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Innovation refers to the process of making business process, product or services more effective and efficient such that it further satisfies customer diverse needs and wants in an appropriate manner. It is act as catalyst for organizational success and growth. It means executing new ideas, improve existing goods and services or create dynamic product that gives them high competitive advantage over their rivals. The selected company for this report is Unicorn Grocery which is a UK based grocery store. The report covers how with the help of innovation, selected firm has gain high competitive advantage on the market. It also covers various concepts like frugal innovation, sources of funding, commercial funnel, intellectual property rights in order to retain and protect their own invention or discoveries.
Innovation means transforming a productive idea into an effective product or services that tend to create value for potential buyers or which they are willing to pay. It refers to the process of coming up with unique or creative ideas of doing similar things in an innovative style. However, it is not inter-related with invention. Both are different and shields various aspects that help company in achieving business objective in an effective and efficient manner. It can take place mainly in the form of converting business workflow and adapting themselves as per the change environment that help them in delivering better product or services to potential customers that fulfil their requirement and needs in an effectual manner. According to Wright “A company who constantly go through innovation, develops more effective work process and their chances of achieving higher profitability rapidly increases”. Unicorn Grocery is a grocery store who deals in selling grocery items to its customers. With the introduction of high end technology, the company along with its members determines that now a day’s people prefer to purchase product through online platform. As a result, they have decide to launch its own mobile application through they can sell they can sell their products more conveniently. They became the first one among other SME’s in UK to launch their own mobile application. Some of the importance of innovation are listed below:
Comparison between innovation and invention:
Enhancing something that already present.
Developing something completely new.
Needs marketing as well as technical skills.
It needs technical skills in order to bring the effective idea to life.
Each and every person in the organization can pitch in, but it is commonly designers and technicians constantly enhance the products.
Research and development departments are in complaint of coming up with inventions.
Vision Statement: The vision statement of selected company is "to deliver such product and services that creates value for customers and thus satisfying their diverse needs and wants in an effective manner". As per their vision statement, the company aims at meeting customer requirement by providing such goods and services according to their likes and dislikes. Their members have figured out that customer prefer to purchase product through online website rather than going to some physical stores. Taking the advantage of this, their members have decided to launch its own mobile application. Thus became the first one among other SME's to launch its own app.
Culture and teamwork: Unicorn Grocery is mainly controlled and run by its member only which indicates that their complete performance and functioning rely upon their members and their contribution towards it. The strength of worker is 70 and still they somehow managed to place themselves as "UK best independent retailer ". This can only be possible because of their motivating management and healthy working environment that allow their employee to come and share their opinion freely. (Goldberg, 2013).
Leadership: It is important part which is essential for the business to attract various number of customers within predetermined period of time. The leadership style applied by Unicorn Grocery is participative style of leadership. In this, their workforce are evenly participating in process of decision making . This make high awareness of acknowledgment and gratification among them. In addition, the organization render freedom to employees which inspire them to create much unique ideas. In this innovation and commercialization both are important because with the help of this leader of the company easily guide their all workforce for the achievement of long term goals and objectives within predetermined period of time.
The concept of 4P’s of Innovation was framed by Joe Tidd and John Bessant. It is mainly taken into consideration so as to evaluate innovation in product, position, process and paradigm. Below mentioned is the brief description of all 4P’s of Innovation Mix.
Product: It defines the change in the product or services that has been offered by company to their potential buyers so as to satisfy their needs and wants in an effective manner. It means either changing the features of existing product or introduce new product in the market place as per the requirement of customers. For example: Unicorn Grocery mainly deals in selling grocery items. The company and its members have figured out that now a day’s people are becoming more health conscious so they have decided to offer organic fruits, drinks and vegetables. This P is mainly related with changing the product as per the requirement of customer.
Process: It describe the way by which organization delivers their goods and services among target audience. Normally SME’s are selling or distributing their goods through their physical stores or outlets. But Unicorn Grocery become the first one among other UK SME’s to launch its own mobile application for selling their products to customers. The company has figured out that almost 40% of the population prefer to purchase product through online website rather than directly walk-ins to stores. Taking the advantage of this change, they have done innovation in their process. Also it help them in gaining high competitive advantage in the market as they become the first one to introduce mobile application among other SME’s. It has become much easier for customer to purchase organic product by simply sitting at home.
