Perhaps most characteristic of marketing today is the rapid growth of new products and the acceleration of innovation across all categories.

To put it in perspective, the average grocery store in 1980 had about 15,000 products/SKUs. Today, the average grocery store has over 50,000 SKUs. And there are many examples of this same level of growth, even higher, at the individual category level – dog food for example.

The U.S. Patent Office granted its one-millionth patent in 1911 (a puncture proof tire), which took 121 years. The most recent million (of now 8 million total) were granted in just the past five years.

In today’s world it’s innovate or die slowly. It’s truly the mantra of business today and ConsumerDNA is here to help.


Consumer Insights for Innovation

innovation_pics_2Innovation Planks – Gap Analysis

innovation_arrowForm, color, texture
Style of packaging

The question is how can consumer insights be used effectively to support innovation? Our belief is that it starts with a deep qualitative understanding of the consumer. With respect to any one category we do a deep and personal assessment of needs, motivations, attitudes, values, and feelings using existing brands and competitive products as stimuli. Participants are immersed in the category of interest and “point of experience” context is applied whenever appropriate.
innovation - consumer value equation
We hike it up a notch with further probing, using a structured set of innovation revealing questions, into the consumer’s – desires, fears and obstacles related to the category.

New ideas and concepts are derived from these analyses. Concepts are produced as written text, as drawings, or more advanced, with Adobe Photoshop.

We assess the value of any new innovation using our new product valuation framework. We ask consumers a set of questions that measure the value of products on four key dimensions – task efficiencies (quicker, easier, better), personal advancement (interest, knowledge building, personal accomplishment) and emotional payoff (feelings, aesthetics).


New Product Identification/Acquisition

Another way to “fill your pipeline” with new product ideas is to do a formal assessment of recent new product launches in your direct category and/or adjacent categories.

ConsumerDNA provides a new product acquisition and assessment service in which we acquire products, or identify them (if too expensive to outright purchase) and assess their innovation qualities using our innovations frameworks – DNA of Innovation and consumer value equation.

In past studies of this nature we have purchased new products within the U.S and in others, we have purchased new products from all over the world and had them shipped to our offices. We then create displays of these products, sometimes setting them up in the client’s offices where the marketing team can view and sample.

This viewing is usually followed with ideation/brainstorming sessions with select client side personnel to produce new product ideas.


Monitoring Innovation Trends Across Categories

A third way ConsumerDNA can assist in new product innovation is using our database of innovative companies and technologies. We have identified thousands of start-up companies and divisions within larger firms who are leading some new form of innovation.

We maintain a site at redhotmatter.com of emerging innovation across all kinds of categories. We use these trends in identifying potential innovation for our clients in their categories. It is well known that innovation can be “cross pollinated” form one category to another.

We use the Hot Matter database and further customized searching in adjacent categories to produce a macro view of the innovation and technologies our clients could leverage.

These assessments are often used as an input on “white space” analyses when our clients want to consider “what could be” in the longer term.

innovation - hot matter

Visit Hot Matter and explore innovative technologies.