Creativity underpins the success of any profitable brand, even those not usually considered to be in a creative niche. The reason for this is that the thoughtful application of new ideas is critical to a business being able to improve its processes, offerings, and profitability. Creativity in business is about more than invention. It's about innovating: taking an invention or idea and incorporating it into your business model.
Why Innovation Means Big Business
Innovation is about novelty. It involves bringing something new into how you do business in order to improve processes, improve products and services, or add value to your products or brand. The scale of this change can be large or small, ranging from incremental improvements all the way through to a major disruptive idea. Whatever their scope, those changes represent an opportunity to drive your business in new and profitable directions.
Successful innovation can lead to increased profitability, productivity and competitiveness, reduced costs, improved brand value, and the fostering of new relationships and connections. Together, these can result in a powerful impact to your bottom line.
Innovation Comes From People
It's crucial to recognize that innovation is at heart deeply human. It's a creative process that builds on ideas, and those ideas come from people within or outside of your organization, or both. Potential stakeholders who can guide your company's innovation, whether intentionally or by happenstance, include employees, customers, vendors, and consultants. You can also tap into internal and external sources of research such as reports, studies, and media reports. Technology is also a potential source of innovation in that it potentially changes how people interact with your product or business.
However, innovation doesn't just spontaneously arise, although the ideas that lead to it might. It has to be actively planned for and implemented.
Planning for and Implementing Innovation
The best innovations are those that deliver value to your customers. Whether through formal market analysis or informal discussions with key stakeholders, you can begin to identify opportunities for innovation. Look for opportunities that improve processes, expand or improve your products and services, and that respond to identified consumer needs.
However, an innovation that might sound great on paper may not work in the marketplace. Before implementing a new idea, ensure that it's folded into your business strategy and that it aligns with your overall strategic vision.
Creating an Innovation-friendly Workplace
To keep your business at the forefront of what's next, you need to foster a workplace environment that's innovation-friendly. In these environments, everyone becomes a creative consultant. You can encourage creative thinking by nurturing an atmosphere where people are encouraged to share ideas, and where risk-taking and experimentation are valued. Similarly, encourage dialog between different teams and departments, as this can help new ideas blossom. You'll also want to ensure that you have processes in place to capture ideas: suggestion boxes or regular team meetings can be valuable for this. Finally, reward those who come up with innovative ideas that deliver real value.
If you're new to the innovation game or simply need some additional input, consider hiring a creative consultant to help put your organization on the path towards idea generation and innovation implementation. An outside expert can help guide you through market analysis, idea generation, and innovation implementation, helping you identify opportunities that will take your business to the next level.
For expert creative consultation, get in touch with the team at StellaPop. We'd be happy to help you further your business through innovation.