Innovation is the lifeblood of any business. Without innovation, companies risk becoming stagnant, losing market share, and eventually fading away. It’s no secret that the most successful companies in the world are the ones that innovate regularly and effectively. Innovation is what sets them apart from their competitors and keeps them ahead of the game. One framework that has gained popularity in recent years is Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation.
Developed by the innovation consulting firm Doblin, this framework identifies ten distinct ways in which companies can innovate to create value for customers and drive growth.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation and explore how this framework can be used to improve innovation efforts.
What is Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation?
Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation is a framework that identifies ten different ways in which companies can innovate to create value for customers and drive growth.
The framework is based on the premise that there are more ways to innovate than just developing new products or services.
According to Doblin, innovation can occur in many different areas of a business, including its processes, business model, and customer engagement strategies.
How can the framework be used to improve innovation efforts?
Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation framework can be used in a number of ways to improve innovation efforts. Some of the benefits of using this framework include:
- Providing a structured approach to innovation: By breaking down innovation into ten distinct types, the framework provides a structured approach to innovation that can help businesses identify areas where they can improve.
- Encouraging a more comprehensive approach to innovation: By identifying ten different types of innovation, the framework encourages businesses to think more broadly about innovation and consider areas beyond just product development.
- Facilitating collaboration: The framework can be used to facilitate collaboration between different departments within a business, as different types of innovation may require input from different teams.
- Providing a common language for innovation: By using a common framework, businesses can create a shared language for innovation, making it easier for employees to communicate and collaborate on innovation efforts.
Let’s deep dive into ten types of innovation:
Profit Model is one of the ten types of innovation identified by Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation framework. This type of innovation focuses on finding new ways to monetize products or services, which can increase revenue and profits for a business. In this section, we will discuss what Profit Model innovation is, provide examples of companies that have successfully innovated in this area, and share strategies for innovating in this area.
Profit Model innovation is all about finding new ways to generate revenue and profits for a business. This can include:
- Changing the way products or services are priced
- Creating new pricing models
- Developing new revenue streams
- Creating new partnerships or collaborations that increase revenue
Profit Model innovation can be particularly important for businesses that operate in highly competitive markets, where margins may be slim. By finding new ways to generate revenue, businesses can increase their profitability and maintain a competitive advantage.
Strategies for innovating in Profit Model innovation
If you are looking to innovate in the Profit Model area, here are some strategies to consider:
- Create new pricing models – Consider experimenting with different pricing models, such as subscription-based pricing or tiered pricing. You could also consider offering add-ons or upgrades that can increase revenue.
- Develop new revenue streams – Look for opportunities to develop new revenue streams beyond your core business. This could include partnerships, collaborations, or even developing new products or services that complement your existing offerings.
- Consider alternative channels – Explore alternative channels for selling your products or services, such as online marketplaces or mobile apps. This can help you reach new customers and generate additional revenue.
- Focus on value creation – Rather than just trying to increase prices or find new revenue streams, focus on creating more value for your customers. This can help you build a loyal customer base that is willing to pay a premium for your products or services.
In network, innovation focuses on finding new ways to connect with and leverage external networks to create value for a business. In this section, we will discuss what Network innovation is, provide examples of companies that have successfully innovated in this area, and share strategies for innovating in this area.
Network innovation involves finding new ways to connect with and leverage external networks to create value for a business. This can include:
- Developing new partnerships or collaborations
- Expanding a business’s reach through new channels
- Creating new distribution networks
- Building communities of users or customers
Network innovation can be particularly important for businesses that operate in highly competitive markets, as it can help them to differentiate themselves from their competitors and create new opportunities for growth.
Strategies for innovating in Network innovation
If you are looking to innovate in the Network area, here are some strategies to consider:
- Develop partnerships or collaborations – Look for opportunities to partner with other businesses or organizations that can help you to reach new audiences or expand your offerings. This can help you to create new value for your customers and differentiate yourself from your competitors.
- Leverage new channels – Consider exploring new channels for reaching your customers or distributing your products. This could include social media, online marketplaces, or even physical retail stores.
- Build communities – Focus on building communities of users or customers who are passionate about your brand or products. This can help to create a sense of loyalty and engagement, and can lead to valuable word-of-mouth marketing.
- Invest in technology – Technology can be a powerful enabler of Network innovation. Consider investing in new tools and platforms that can help you to connect with and leverage external networks more effectively.
Innovation focuses on finding new ways to organize resources and processes within a business to create value. In this section, we will discuss what Structure innovation is, provide examples of companies that have successfully innovated in this area, and share strategies for innovating in this area.