Position: This P is related with how innovative goods or services are communicated or framed. It defines the how changed product or services is perceived by customer and how they are using it. Unicorn Grocery has started their business by selling fruits and vegetables and now they have come up with selling organic fruits, drinks and vegetables. Also earlier they were only selling their product through its physical store but now they are selling through mobile application as well.
Paradigm: It is the last P in which organization simply change its mental model so to cope up with change in an effective and efficient manner. It gives shape to business in context of earning high profitability ratio. With the introduction of perception of customer changes regarding SME’S and online shopping of grocery items.
Innovation Funnel: It encompasses series of steps that are taken into account while developing a product or process. The main aim of innovation is to develop such product or services that meet customer requirement and market needs in an economic forms.
Use of Innovation Funnel: It is mainly used by business enterprise so as to measure their innovative product or services. It help in controlling and handling the process of new product development in structured and thorough manner. In today’s era it has become much easier for businesses to identify the market opportunities prevailing in the market for their upcoming product. Further it also aid in analyzing what are the current and future expectation of target audience so that company can make changes accordingly.
It refers to the process by which company make effort to minimize the level of complexities related with cost of goods sold and production process. Resources that are available within the company must be utilized in an optimum manner rather than considering them as a liability. However, it is not linked with the selling concept but it is viewed as developing better quality solution for customers that offers high quality product or services at an economical rate. Large number of companies exist in the market that change their both mental and business model radically so as to gain high competitive edge in the market over their rivals. Listed below are various stages of frugal innovation:-
Find Opportunity in Adversity: This is the first stage where employees of the respective company reframe the current problem prevailing in the work place. For instance: Members of Unicorn Grocery have effectively transform the threat into opportunity in order to beat the market competition. Their employees knows very well how to take the right advantage of situation at right time. They have figure out that in today’s era most of the customers prefer to buy products through online platform. Taking the advantage of this situation they have decided to launch its own mobile application where they can sell their products more conveniently.
Do more with less: This is the stage, where managers of Unicorn Grocery first analyze the available resources and then tries to use in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
Think and act flexibly: At this particular stage, it is important for company’s manager to think improvisational rather than being rigid.
Keep it simple: One of the most effective way to manage overall business operation and function smoothly is to keep their work flow or business processes simple. Any complexity or hindrance may cause hamper which adversely affect overall business operation and performance. It is always better to have fewer choices that are best instead of several choices.
Include the margin: It is primarily important for every company to identify what are actual needs and wants to potential buyers so that they can fulfill it in an effective and efficient manner. For example: Members of Unicorn Grocery can start taking feedback from customers which help them in determining what are the current likes and dislikes of customers so that they can modify their product as per their requirement. In order to gain high competitive edge it is better to provide such products and services that creates value for customers.
Commercial Funnel: It is a cost effective process by which business enterprises determines various sources that aid them in delivering innovative goods or services among customers in an appropriate manner. Employees plays crucial role as they help in selecting suitable distribution channel for the company through which they can sell or offer their product or services to customers. The channel select must be within the reach of customers. Earlier Unicorn Grocery was selling their product through their physical stores but now they have identified that most of the customer prefer to purchase goods through online websites. Therefore, they have launch their own mobile application through which they can sell their products among customer in an effective and efficient manner. For launching mobile application they need to undertake steps of new product development which are listed below:
Idea Screening: In a company, there are many ideas that takes place but only few are actually good and thus selected. Thus, it is important to analyze each and every idea properly and select the most appropriate among them that help in maximizing the revenue of the company. Therefore, members of Unicorn Grocery needs to select or look into those ideas that are good and eliminate the others.
