Innovation is the buzz word today. Innovation as such doesn’t mean creating a new idea – that would be invention; innovation is more about putting new ideas into practice in a way that is distinctly different and better than the ones done before. Everything has become competitive today, starting from a street hot dog vendor to the smart phone company; you cannot survive in this world if you don’t do things differently. Be it music, videos, food, clothing or electronics.
Take for example the insurance company – what can it do to attract customers. For those who are not familiar with insurance business here is a useful hint – The insurance companies cannot drastically increase or reduce its rates. The rates are governed by DOI (Dept of Insurance) which takes care that all companies follow similar rating guidelines. All rates changes needs to be approved by this body before bringing them to the market. So how do insurance companies compete with each other? Let us take a look:
1. Bringing new features to customer like ability to make payments online or through mobile app.
2. Provide the customers the ability to get quotes quickly and compare with other companies.
3. Provide automated features like esignature so the customer doesn’t have to deal with printing signing documents and mail/fax them back to the company.
I won’t go into all the details of insurance business as that would make me drift away from my original topic for the blog. I will leave that for another post. So coming back to innovation – what can make you more innovative at whatever you do? Here are a few basic things:
1. Name – If opening a new restaurant or business or writing a new book, the name plays a very important role. A catchy name can make people inquisitive about it which would in turn make them want to learn more. Even something as simple as naming your baby has become competitive now. With the world population reaching above 7 billion, people are finding it hard to come up with new names for their babies.
2. Marketing – Innovative marketing strategies plays an important role in the success of a product. No matter how bad your product is, if you put a lot of innovative thinking into its marketing strategies, it can make people go for it. You need to focus on your desired customer base and do things to attract them.
3. Presentation: Sometimes names and marketing fail but the presentation scores the goal. You could have a completely simple idea which works on simple techniques, but the way you present it to your end user can create wonders.
4. Products – Bringing new products at the right time is the key at the end of the day. With each day there are hundreds of people thinking of a new product for the same thing. But only the one who brings the most attractive product at the right time succeeds. Take for example social networking – there are a hundreds of them since the last 2 decades but none of them were as successful as facebook.
5. Thinking Different – The key behind innovation is to think differently. A lot of successful innovators reached to the top because they dint think the old fashioned way. They did things differently. Here is a tip: Anytime you have a situation and you come up with a solution for it – think if there is any other way to do it, in most cases there will definitely be more than one solution for it which will be better than the first one. The more you put your thought on the solution, the more you will come up with good ideas to solve a problem. Never settle for the first and easy solutions, explore more ideas to come up with the right one.