Retail Global: The Science of Innovation

Retail Global

As the dust settles after the annual Retail Global conference we have come back to the office inspired with a renewed vision of what Australian retailers want from MI Academy. For those who were unfortunate enough to not make it to the Gold Coast, no stress here’s the run-down of Alita’s talk.

The Science of Innovation – Start-up Thinking for Developed Companies

Innovation is not only good for business; it is necessary for business. Surrounded by so many great retailers at Retail Global the need for retail innovation was especially clear. There is no shortage of good retailers in the market so how do you get ahead? Innovation is key.

Key Learnings:

  • MI’s Top 10 Innovation Takeaways for 2017
  • What is disruptive innovation?
  • MI’s 8-Step Guide to Business Innovation

View Alita’s slideshow on The Science of Innovation and read on for our 8-Step Guide to Business Innovation. 

MI’s 8-Step Guide to Business Innovation

Hypothesise: What would you do if anything was possible? Innovation isn’t a time to play it safe nor is it a time to take a sideways glance at your competitor and attempt to copy or better something they are already doing. Let me give you an example, when Snapchat first released ephemeral messaging it had a huge impact on the popularity of Facebook Messenger, a couple years later Instagram released ‘Instagram Stories’ an unashamed direct copy of Snapchat. This my friends is not innovation! To innovate you need to find something that hasn’t already been done.

Empathise: What are the pain points of your customer base? Maybe you, or your competitor, are already satisfying the market, but what is that little inch of efficiency or innovation that you are missing? A great example of an innovation based on a customer pain point is everybody’s favourite procrastination buddy Netflix. Netflix entered a market that was already largely consumed by single-purchase services such as iTunes and Blockbuster. Netflix saw that ‘binge watching’ was common within this market and came to the conclusion that a subscription service would better accommodate customer needs.

Define: Now it is time to really define what it is you actually want to achieve. Ask yourself, why do I want to innovate?

Ideate: How can you do it? It’s important to disregard practicalities until this point. Innovation doesn’t begin with an easy-to-achieve idea, it comes with an idea that will need to bend over backwards to make possible. Because, if it were easy, somebody else would’ve already done it! What tools, resources and commitments will it take to achieve your idea? Do you have the technology available? If not, are you able to develop the technology needed?

Shortlist: Time to knock some options off your shortlist. Keep in mind if your chosen idea doesn’t work you can always fall back on one of these options or go back to the drawing board entirely.

Prototype: Now it’s time to work your moon-shoot idea into workable a prototype. To make the most of the prototyping stage you should ensure:

  • Your prototype is interactive so people can experience it for themselves
  • Your prototype needs to be developed enough that you can show how it works, rather than explaining how it should or will work

Test: starting with small trial groups test your ideas. This is time to scrutinise the success of your idea. You are looking for the tiny little hairline fractures that could destroy the execution. Don’t be disheartened if some of your ideas fail miserably, it’s better for it to happen during the testing stage rather than during implementation.

Implement: the final step is often the hardest part as it when you put months sometimes years’ worth of innovation development out on a public stage. Now it’s up to them! If you fail? You won’t be the first successful innovator to stumble in the beginning. Time to go back to the drawing board!

“If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would’ve said faster horses.” – Henry Ford

If you didn’t catch us at the expo and want to see what MI Academy can do for your digital business shoot us an email and we can set up a 15-minute free digital marketing consultation.

In part 2 of our Retail Global recap, I will provide you with a summary of Alita’s talk on ‘Reclaiming Revenue: The Mobile Inbox. If you have any questions you didn’t get to ask at the expo shoot them through, we are always happy to chat!

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