Friday, March 28, 2008

Success in Innovation- hard to achieve, vital to strive for.

We may not be in an official recession, but talk to anyone in a consumer dependent business today and they will tell you that it’s tough to get the sales graph heading north.
Growth is always the overriding priority for businesses and innovation is the driver of growth, as history and many surveys have shown. It follows that innovating successfully and efficiently is critical and topical.

At the Leatherhead Food International New Products Forum in Dublin on March 6th, I spoke on “Innovation Success” and ran a revealing interactive audience poll. The results of this poll of 77 senior European Marketing and NPD Managers were both revealing and disturbing.
-Only a quarter felt that their company is successful at innovation
-42% disagreed with the statement, “my company is good at delivering innovation to market quickly”
When asked what measures are most important in defining success, most respondents voted for financial measures- “Return on Investment” and “Sales Value” scored way ahead of all other factors.

More encouragingly, when asked what the critical success factors are for driving innovation in their companies, the top responses were:
-Development of marketing concepts before product development
-Having an innovation strategy integrated to the business strategy
-Engaging cross functional support inside the business.


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