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Business Models for an Era of Innovation Glut

by Alistair Davidson
published in Ivey Business Journal, 2013
Ref 9B13TD05

Business Models for an Era of Innovation GlutThe real problem for the client or consumer is that each supposedly new innovation has a ‘me too’ look, argues Alistair Davidson in this article. He goes on to say that knowing your market and differentiating sharply on value will enable your product or service to stand out in the crowd.

Most businesses will assume that nobody else will identify the same needs or tackle the same opportunities, and few assume that a large number of competitors will build a similar product with similar tools or offer propositions with similar values. This is essentially ‘me too’ innovation, says the author.

This lack of value differentiation in a competitive environment is almost certain to be a problem, and may send businesses down the wrong development path. Even worse, a business’s definition of value may not match that of the market, or it may be difficult to identify who is likely to buy quickly with a low sales cost.

This article also addresses challenges such as over-delivering features, performance and benefits when a simpler product may be easier to understand, purchase and use.

Alistair Davidson adds:

I’ve observed that many decision-makers prefer to invest in easily matchable or me-too strategies, but innovation research suggests that the single largest predictor of new product success is offering a differentiated, high-value product; seeking new ways of differentiating and creating value is critical to commercial success.

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About the author

Alistair Davidson is the principal of Eclicktick Consulting and provides facilitation, demand creation and marketing, and product and innovation management services. He has worked with startups, turnarounds and large companies and has designed and taught strategy and war-gaming simulations in three countries on MBA and executive education programmes. Alistair is the author of four books on strategy. This article is based on his latest publication, Innovation Zeitgeist: Digital Business Transformation in a World of Too Many Competitors.

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