The Importance of Innovation to Successful Businesses
In our rapidly changing consumer world, businesses that do not innovate are on the path to extinction. While there are certainly members of older generations that find comfort in familiar and recognizable products and services, newer generations demand novel ideas, groundbreaking technologies, and original products and services that continually push the boundaries of our human potential.
Businesses, both big and small, need to find ways to recurrently reinvent themselves in order to cater to the consumer ultimatum: “Innovate or Die.” Below, we look at some of the benefits of innovation for small and successful businesses, as well as offering some suggestions and real life examples of how innovation can reshape a company.
What is Innovation?
Before we look at the actual benefits of innovation, it is important to settle on a definition. While most people think of innovation as new products or services that hit the market. While that certainly is one “face” of this concept, innovation also entails discovering new ways to do things through modifying business models and understanding trends in consumer preference in order to ultimately offer superior products and services.
For example, the hospitality industry has been around for thousands of years. In the last couple of decades, big hotel chains have essentially dominated the market, relying on their brand name recognition to attract customers as they pull off the interstate after a long day of driving.
As the internet has become an ever-increasing part of people´s consumer lives, however, several innovative companies created an innovative approach that revolutionized the hospitality industry. Instead of relying on the brand name recognition of multinational hotel chains, companies like Airbnb created an online marketplace where individuals could offer their homes to travelers.
The result of this online hospitality marketplace has led to a major shift in how people choose the places they stay during vacation and travel. Airbnb allows people to search a wide array of lodging options and make direct contact with the owners and operators of homes and rooms for rent. The fact that the Airbnb platform reserved over 100 million “stays” in 2017 shows that this innovation, while not offering anything new, provided an innovative approach to lodging that coincided with consumer preference to use the internet.
Why Should Your Business Invest in Innovation?
The internet has also created an ever-expanding list of e-commerce options. The explosion of consumer choices that has come about because of the connectedness and digitalization of our world has made consumers more demanding and exacting. Innovation allows you company to offer original products and services while also discovering new ways to stay connected with your clients and their needs.
Furthermore, innovation allows companies to penetrate emerging markets faster than their competition. Since markets are continually transforming and emerging, the innovative company is the one that is best placed to take advantages of opportunities when they arise.
Innovation requires creativity, and many of the largest businesses are actually creating entire departments dedicated to stimulating creativity and innovation. While crafting creative solutions for the marketplace is not always easy or straightforward, the company that prioritizes innovations will put them in a position to envision market prospects before they actually occur.
Examples of Innovative Companies
One of the toughest aspects of innovation is coming up with a truly original and pioneering idea. Too often, businesses tend to get stuck in routine, offering predictable, mundane and unchanging products and services. While you might be able to satisfy a small group of particular clients, innovation is what will allow you to break into new markets, capture new customers, and expand your business to new horizons. One of the best ways to inspire innovation is through looking at how other companies have creatively come up with exciting business proposals that break the mold and offer previously unfamiliar products and services. Below we look at a few example of innovation-driven companies in Australia.
EBroker is one innovative company in Australia that has developed a unique and decentralized platform for business lending. When it comes to searching for business loans, it can be a frustrating process either going from bank to bank or spending hours fruitlessly searching the internet.
EBroker is a non-bank business finance marketplace that brings together over 60 specialty business lenders. With this web-based business, people searching for business loans can quickly and easily compare a wide net of lenders who offer loans specific to their financing needs, including unsecured business loans, equipment finance, invoices discounting and trade finance.
Sendle is another innovative Australian company in the transporting, storage, and postal service. Understanding that there is an increasing consumer demand for products and services that are environmentally friendly, Sendle is the first Australian parcel delivery service that is 100% carbon neutral.
This company meticulously measures and offsets every kilo of carbon emissions that are produced by their fleet of delivery vehicles. They invest in measures to protect Australian rainforest and other carbon reducing initiatives such as more efficient stoves for cooking in African countries. Besides offering numerous ecological benefits, this innovative approach to the parcel industry has allowed Sendle to capture several clients who want their consumer decisions to also be eco-friendly.
Several other companies have greatly benefited from investing in innovation. Here’s a list of our clients that have greatly benefited from investing in innovation.[us_separator][us_person image=”7636″ name=”Jesse Fin” role=”Guest Author Blogger” layout=”trendy” effect=”bw”]Jesse worked as a financial journalist for a large TV station in Korea in her past life. She now focuses on raising her 3 kids. She is also a part time freelance writer and loves to help her friends manage their personal budgets. [/us_person]