Innovation is not a marketing term, it is much wider than that, it is a mind-set.

It remains however, an eternal question, often used to open another boring workshop, “What is innovation?”

Usually those who ponder this question are the marketing bods, and the very senior management of an enterprise, but they do not usually do the work of innovation, their task is to create the environment where it can flourish. The work is done by hands on people, leveraging the resources made available to make change, and often working in quiet corners away from the scrutiny of the accountants.

So, again, What is innovation?

  1. Product, obviously, we change products all the time, occasionally it can be classed as innovation, but not often. The firstĀ  iPod was an innovation, the second just a range extension.
  2. Business model. Ebay was a business model innovation that broke theĀ  mould for single item sales by individuals, as is the current move to cloud services from desktop applications.
  3. Business process. Old Henry made the best known process innovation when he adapted the production line from earlier examples, and applied it to automobiles.
  4. Perception of value to a user, demonstrated again by Apple, whose retail outlets are now the most successful retailers on a sales/sq meter basis in the world. Suddenly, bricks and mortar retailing has a place? Or is it a remake of the notion of how value is delivered that all retailers need to absorb.