10 Types of Innovation Framework explained

Its becoming clearer than ever that innovation is the driving force of business and innovation frameworks are how you achieve them. It is becoming evident that businesses need innovation frameworks to not only stay ahead, but to stay afloat. The rate the world is changing is fast and businesses must keep up.

So just what are innovation frameworks and how do you pick the right innovation approach for your business?

What is an innovation framework?

Innovation frameworks are a strategic structure designed to give organizations the ability to tap into ideas, evaluate the strengths and weakness of each, make informed decisions and build strategies to turn ideas into value-generating opportunities for the business.

The common misconception is that innovation is simply the finished new product or new features to an existing product. However, this is a small view of innovation often ends up bringing complications and limitations to the whole idea-generating and innovation-building process.

Innovation consultants at Doblin spotted these issues back in the 90s and helped craft The 10 Types of Innovation Framework to address the problem.

What is the 10 Types of Innovation Framework and how you can use it?

Don’t be mistaken by the title and think the Doblin is simply identifying 10 different approaches to innovation frameworks. Though the 10 Types can be used in that way, it is more importantly exploring to ten core elements of all innovations they have identified through their extensive research of over 2000 innovations.

The framework divides these ten elements into three categories: configuration, offering and experience.

The four elements in the configuration category are focused on the internal organizational elements of the innovation.

The two elements in the offering stage, much like the name, focusing on what the new innovated product and/or service is offer.

The final four elements in the experience category is focused on the customer experience of the new innovation

This framework is not meant to be used in a linear fashion but rather acts as an overall assessment tool that can be applied to all business innovations to identify strengths, weaknesses and potential opportunities for growth.

It is important to note that your innovation may not address all ten types and that too is fine. This is simply a versatile tool for you to adapt, adjust and apply in ways that suit your context

The 10 Types (or elements) explained

Let’s help you dive deeper into each individual type (or elements) you need to consider when building an effective innovation.

1. Profit Model

The Profit Model deals with identifying continual and different ways to improve the revenues and profits of an organization. Even if there are some main activities to generate central cash flows, it is still highly vital to produce new, increasingly innovative profit models. Companies should assess and evaluate what customers value and what their demands are to create innovative prospects that help increase profits.

2. Network

The network element concerns the collaboration tactics of an organization. In this global and digital era, companies need to keep connected to remain relevant in the business environment. Organizations collaborate and work together for their mutual goals and interests. They should assess their internal capabilities and skills to determine if they can make a successful innovation or need networking or collaboration to bridge the gap. There are many advantages of joint innovation, including risk sharing, access to skills and resources, along with many others.

3. Structure

The structure element deals with the asset management of the organization. It includes all your tangible and intangible assets, such as companies’ capabilities, incentives, brands, building, resources, IP, and more. Companies should seek to continually monitor the structure and design of their assets. When you constantly keep evaluating your assets and asset mix, you will be able to create more value for your company.

4. Process

Process innovation focuses on the effectiveness or efficiency of your business’ internal processes. Innovation of internal processes can not only create exceptional reductions in cost but can also create opportunities for new and better services and products. Process innovations can thus largely affect the growth, scalability, and productivity of your business.

5. Product Performance

Product performance innovation deals with product-and-process innovation.  This is the popular interpretation of innovation. Improving the performance and capabilities of your product is an obvious and most important aspect of innovation for your business. It refers to improving things like safety, performance, quality, price, accessibility, user-friendliness, and other features of your product or service. The best innovators are those who keep enhancing the design and performance of their products.

6. Product System

The product system innovation focuses on merging products and services to enhance functionality and efficiency. Cost intensive products or stand-alone services can often be eliminated by merging the product or service functionality with another sensical product or service. This means making enhancements and modifications to make sure that your products combine and work well with other products or services. The resulting revenue and value are generally more than any individual product. This can refer to various things, such as combining your products and services, producing extensions, plugins, creating a platform for third parties, and much more.

7. Service

Doblin recognize that it is critical to keep assessing innovative service opportunities for customer experience improvement. Service innovations focus on improving the usefulness and value of any particular product or service. Service can help increase the accessibility and utilization of a product, and exceptional customer services can make an ordinary product extraordinary. As a result, your organization will improve its customer base and will grow.

8. Channel

This element focuses on methods to connect and build relationships with your customers. It’s concerned with the online and offline presence of your business. Businesses need to keep exploring and implementing new channels to connect with their customers. Different channels work for different kinds of products and services. It’s crucial to identify which channel is more suited for your organization to provide you with a smooth and flawless connection with your customers.

9. Brand

A brand is the face of your business and generally, how the customers see you. Therefore, brand innovations are vital to stand apart from your competitors. Brand innovations ensure that your business brand is preferred over your competitors’. The key to brand innovations is to understand your customers and their demands. It enables the company to incorporate your customers’ interests into your marketing strategies, aligning the brand identity with their own. 

10. Customer Engagement

Customer engagement innovation focuses on your interaction and connection with your existing and potential customers. It is important to keep finding innovative methods to communicate with your customers so that they remain connected and loyal to your business. Engaging with your customers is not only for marketing purposes – it also enables you to effectively receive their feedback.

Concluding remarks: Where to next and how to build your Innovation Framework?

Innovation goes way beyond creating new products, and the top innovators are well-aware of that. The 10 Types of Innovation Framework is convenient and easy. tool that helps innovators think more broadly and identify new opportunities.

If you want to get started on building the innovation framework of your dreams, make sure to read our guide to innovation frameworks.

For more useful insights in Innovation Management and more, be sure to look through our blog.

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