Identify and assess the competition – Knowing about the competitor’s products, prices, and other details gives an overview of their selling points as well as other critical ideas. The internet and ads are helpful resources that businesses can use to assess the industry competitors and their methods of operation.
- Market research and industry trends – To correctly plan business innovation, a business should have an awareness of the environment in which it operates. Apart from the internet, business and trade magazines feature a plethora of valuable content that can help gain insight into the industry and the latest trends.
- Build customer relationships – Simply knowing their audience is not enough for a business to thrive and grow. Building a meaningful relationship with the customer base is imperative to take the business forward in the long run. Effective communication, listening to customers’ needs, and creating a positive customer experience are great ways to connect with them. Equally important is actively observing their take on the current products and services, which will give a number of ideas on how to make improvements.
- Involve business partners and suppliers – Pooling resources with suppliers and business partners can help develop innovative ideas. Therefore, networking opportunities in business make way for meaningful partnerships.
- Effects of innovation – Considering how an innovative idea can positively transform the business is the next step to planning business innovation. Before going through with the plan, it is important to factor in the impact on business processes and practices, employee training required, resources, finances, intellectual property rights, and other critical aspects.
- Vision and business goals – Finally, setting short-term and long-term goals with details of how the business intends to achieve them should be a part of the larger vision in the business plan. It could include financial targets, customer engagement goals, cost reduction goals, brand awareness goals, or other success factors.
Business innovation with HGS
HGS is a global leader in digital CX, consumer engagement, and business process management (BPM). We innovate and grow client businesses by perfectly blending people and technology. HGS delivers a transformational impact through:
- Contact Center AI that promotes agent productivity
- Positive transformation of employee experience (cultural enrichment, work-life balance, and camaraderie)
- Modernization of applications
- Development of cloud-native tools and services
- Analytics that generate actionable business insights
- Intelligent automation that powers a truly digital CX
We tailor innovative solutions suited to client-specific industries, organizations, goals, and budgets.
Read about how HGS innovated a multi-faceted, multi-channel communication strategy for a diversifying Indian manufacturing company shifting from B2B to B2C.
Innovation should be considered a critical business process for one straightforward reason—value. Different organizations may have different reasons for initiating business innovation depending on their size and years in the industry. For some, it may be practical to re-assess the business revenue generation, while others may want to move to a different sector altogether.
Innovation is possible in more than one way, but businesses must be willing to adapt and transform with the market if they want to succeed in a competitive landscape.
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