Innovation is a creative process and your business ideas will require an investment of time and money in order to deliver results. However what is the alternative? Stagnation, losing out to competitors, margin reduction, losing key staff and so forth.
Look at what you already have
Developing a culture of innovation can be vital to your business's long-term success and profitability, and this does not always mean designing and creating a new product or service. It may mean looking at your existing products,processes and services and developing them to meet the needs of a shift in the market, becoming more competitive or meeting the requirements of certain new legislation or environmental issues.
Constantly innovating and improving business practices is also likely to help you attract better staff members and retain more of your existing staff - something which is crucial to the long-term health and performance of your business.
Its never all about price!
Remember a few short years ago Indian conglomerate Tata, launched what was said to be the world's cheapest car, the Nano. But even in India the model failed to meet the needs of consumers who's new aspirations were to own products with more "embellishments and dazzle"
Consumers are happy to pay a higher price if the product or service is perceived to be innovative and a "must have" product. Take Apple, when they launch a new product people are usually queing around the block to buy it, cheap? of course not, innovative, you bet. Apple, particularly under the leadership of Steve Jobs had a strategy that worked. It was never all about the price.
Okay, so your products and services are different then. Why?
Why should consumers part with their hard-earned cash and give it to you instead of your competitors? You need to be able to answer this question. If you removed all of your advertising/marketing/letterheads etc and replaced it with your competitors stuff would it fit your product/service just the same? If so, have you actually got anything much different than the competition?
Creating your "niche" is a natural extension to innovation. Your USP has got to "fire up" the potential consumer. Unless your target market hears your USP, they may never know why yours is the business they should buy from.
In an article for Harvard, Dave Power explains how the top growth companies adopt at least four best practices to help them drive innovation and growth and deal with the "S-Curve. Read the article; Innovation Strategy:4 Key Tactics of Top Growth Companies to learn more.
Is your business following these practices to drive innovation?