Structure innovation involves finding new ways to organize resources and processes within a business to create value. This can include:
- Restructuring organizational hierarchies
- Changing decision-making processes
- Streamlining operations
- Creating new business models
Structure innovation can be particularly important for businesses that are looking to improve efficiency, reduce costs, or create new revenue streams.
Strategies for innovating in Structure innovation
If you are looking to innovate in the Structure area, here are some strategies to consider:
- Streamline processes – Look for opportunities to streamline operations and eliminate inefficiencies within your business. This could involve reorganizing workflows, automating tasks, or reducing bureaucracy.
- Change decision-making processes – Consider changing the way decisions are made within your organization to improve speed and efficiency. This could involve decentralizing decision-making authority, empowering employees to make more decisions, or using data-driven decision-making processes.
- Experiment with new business models – Look for opportunities to create new business models that can differentiate your business from competitors and create new revenue streams. This could involve exploring new pricing models, subscription services, or value-added services.
- Develop a culture of innovation – Foster a culture of innovation within your organization by encouraging experimentation, rewarding risk-taking, and celebrating successes. This can help to drive innovation across all areas of your business.
Process innovation is one of the ten types of innovation identified by Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation framework. This type of innovation focuses on finding new ways to create and deliver products or services to customers. In this section, we will discuss what Process innovation is, provide examples of companies that have successfully innovated in this area, and share strategies for innovating in this area.
Process innovation involves finding new ways to create and deliver products or services to customers. This can include:
- Developing new production processes
- Improving supply chain management
- Streamlining distribution channels
- Enhancing customer service processes
Process innovation can be particularly important for businesses that are looking to improve quality, reduce costs, or create new value for customers.
Strategies for innovating in Process innovation
If you are looking to innovate in the Process area, here are some strategies to consider:
- Automate processes – Look for opportunities to automate processes within your business to improve efficiency and reduce costs. This could involve implementing new technology or software, or using robotics or artificial intelligence.
- Improve supply chain management – Look for opportunities to improve your supply chain management processes to reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction. This could involve working with suppliers to improve delivery times or using predictive analytics to optimize inventory levels.
- Enhance customer service processes – Look for opportunities to enhance your customer service processes to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. This could involve implementing new technology or training employees to improve their communication and problem-solving skills.
- Experiment with new production processes – Look for opportunities to experiment with new production processes to improve quality and reduce costs. This could involve using new materials, reconfiguring production lines, or implementing lean manufacturing principles.
The innovation focuses on improving the features and functions of products or services. In this section, we will discuss what Product Performance innovation is, provide examples of companies that have successfully innovated in this area, and share strategies for innovating in this area.
Product Performance innovation involves improving the features and functions of products or services to provide customers with greater value. This can include:
- Enhancing product quality
- Adding new features or capabilities
- Improving product design
- Reducing costs
Product Performance innovation is particularly important for businesses that operate in competitive markets where customers have high expectations for quality and functionality.
Strategies for innovating in Product Performance
If you are looking to innovate in the Product Performance area, here are some strategies to consider:
- Invest in research and development – Allocate resources to research and development to identify opportunities for product improvement and new feature development. This could involve conducting customer research, market analysis, and competitive benchmarking.
- Collaborate with suppliers and partners – Work closely with suppliers and partners to identify opportunities for product improvement and collaborate on product development. This could involve co-designing products or leveraging suppliers’ expertise to improve product quality.
- Leverage new technologies – Adopt new technologies and tools to improve product quality and functionality. This could involve using advanced materials, developing new software, or implementing new manufacturing processes.
- Focus on user experience – Prioritize the user experience in product development by conducting user testing, gathering feedback, and incorporating user insights into product design. This can help ensure that products meet the needs and expectations of customers.
This type of innovation is all about improving the quality and features of a product or service to create more value for the customer. In this section, we will delve into the definition and explanation of Product Performance, highlight companies that have succeeded in this area, and discuss strategies for innovating in Product Performance.
In Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation, Product Performance innovation focuses on enhancing the features and functions of a product or service. This can involve improving the quality, design, and functionality of a product to provide customers with greater value. Product Performance is essential for businesses that operate in competitive markets, where customers have high expectations for quality and functionality. This type of innovation can involve:
- Improving product quality to reduce defects or malfunctions
- Adding new features or capabilities to enhance the product’s functionality
- Enhancing product design to improve the aesthetics and user experience
- Reducing costs without compromising quality
By innovating in Product Performance, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors, create brand loyalty, and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Strategies for innovating in Product Performance
Innovating in the Product Performance area can be challenging, but there are strategies businesses can follow to achieve success. Some of the strategies include:
- Invest in research and development – Allocating resources towards research and development can help businesses identify opportunities for product improvement, new feature development, and better product design. Conducting customer research, market analysis, and competitive benchmarking can provide insights into what customers want and how to improve the product.
