Faced with complex, never ending and everchanging challenges, today, organizations realized that creating ideas soundinglike “madness” or “unlogical” and converting these ideas into good concepts arecritical to stay ahead of the competition. Companies should spark creativity, drivethe ability to think differently, and lookout for new ideas that can driveinnovation. But, this is not an easy process to manage. Therefore, we created aseries of guidelines for the ones who are looking for a simple step by stepguideline for innovation management processes from idea generation and conceptwriting to launch, post-launch and product lifecycle management. Our guidelinesbriefly describe responsibilities of brand owners and functional leaders,identify the steps of innovation management, and describe useful tools that canbe used during the innovation process. For further details on innovationstrategy and innovation management please contact Orbis consultants.
Our series of innovation guidelines willcontinue with:
· Innovation 102 – A guideline foridea evaluation, project feasibility and new product development brief
· Innovation 102 – A guideline forplanning the development project, development and testing
· Innovation 201 – A guideline forpreparing the launch and launch recommendation
· Innovation 202 – A guideline forlaunch implementation
· Innovation 301 – A guideline forpost-launch review and geographic roll-out
· Innovation 302 – Introduction toproduct life ycle management
Our first guideline ‘Innovation 101 – Agenuine guideline for idea generation and concept writing’ briefly describesthe responsibilities of brand owners and functional leaders as the rest of theguidelines for innovation management, identifies the steps of idea creation andconcept writing, and gives basic hints and tips about the tools and checkliststhat can be used during the process.
1. Owner of the brand should have themain responsibility for managing this stage for the product categories, butthis should not the exclusive territorty of brand management.
2. Involve the widest possiblespectrum of countries and functions.
3. Ideas can come from anywhere –from within the organization: from any function, any country, any level; fromoutside the organization: suppliers, customers, consumers.
4. Each brand owner should developmechanisms for generating ideas on a formal and regular basis as well as forsoliciting or capturing ideas that are received less formally. These mechanismscan be in the form of regular brainstorms, oline platforms or internal companycampaigns.
5. Brand owners must liaise regularlywithin the larger opearting units who have already well-developped approachesfor generating new ideas and ensure that these are incorporated into the brand’snew product development (NPD) pipeline. The regular brand meetings, best practices, plan, pre-plan and review meetings provide an appropriate forum for this.
6. Capturing the informal “ideas” requiresspecial effort. Ensure that you provide a simple way for all levels of theorganization for suggesting new ideas to the business. This should be managedat a local level. The marketing director should proactively encourage ideasfrom across the business.
7. Trigger managers of functions totrigger their sources for idea generation. Managers in each of the keyfunctions should proactively seek ideas from the external sources with whomthey interest. For example, Procurement should actively seek the ideas of thesuppliers. Sales should actively seek the ideas of the customers.
8. Ensure that each function’smotivation for idea generationis not adhoc. Make specific arrangements to formally elicit ideas on regular basis.Heads of functions should also set up idea generation sessions wthin theirorganization to enable all employees to participate.
9. The marketing director can act asthe conduct for forwarding all such ideas of other departments or brands to therespective brand owner.
10. While brand owners monitors consumer trends and competitive activity,marketing directors should also monitor the same across all brands. There mightbe some tips for an ot brand in consumer trends and competitive activities ofone brand for other brands. All tips and ideas generated should be forwarded tothe respective brand owner.
11. All ideas should be acknowledged. Genuinely new and intersting ideasshould be screened in the next scheduled research.
12. Idea Generation Sessions are crucial for generating ideas. The numberof formal idea generation sessions should be determined by the specific brandowner, but should happen ideally twice a year.
13. While these may normally should be run internally (using your ownemployees or agencies or other third parties), consider running consumerideation sessions. The purpose of these sessions is not just to generate awealth of ideas but also to filter them down to a manageable number that mightbe interesting to consumers.
14. In order to ensure that innovations created are always consumerrelevant, use the “Idea Performance, Convenience and Value – IPCV” approach,which checks:
· Performance: Does it deliver equalor better performance then existing (competitive) choices available to theconsumers?
· Convenience: Does it deliversignificant improvements in ease of use, effort or convenience?
· Value: Does it deliver equal orbetter value (not just price) vs. existing available alternatives?
All ideas, concepts and products should be classified interms of IPCV approach on a simple measurement parameter like inferior to(rating low: 1), same as (rating equal: 2) and better than (rating high: 3).
A more detailed tool “Innovation Value Ratio - IVR” canalso be used to measure the relevancy of the idea with consumer needs, businessobjectives and resurces.
15. Check if your own product range or competitive product choices offeringthe same available to the consumers?
16. Depending on the need gap that is filled, classify projects as:
· Shield: Am improvement, butnothing radical; not likely to sustain market share gains.
· Supernova: A major improvement,potentially with intellectial property / patent protection, likely to createand sustain market share gains.
17. Use IPSV or IVR approach at all stages of development:
· During Idea Generation to reach betterconcepts
· During Product Development toensure resources are focused on filling gaps highlighted with IPCV or IVR approach
18. Ideas selected from the idea generation sessions, as well as ideas withpotential received from within the company, should then go through an initialscreening with consumers. They will first need to be converted into a conceptstatement for assessment.
19. Use a standard format for writing concepts. Consistently using the sameformat will help you to compare results of different ideas over time.
20. An ideal format for concept statement has 5 components:
· Headline: Identifies the productand its core idea.
· Accepted consumer belief: Stressesthe problem for which the concept is the solution. Highlight the fundamentalconsumer insight.
· Benefit: The commitment that theproduct wil fulfill. Answer the consumer’s question “what’s in it for me?”
· Reason the Believe - RTB: Indicatewhy the consumer should believe that the benefit will be delivered.
· Wrap-up: Restate the promise ofthe concept and its benefit in a concise, compelling and differentiated way(avoid repetition).