Innovations for companies: 10 areas that bring recovery!

"If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses" – Henry Ford

As Henry Ford rightly recognized, the world needs innovation.

Everyone wants their company to keep up with the times, to experience progress instead of regression or stagnation.


We explain in this article what types of innovations exist and what they mean. We'll give you tips and ideas to help you promote and drive your business forward.


But one thing in advance:




The 10 types of innovations


The Innovation Wheel shows possible areas for innovation in a company. Three major overarching areas play the main roles: configuration, experience and offering.


Innovation through configuration


These innovations focus on the inner workings of a company and its business system. The configuration consists of 4 sub-items: The profit, the network, the structure and the process.



The Profit


How do I make money with my product?


In most industries, the prevailing profit model is often not questioned for decades. This blocks innovation and innovative approaches. One should often ask oneself whether the current thinking and acting also achieves the desired effect.



The Network


What can I achieve through proper networking?


The company's mission statement is carried into the corporate world, cooperations, collaborations and reviews are created.


Network innovations also offer companies the opportunity to leverage other companies' processes, technologies, offerings, channels and brands. They can ensure that a company can capitalize on its own strengths while leveraging the skills and advantages of others.



"Networking is an investment in your business. It takes time and produces great results when done right."

– cf. Diane Helbig –



The structure


How do I organize and structure my talents and assets?


Innovation cannot be implemented with "But we always do it this way."


Alternative methods such as project groups or departmental groups promote creative thinking and create exciting new solutions. In these cases, employees do not always work together with the same colleagues, but in an interdisciplinary manner – in projects, brainstorming sessions and presentations.


Employees, who often adapt to new situations and structures, automatically remain flexible and open to new things. If work structures change frequently, change is inherent in the system. Change becomes unnecessary, as it is then part of everyday life.



The Process


How do I create excellently functioning, establishing processes?


Process innovations concern activities and processes related to the quintessence, the product of a company.


The leadership culture is therefore important for process innovation. Even the most brilliant idea is ineffective in a company if it is not taken up by other people in the company. Unfortunately, innovative thoughts get lost in the stress of everyday life every day.


The classic manager takes care of functioning processes and procedures. So-called leaders, on the other hand, act as visionaries. Leadership creates rethinking, innovation, fulfillment of meaning and change. And thus the necessary freedom for employees to develop, express and implement their ideas and innovative projects.


"In hindsight, every good idea is logical, but to get there, you have to change your mindset." – Edward de Bono


Innovation through supply

These innovations focus on a company's core product or service, or on a group of products and services. The offer consists of 2 sub-items: The product performance and the product system.



The product performance

Can I establish myself through product performance innovation alone?

Product performance innovations concern the value, features, and quality of a company's product.

It is the type of innovation that is easiest to copy by the competition. Product performance innovations that deliver long-term competitive advantage are the exception rather than the rule.



The product system

What do product system innovations help me to do?

Product system innovation relies on how individual products and services are connected or combined to create a robust and scalable system.

Product system innovations help to create ecosystems. These ecosystems delight customers and help a company compete against competitors.


Innovation through experience

These types of innovation focus on the customer-centric elements of a company and its business system. The offer consists of 4 sub-points: The service, the channel, the brand and customer loyalty.


The service

How do I support the value of my offerings and reinforce it at the same time?

Service innovation ensures and enhances the value, performance, and obvious value of an offering.

  • Service innovations make it easier to use a product
  • They reveal features and functions that customers would otherwise overlook
  • Service innovations solve problems and clarify ambiguities along the entire customer journey

When service innovations are done well, they transform even boring and average products into engaging experiences that customers will be happy to come back to again and again.



The canal

How can I deliver my offer to customers and users?

Through channel innovation! They encompass all the ways in which a company's offers can be connected with customers or users.

Their goal is to ensure that users can buy what, when, and how they want. And all this with minimal friction and costs, as well as with maximum pleasure



The brand

How do I create a bond between the customer and my brand?

Good brands make a "promise" that attracts buyers and gives them some kind of security. At the same time, this "promise" gives the company a special, recognizable identity.

Brand innovation can transform goods into valued products, create an emotional bond between customer and product, and add meaning, intent, and value to a business.



Customer loyalty

How can I encourage and maintain strong interactions?

Through so-called customer engagement innovations. They help to understand the essential wishes of customers and users and to use these insights to build customer loyalty.

In addition, customer engagement innovations offer a wide range of opportunities for the company itself and its customers – for example:

  • Gamification
  • AI and machine learning-based content
  • Premiums
  • "buy now, pay later"

Sandile Shabangu

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