5 Keys to Successful Innovation in 2024
Here at Seed Strategy, we’ve recently been discussing how we think the dawning of the new year will impact the world of innovation.
We’ve arrived at 5 key things we believe innovators should do to maximize their chances of success in 2024.
1. Increase Innovation
Consumers are beyond fed up with rising prices driven by inflation and the price increases taken by manufacturers to offset rising costs. This means that the path to generating more dollar sales through pricing has closed. Smart brand leaders will turn their attention towards ramping up innovation efforts to achieve growth—and any players that don’t will certainly risk falling behind.
2. Focus on the Value Equation
It will be more important than ever for innovators to boost and highlight consumer value in their new offerings. We all know that value = price / perceived quality. We also know that cutting prices isn’t an option for most brands right now, so innovators must focus on dialing up the denominator portion of the equation. This can be done by identifying and solving true tensions, providing the best combination of benefits, optimizing product features, and improving product aesthetics and pack design.
3. Strategically Leverage AI
To be clear, we don’t see AI replacing the strategic innovator anytime soon. Rather, 2024 will be the year in which AI will advance enough (and become user-friendly enough) for innovators to widely utilize it to vastly increase the number of options they consider when writing, designing, naming, etc. AI will bring to the creative process what the printing press brought to anyone engaged with the written word nearly six centuries ago.
4. Amp Up Agility
Agility is essential to being able to effectively respond to the demands of a rapidly changing marketplace and increasingly informed, demanding (and sometimes distracted) consumers. This means that innovators must become more agile performers, leaning into innovation processes that embrace consumer co-creation, speed-to-decision making, rapid prototyping and short cycle-time validation.
5. Act Courageously
There’s never an easy time to be an innovator, and 2024 is no exception. Manufacturers still carry the memories of supply chain interruptions, pandemic volatility, inflationary pressures and more—meaning there are lots of potential barriers to overcome. And the market is no picnic either, with increasingly fragmented consumer attention, the broad democratization of innovation, ever-present social media influences, etc. It’s a bit like the Wild West of old. And yet, we firmly believe that fortune favors the brave. Innovators with the courage and ability to conceive and communicate a new star product, service, feature or benefit have the power to smash through the clutter, rally consumers and unlock unprecedented growth.
Interested in learning more about how Seed can help you innovate in 2024? I’d love to connect! Reach out to me at email@example.com or 949.353.9752.
Written by Steve Paljieg. Steve is VP, Innovation at Seed Strategy, where he leverages his decades of strategy and innovation experience to help clients illuminate opportunities and grow their businesses to new heights.
Co-written by Sean Smyth. Sean is EVP, Strategy at Seed Strategy where he guides clients through the ambiguities of innovation by grounding the experience in solid principles that build certainty and confidence—often by defying established conventions.
Edited by Adam Siegel. In addition to being the Editor of The Accelerator, Adam is a Senior Strategist at Seed Strategy where he draws upon his diverse experience in advertising, research, brand management, new product development and copywriting to help clients craft breakthrough innovation and brand strategy.