Concept Testing: This is the stage that mainly deals with testing and development of innovate product, process or services. It mainly outlines the entire innovative idea. The stage is mainly taken into consideration because measure whether the product will be accept by customers or not. It mainly goes through screening process in which some of the customers from target population is selected so that they can test the product and give their actual feedback or opinion regarding the innovative product. Some of the companies only provide information and on the basis of that customers imagine innovative product in their minds. At this stage, feedback also plays key role as it indicate whether the idea for innovation proves to be successful for company or not. Along with this, it also help in determining whether innovative product, service or process has been liked by customer or not.
Market development and strategy: This is the fourth stage at which result of testing and development of product comes out. After the getting either positive or negative response from selected target customer, the role of manager is to formulate business strategies accordingly so that target regarding that can be effectively achieved and company can gain high competitive advantage over their rivals. In addition to that, profitability regarding innovative product or service is also computed which help in formulating marketing and business strategies in an effective manner.
Analysis of Business Financials: At this stage, managers of Unicorn Grocery determines sales of innovative goods or services in the market and compare it with already established sales objectives. This stage help in examining whether the sales target set by company for its innovative product or service are attainable by respective product or not.
Commercialization: This is the last step in which organization finally introduce their innovative product or services in the market
It is mainly taken into account by companies so as to identify the risk concerned with investing in innovation product or services. It is important for every to think practically and logically in terms of innovating product or services. Unicorn Grocery has decided to introduce its own mobile application so that in order to maximize its overall revenue and sales.
The need: This is the first and foremost stage that mainly deals in identifying what is the actual need of the company in context of innovation. This can only be possible if they are aware about current issues prevailing in the market so that they can offer such product or services that beat market competition in an effective manner. Basically it help in determining the reason for which company has decided to embed the process of innovation. For instance: Members of Unicorn Grocery has figure out that in today’s world, people prefer to purchase product through online websites and thus, company decided to launch its own mobile application which gives them high competitive advantage over their rivals.
Your solution: This is the second stage at which company frame the solution regarding innovative product or services. Here the role of manger is to determine the reason for sales declining. As a result company has decided to introduce its own mobile application.
Why it is innovative: Unicorn Grocery become the first one to introduce online mobile application among other SME’s which gives them high competitive advantage in the market over other rivals.
Customer research: At this stage, company conduct research with an aim of determining the likes and dislikes of customer. This can mainly be done through interview, focus group, survey and questionnaire.
Investment Requirement: At this stage, members of the firm determine the various sources of funding that are available in the market. Generally there are two types of funding resources that are mainly taken into account by company i.e. Internal and External. Internal source of funding means when adequate funds are available within the company only such as retained earnings, profits etc. On the contrary, external means when funds are available outside the company in the form of banks, creditors, individual donor, angel investors etc.
Expected benefit: At this stage, the company determines the impact of their innovation product on society, environment and customers.
The Ask: At this stage, feedback is taken from customers once the company is done with executing the innovative products or services. This help them in identifying whether innovative products proves to be successful or not.
Such types of rights are normally given to the creator for their work which allow them to protect their invention from others so that they cannot use them without their consent. Following are the several tools that are used by owner so as to protect or retain their intellectual property are as follows:
Patent: These rights are given to individual for their discoveries or invention. With the help of this tool, Patent holder gets the exclusive rights to eliminate others from using, making and selling their invention without their consent or knowledge.
Copyrights: It provides exclusive rights to the creator for their literary, artistic, musical and dramatic work. With the assistance of this tool, inventor can get exclusive rights concerning modify, display, perform, copy or distribute their work (Wilson, 2014).
Trademark: This tool is in the form of form of symbol, design, word, or phrase that aid in distinguishing product or services from that of opponent's product or services. Their main objective is tocreate their brand image in the mind of customer which makes easier for them to recognize their product.
According to the above mentioned report it can be concluded that in order to gain high competitive edge in the market company needs to keep innovating their product or services as likes and dislikes of customers are changing rapidly. The entire success and growth of any business depend upon how they beat the competition prevailing in the market. There are various tools that help in the dealing with changes in an appropriate manner such as frugal innovation, commercial funnel. Also the application of new product development has also taken into account that help in attaining high competitiveness level in market.
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