- Collaborate with suppliers and partners – Working closely with suppliers and partners can lead to product improvements and collaborations on product development. Co-designing products or leveraging supplier expertise to improve product quality can lead to innovative product solutions.
- Leverage new technologies – Adopting new technologies and tools can lead to improvements in product quality and functionality. Using advanced materials, developing new software, or implementing new manufacturing processes can help create better products that meet customer needs.
- Prioritize the user experience – Understanding customer needs and preferences can help improve the user experience in product development. Conducting user testing, gathering feedback, and incorporating user insights into product design can ensure that products meet customer needs and expectations.
Product System refers to the integration of a company’s products and services into a larger ecosystem that delivers unique value to the customer.
It involves creating products and services that work together to solve a customer’s problem or meet their needs in a comprehensive and integrated way.
By integrating products and services, companies can create a more cohesive customer experience, enhance their value proposition, and differentiate themselves from competitors.
Strategies for innovating in Product System
- Identify customer needs: In order to create a successful product system, companies need to understand the needs of their customers and how they can create an integrated solution to meet those needs.
- Partner with other companies: Creating a product system often involves partnering with other companies to integrate their products and services. By partnering with companies that have complementary products or services, companies can create a more comprehensive solution for their customers.
- Invest in research and development: Creating a product system requires investment in research and development to create new products and services that integrate seamlessly with existing offerings.
- Focus on user experience: Product system innovation is all about creating a seamless and intuitive customer experience. By focusing on user experience, companies can create products and services that work together seamlessly and deliver maximum value to the customer.
Service innovation refers to the development of new services or the improvement of existing ones to create a better customer experience.
This type of innovation is focused on creating value for customers through the delivery of services that are faster, more convenient, more personalized, or more affordable than what is currently available in the market.
Strategies for innovating in this area
- Design thinking: This approach involves putting the customer at the center of the innovation process and using empathy to understand their needs and pain points. By designing services that meet these needs, companies can create a better customer experience and differentiate themselves from competitors.
- Collaboration: Partnering with other companies or organizations can help companies innovate their services by bringing in new perspectives and expertise. For example, a bank might partner with a fintech startup to develop a new mobile banking app.
- Technology: Leveraging technology such as AI, machine learning, and automation can help companies improve the speed and efficiency of their services. For example, a healthcare provider might use chatbots to provide patients with 24/7 support and triage services.
The channel type of innovation refers to how a company delivers its products or services to its customers.
This includes the channels used to market, sell, and distribute products, as well as the methods used to support and engage customers.
An effective channel strategy can help a company reach new markets, improve customer engagement, and increase revenue.
Strategies for innovating in channel type of innovation
- Omnichannel marketing: This approach involves creating a seamless and integrated experience across all channels, such as in-store, online, and mobile. By leveraging technology and data analytics, companies can create personalized experiences for customers across all touchpoints.
- Direct-to-consumer: By bypassing traditional retail channels, companies can create a more direct relationship with customers and have greater control over the customer experience. This approach can also allow companies to offer more affordable prices and greater convenience.
- Collaboration: Partnering with other companies or influencers can help companies reach new audiences and build credibility. For example, a beauty brand might partner with a popular beauty influencer to promote its products and reach a younger demographic.
Let’s now discuss the ninth type of innovation identified by Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation framework: brand. We will define and explain what brand innovation is, provide examples of companies that have successfully innovated in this area, and offer strategies for innovating in this area.
Brand innovation involves creating a unique and compelling identity for a product or company. It is the process of developing a strong and recognizable brand that sets a company apart from its competitors. A strong brand can help a company attract customers, build loyalty, and increase its market share.
There are several elements that go into creating a strong brand, including:
- Brand positioning: the unique value proposition that sets a company apart from its competitors
- Brand messaging: the language and tone used to communicate the brand’s value proposition to customers
- Brand visual identity: the logo, color scheme, and other design elements that represent the brand
- Brand personality: the set of human characteristics associated with the brand
Strategies for Innovating in Brand innovation
If you want to innovate in the area of brand, here are a few strategies to consider:
- Develop a unique value proposition: To create a strong brand, you need to have a clear and unique value proposition that sets you apart from your competitors. What makes your product or service different and better than what’s already out there?
- Create a compelling brand story: People connect with stories, so creating a compelling brand story can help you build a strong emotional connection with your customers. What inspired you to create your product or company? What problem are you trying to solve? How are you making the world a better place?
