Truly disruptive innovation is hard to come by. So being tasked with creating a new product or service with a point of difference that disrupts the way things have been done can feel like trying to single-handedly change the world.
However, just like any intimidating, ambiguous task, breaking it down into smaller, more focused efforts can not only make it more manageable, but can also illuminate the golden opportunity you’ve been seeking.
With that in mind, here are three ways to reframe your thinking to help inspire a winning point of difference that will fuel your brand’s next disruptive innovation.
1. Shift Expectations
In any category, consumers have an (often subconscious) expectation of the product experience—from how they find the product at the store, to how they use it and even how they dispose of it afterwards. As marketers, we’re quick to jump on the dissatisfiers of an experience as our keys to inspiring breakthrough innovation. But that’s not the only way!
Make a list of every expectation of the product experience, even if it’s something as mundane as “comes in a pouch” or “tastes sweet.” Now, imagine ways in which your new product could turn those expectations on their head! They certainly won’t all be good ideas, but don’t let that slow you down. The exercise of reimagining key facets of a product or service experience could reveal a meaningful breakthrough that could positively disrupt the category experience for your target consumer.
2. Change the Frame of Reference
Consumers usually view a product or service as an option in relation to a set of similar solutions—often based on the “job” they help accomplish. (For instance, on-the-go snacks.) However, if you are able to reframe that basis of categorization—or frame of reference—you may be able to unlock a range of new opportunities, expanding into new occasions, new users, new needs, and more.
Exploring meaningful ways to change the frame of reference may begin in a similar fashion to the previous exercise of listing—and shifting—expectations. (For instance, going from “is eaten on the go” to “fuels kids up on the way to the next activity.”) You can also consider the additional needs and desires of your target consumer to discover meaningful ways to shift the frame of reference to one that uniquely suits their lifestyle, in ways other players in the category aren’t considering.
3. Create the Ideal Experience
For many products and services, consumers just accept things as they are. However, imagining what an idealized experience could be, even if it seems far-fetched, can begin to point the way to a compelling point of difference capable of category disruption.
Whether you’re imagining the gold standard for what it means to clean a surface, or a completely frictionless service experience, homing in on the elements that can inspire consumer behavior change and loyalty can be the key to truly differentiated disruption.
Creating an innovation with a point of difference capable of disrupting the marketplace is a daunting task. However, starting with these three tactics can help you unlock the full potential of your next innovation.
Want to learn more ways to uncover a disruptive point of difference? Email Steve Paljieg to discover how the power of Seed’s 7 Principle of Creating a Disruptive Point of Difference framework can help you create the next big innovation for your brand.
Angela Jones is a VP, Creative at Seed Strategy where she specializes in strategically crystallizing winning ideas and helping lead teams towards a fully realized creative vision.