Innovation through Customer Insight

So many stories lately about how the downturn in the economy will impact innovation.   Many are saying that innovation will be the saviour that will lead us back to more prosperous times.  But, what TYPE of innovation will be more prevalent in this environment?

I was recently taking the InnovationLabs survey on the topic of Innovation in the downturn.  As I answered the questions, it became clearer and clearer to me what the innovation trend is going to be.

Companies are going to create closer relationships with their customers.  Nobody is willing to risk much.  They don’t want to develop a new product or even modify an existing one unless there is a clear revenue stream on the other end.  Tightening the bond with customers is a good thing and will not only increase GOOD innovation now, but it will set us up for even better and faster innovation as we turn the corner.

Michael Treacy and many others talk about sprinkling innovation money around lightly and then dropping what is not working and adding more funds to things that are.  “Working” should be defined as what customers want.  Companies should be polling their customer base and desirable prospects throughout the innovation process.   

What types of innovation do you believe will thrive right now?

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