Innovation: The implementation of a new or significantly improved product, package or process.
It can be an idea, a practice, product, or packaging, targeting a specific consumer audience and satisfying their needs in a new & refreshing way – creating space in crowded categories.
In a world of constant change, the organizations and brands that thrive are those that invest in innovation by always seeking to recognize a consumer need and use design to solve that in a new, and different way.
Where to start? First – to develop something truly innovative – work a process. Led by an experienced, multi-disciplinary team of collaborative experts that have been there before.
How many kinds of innovation are there? A lot. In the end, innovation is a team sport – the best outcomes a result of collaborations between brand, internal engineering, packaging and external partners like us.
5 Approaches to Innovation:
Leverage current cultural behavior
Extend parent brands to new audiences
Expand existing categories
Develop new usage occasions
Evolve form, function and materials
1. Incremental Innovation
Incremental innovation or continuous improvement, consists of improving a product or service in its market. It’s less ”spectacular” and immediate than other types of innovation, yet incremental innovation can inject fresh energy and attention into an existing brand.
Take Bounty –
Collaborating with internal teams and leveraging female shopper insights – inspired the creation of a paper towel that gave consumers the option to use just what they needed to clean up a mess. While it seems so simple, the ”half sheet” functional innovation appealed to savvy shoppers and disrupted the category.
2. Adjacent Innovation
Adjacent innovation refers to using existing capabilities or category knowledge to appeal to a new audience or enter a new market. This provides opportunities to expand parent brands to create new competitive advantages to the original product or service that allows it to be differentiated in the market, expand planogram placements and appeal to a new consumer target.
Purina engaged us to leverage the equity of the traditional parent brand and build upon that equity to expand into an entirely new product category – pet accessories. By creating the quirky, contemporary, Purina Pet Gear – this product line (leashes, bedding, toys, etc.) utilized a completely modern brand and approach integrating products outside of their traditional feeding into their portfolio and engaged an entirely new audience.
3. Disruptive Innovation
Disruptive innovation refers to the actions taken to shake up an existing, overlooked product-usage opportunity or category segment. Intuition is a great example.
By leveraging the insights that women have too much clutter in their showers (shampoos, conditioners, soaps, razors, shave cream), we worked with Edgewell Personal Care to develop a revolutionary and category disrupting product – The Schick Intuition Razor for Women. The combination of razor/shave cream not only thrilled their consumers by delivering a super useful product, but also created a breakthrough in the women’s shave category and catapulted Intuition to the #1 brand in the US first year of launch.
By using a form follows function innovation approach you may uncover close-in opportunities by examining existing manufacturing processes and formulas with an eye towards repurposing to create new usage occasions.
Working alongside the Wet Ones brand and engineering teams – we examined the current Wet Ones product form (pre-moistened towelette) and deconstructed that into a new form…mist. This new product form (same function – hand sanitizing) has excited consumers looking for another way to clean their hands…more portable, easy to use mist – with a pleasant and calming fragrance…lavender.
5. Sustainable Innovation
Sustainable innovation seeks to address a range of challenges – consumer demand for sustainable products/packaging and the environment. For CPG companies, moving to sustainable packaging is not only the right thing to do, but it’s an opportunity to explore delivering more product benefits to consumers and to refresh the brand concurrently. A great investment and a win-win.
For PetShoppe, we created a sustainable solution by getting them out of the bag, and into a recyclable, gravity-fed box. Designing with the consumer in mind, one big box served multiple purposes – shopping, storage and serving. We also gave the brand and packaging graphics a face-lift to maximize the investment. The new sustainable package is:
- Easier to shop, presents a more impactful planogram “set” at shelf
- Convenient. Added a carry handle
- Dual purpose: storage and usage – ½ cup serving/“dosing”
- Recyclable box exterior and interior (bio-food protection film) made of materials that are fully recyclable/compostable
Bring your innovation concept to life
…through 3d renders, prototyping, animations or demo videos.
Our experienced designers and animators use state-of-the-art modeling and prototyping technologies to generate incredibly true-to-life dimensional assets, product animations and demonstration videos for eComm, social, YouTube, brand websites, and other digital uses like Amazon tiles, banner ads, marketing decks and more.
Innovation is as complex as it is exciting. Businesses today realize they can no longer rest on their brand assets and need to embrace innovation as a necessity for any thriving brand. We can help.