Coming up with 'ideas' is sometimes a difficult task as it can be too abstract and lack structure. To make this easier, let us look at eight different ways or methods you can use to generate innovations with market potential quickly.
1. Find an alternative method to accomplish what an existing innovation accomplishes: The fact that a company or a firm started to produce a product that addresses a NEED can indicate that fulfilling that NEED is a viable opportunity. This is as if the other company has identified the location of a hidden treasure for you. Coming up with other innovations that would satisfy that NEED can yield a great opportunity.
2. Follow what you like: list your passions and observe how technologies evolve around you. Then look for innovative opportunities that would keep you excited and happy. There is a good possibility if this passion got you super excited, there are many out there who can be excited about the same thing.
3. Tackle what annoys you: take another look at your daily life and see what annoys you. Do you get annoyed because of how the flour is being packaged? Do the methods available to find home service providers annoy you? How about you spend time resolving those issues and make your life easier? There is a good possibility that you can also make other people’s lives easier as well.
4. Provide a better-quality commodity (and make it more expensive): In other words, make an existing product or service more premium. Go to the market and find all the inexpensive commodities. Those have been commodities for long enough that you will find it difficult to distinguish the different brands as they all look similar with about the same price. Then, consider providing a deluxe version. Many customers might be willing to pay extra for better packaging or better quality.
5. Make it cheaper: what are products or services that are considered to be premium? Can you provide a similar service or product at a considerably lower price? For example, have you noticed that a premium wireless keyboard costs at least a hundred dollars? Can you make it for fifty? This does not have to be in tech. Many players in the food and beverage industry adopt this approach, too. For example, you might notice that Sushi in your city or country is relatively expensive. Can you create an alternative experience that can be more affordable and still maintain good quality?
6. Move something from Industry-level to Consumer-level: have you noticed that some products are only available at an industrial level where only companies enjoy such products at a high cost? Can you make that product cheaper for home users or small companies with similar features? For example, 3D Printing has long been available for industries for about four decades. However, this luxury has become available to ordinary people in the last decade, giving rise to an industry worth more than half a billion US Dollars. In this, we are talking about consumer-level 3D printers.
7. Follow New Trends: what changes in technology, culture, and lifestyle happen around you? Are people in your community suddenly started to consider their personal health more? Can you use that trend to produce new products or provide new services? What new products can you provide given the trend of mobile technology? The Internet of Things? Blockchain? Web 3.0? NFTs? etc?
8. Manipulate existing attributes of a product: what attributes do marketers give to smartphones? Size, weight, battery life, screen display, processing power, etc. Now, which of those attributes can be eliminated, reduced, or raised above expectations? What new attributes can be introduced into the smartphone industry? Manipulating those attributes can quickly generate new products and services that serve a more specific or more general audience which can be an innovation of good market potential.
Here you go, those are eight simple methods to develop innovations with market potential quickly. Keep in mind they are best used as inspirations. You can use them to guide or spark new conversations within your organization, community, or network. So, they are not absolute methods. Carrying out any specific innovation would still require lots of work at many different levels.
Back to you, which of the methods resonates most with you? How do you usually think about bringing new ideas? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. What innovations came to your mind after reading those eight methods?
If you are looking to engage with a community of design innovators, join our online Facebook Design Innovation Community.
By Tayseer Almattar
Tayseer is a passionate designer and educator. He believes that innovation potential can be grown and natured within organizations with relevant design innovation processes.