Incremental Innovation Key to Competitiveness, Ernst & Young Study
What do winning companies do in tough economic times? Innovate continuously. So concludes an Ernst & Young study of 400 global C-Suite, board directors and marketing professionals.
According to the Ernst & Young Competing for Growth report, 87% of companies have grown their product offerings over the past few years. Companies, says Ernst & Young, have grown their portfolio of products in order to more fully exploit the market potential of their existing customers. Companies surveyed aren’t just increasing their number of product offerings, they are also accelerating the pace of innovation; 72% of survey participants claim to be developing products and services at a faster pace.
Much of this innovation comes from incremental innovation. And, in a separate Ernst & Young report, 63% of survey respondents reported that incremental product and/or service improvement has been more successful than transformational innovation.
Incremental innovation seeks to improve the cost or functionality of an existing product. Incremental innovation is about staying competitive and responding to feedback from the market place. And, over time, incremental innovation also contributes to disruptive or radical innovation.
But beyond the short term impact to the business, incremental innovation also offers long term benefits in developing an organization’s innovation capabilities. By applying the same disciplines and best practices one would use in approaching radical innovation, organizations will help hone the innovation skills and readiness of innovation workers while also ensuring that incremental achievements deliver to their highest value potential.
Clearly, winning companies embrace incremental innovation as the way to deliver ever-increasing value to customers and the market.