What is innovation?

Despite the plethora of definitions available on literature about the meaning of innovation, it seems fair to suggest that these definitions do not deliver the meaning of innovation to its full designation. Innovation contains the latin word „nova“ which means: new, thus many propound the view that innovation is an equivalent to the quality of newness or novelty. However, it is axiomatic that many new ideas do not evoke the (wow effect) in the consumers’ perception, neither do they break into or survive in the market to achieve high sales. This means that not all FMCG? manufacturers’ new ideas guarantee to achieve consumers’ approbation. In most cases, a new product fails after launching into the market. The literature mentions a failure rate of approximately 65% to 90%. An idea must be, therefore, acknowledged by the market and users to be named an innovation, or a successful innovation to be more specific.
To give a probable answer to many professionals ’ question: what is innovation?

I humbly suggest that innovation lies in the recognition or approval of a new idea, product or service by its consumers/users. So it is highly important to seek recognition after ideation. Do not wait and let the idea stay in a drawer or on a chart. Seek judgment. As long as an idea is unfavorably judged by consumers, it remains just an idea, even if its manufacturer tried hard to brand it. An idea can only turn into an innovation if it finds consensus and approval within its users. On this ground, I argue that innovation processes in companies must integrate a direct and prolonged contact with users, to find out if their future products will probably find approval or not. This has to happen promptly after ideation.

Mirko Stanic is an expert in food innovation and has written a book about it. Download it on Amazon

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