How evidence-based innovation can improve on traditional approaches

85% of new products fail in the first year. The cost to develop a product is too high in comparison to its performance, and the innovation process in consumer goods is not as streamlined as it could be.

We believe agile innovation is the solution. Traditionally, projects are decided by intelligent people who choose which ideas are worth going for. We want to move from a small group of people deciding what to launch, to a more test-driven approach.

With this evidence-based innovation, products will be faster to market, with lower NPD costs. A stronger focus on the data that drives product development should improve on-shelf performance.

An agile innovation system within an organisation may look like this:

Ideation

Product concepts are generated by the NPD team.

Sorting information

Innovators develop a curation process so ideas are set up quickly. They look for other areas of the organisation where a problem might already exist (or some variation of it), to find similar internal projects already present, and to find answers to issues. This helps see who the customers and who the internal stakeholders would be.

Rationalisation

When a list of ideas have been decided during curation, the prioritisation process comes into play. The question is asked for each project: is it worth pursuing for the next few months?

Decision-making and testing

This process uses data to make decisions, and uses evidence to prove the product has a good chance of success (or of course, if the idea needs to be scrapped). The innovation team would lay out a business model, in which each element is tested. The team talks to people responsible for legal, finance, and support, as well as future consumers and regulators.

Development

Teams working on the project will ensure it doesn’t have a lack of resources, and has someone guiding the steer. They will scope the product and collaborate on how best to deliver a successful outcome.

Continuous innovation

Getting a product on the shelf isn’t the end of the process. The factors that make up a product aren’t static, and a continual refinement of marketing messages, packaging, colourways, and pricing is crucial to product longevity.

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