What came first, the chicken or the egg?  The answer is neither or both.

Product InnovationGreat ideas can come from anywhere.  But, while we all hope for the happy accident, most of the time we are challenged with developing an effective consumer proposition ourselves.  In many corporate cultures, innovation is exclusively the domain of engineers and scientists. Of course both can be critical to the development of powerful and own-able product features and properties, but where does the consumer fit in this picture?  At the end? Unfortunately this is usually the case, even in corporate cultures that are research centric. As a result, most ‘innovation’ is very far along and heavily invested in before a actual Consumer Proposition has been identified.  This is why innovation is such a fuzzy process in most companies.  Of the entire pipeline, most concepts rarely see the light of day and over 80% of what does, fails. By the time the most important stakeholder gets involved, the consumer, it’s usually too late.

Regardless of the category, technology, automotive, heavy equipment, beverages, spirits, etc., truly resonant innovation is a risky proposition if the consumer is not involved early and continuously and in such a way that truly drives insight; e.g. the Consumer Proposition.

Over the years I have been fortunate to work with some of the most innovative companies in the world.  But perhaps more importantly, I also worked with companies that had little or no innovation culture or acumen as well.  Both were equally as important in helping me develop the processes that I now implement on behalf of my clients.