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How to Deliver Actionable Innovations

Developing actionable insights for innovation and research and development (R&D) can be quite different from other projects. For one thing, there is a higher level of detail needed in order to be actionable. As an example, consumers may tell you that scent is important to a laundry detergent, but that isn’t enough for a product development team to design a new product. Product developers need to understand the multiple dimensions of the scent such as character, level of intensity and duration, to better understand what’s important to the user. They also need to assess at what point in the  purchase or usage process scent is being assessed: at shelf (smelling the product), while in the washing machine, on wet clothes, on dry clothes, etc., and how it impacts the experience and emotional connection with the product.

Digging into these issues often involves a holistic and iterative insights approach that thoroughly explores the details of the product experience and usage. This is achieved through a combination of quantitative and qualitative research approaches that provide the depth and detail product developers need, especially in the early stages of the innovation cycle. Below are some of the most effective holistic and iterative approaches we use with our clients:

Jobs to be Done (JTBD) is based on the premise that consumers hire brands to meet their needs, and fire others that don’t. Understanding consumers’ goals in this context allows companies to systematically and predictably identify opportunities to create products and services that deliver significant and sustainable value.  By understanding all the steps in a consumer’s experience and their desired functional, emotional and social benefits, you can identify opportunities for product improvements as well as completely new product innovations.  This multi-phased process integrates both qualitative and quantitative learning to bring to life the target persona, their experience journey and then innovation opportunities.  This can help influence the innovation planning for existing products and/or identify new spaces for our clients to play with innovation.

Product/Packaging Ideation Plus is a powerful solution if you your goal is to ideate on new products and packaging. This immersive, multi-phased research and workshop process helps you leverage both your team’s current knowledge and the voice of your consumer to quickly become inspired and create product and package ideas.  From this approach, you can begin to prioritize the most compelling product ideas for your product development strategies and planning.

Holistic product design & modeling workshops provide R&D-oriented processes and tools that translate consumer voices into tangible offerings. This approach leverages consumers to guide delivery of their desired experience. It’s done by combining in-depth customer understanding with your lead technologists to determine how to deliver upon the desired experience.  This gives direction to prototyping efforts and ensures that your product development organization is consumer led vs. technology led solely for technologies sake.

Sensory Measure of Design provides an efficient means of gathering small to medium-based quantitative measures of important sensory attributes (i.e., premium, smooth, sticky, etc.) for product and package prototypes. Multiple designs are shared with respondents who provide feedback on design/benefit/sensory perception and experience.  This approach is ideal for optimizing sensory cues of a product or package prior to use testing and can be executed with minimal prototypes.

Experience & Use leverages small base in-home usage testing to screen product prototypes early in the development phase.  Both quantitative and qualitative assessments can be made to identify strengths and weaknesses of each design in order to optimize your designs into final wining propositions.  This is an ideal approach to narrow down and refine product design prior to large base, large investment qualification testing.

What to learn more about holistic insights approaches that can delivery actionable innovations? Contact us.