- Develop a strong visual identity: A strong visual identity can help your brand stand out and be easily recognizable. Consider working with a graphic designer to create a logo, color scheme, and other design elements that represent your brand.
- Focus on building relationships: Brand building is all about building relationships with your customers. Focus on providing excellent customer service, being transparent and authentic, and engaging with your customers on social media and other channels.
- Stay true to your brand values: Once you’ve established your brand, it’s important to stay true to your brand values. Consistency is key in building a strong and recognizable brand.
Customer engagement is the process of building a relationship between a customer and a brand. It involves creating and maintaining a positive customer experience throughout the entire customer journey, from the first point of contact through to post-purchase follow-up.
Strategies for innovating in Customer engagement:
- Personalization: Use customer data to create personalized experiences, such as personalized product recommendations or customized marketing messages.
- Customer feedback: Encourage and listen to customer feedback to understand their needs and preferences, and incorporate this feedback into product and service development.
- Omnichannel engagement: Engage with customers across multiple channels, including social media, email, and in-person interactions, to create a seamless customer experience.
- Gamification: Incorporate gamification elements, such as rewards or challenges, to encourage customer engagement and loyalty.
- Community building: Build a community around the brand, whether through social media groups, online forums, or in-person events, to foster a sense of belonging and engagement among customers.
- Continual improvement: Continuously improve the customer experience through ongoing testing and iteration, adapting to changing customer needs and preferences.
Overview of how the framework can be applied in practice
The 10 Types of Innovation framework can be applied by companies to identify new ways of innovating across their business. By considering each type of innovation in turn, companies can identify areas where they may be able to make improvements or create new opportunities. Some practical steps for applying the framework include:
Conducting a self-assessment: A company can evaluate its current state of innovation by examining how it is currently addressing each of the 10 types of innovation.
Brainstorming new ideas: The framework can be used as a brainstorming tool to generate new ideas and identify areas where innovation may be needed.
Analyzing competitors: Companies can use the framework to analyze how competitors are innovating and identify areas where they can differentiate themselves.
Discussion of the benefits of using the framework
The 10 Types of Innovation framework offers several benefits for companies looking to improve their innovation efforts, including:
A comprehensive approach: By considering each of the 10 types of innovation, companies can ensure that they are examining all aspects of their business and identifying opportunities for improvement.
Structured thinking: The framework provides a structured approach to innovation, which can help teams to think more critically and systematically about their ideas.
Focus on customer needs: By considering customer needs and preferences across different types of innovation, companies can develop more customer-centric solutions.
Competitive advantage: By innovating across multiple types, companies can differentiate themselves from competitors and create new sources of competitive advantage.
Examples of companies that have successfully used the framework to innovate
Several companies have successfully used the 10 Types of Innovation framework to drive innovation in their businesses. Some examples include:
Apple: Apple is known for its innovative products, but the company has also used the framework to innovate in other areas, such as its channel strategy (iTunes) and customer engagement (Apple Stores).
Nike: Nike has innovated across multiple types, including product performance (Nike Air), product system (Nike+) and customer engagement (Nike Run Club).
Procter & Gamble: Procter & Gamble has used the framework to innovate across multiple brands and categories, including product performance (Tide Pods), process (supply chain optimization) and service (consumer support).
Starbucks: The Starbucks Rewards loyalty program offers customers free drinks, personalized offers, and early access to new products. The mobile app allows customers to place orders, earn rewards, and pay for purchases, enhancing the convenience and personalization of the customer experience.
Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola’s brand is built around the idea of happiness and enjoyment. Its logo, bright red color scheme, and iconic glass bottle are instantly recognizable around the world.
Dollar Shave Club: The online subscription-based razor company disrupted the traditional retail model by delivering razors directly to customers’ homes through a subscription service. This approach allowed the company to offer affordable prices and a more convenient purchasing experience.
Zappos: The online shoe retailer built its business around delivering exceptional customer service. By offering free shipping and a generous return policy, Zappos was able to create a loyal customer base that spread the word about the company through positive word-of-mouth marketing.
Uber: The ride-hailing company is a prime example of service innovation, as it disrupted the traditional taxi industry by offering a more convenient and personalized service. Uber’s app allows customers to easily request and pay for rides, while also providing real-time tracking and other features that improve the overall experience.
Amazon: The e-commerce giant has continually innovated its services to improve the customer experience. Its Prime subscription service offers fast and free shipping, as well as access to a range of other benefits such as streaming video and music.
Netflix: The streaming service has revolutionized the entertainment industry by offering a vast library of movies and TV shows that can be accessed on demand. Netflix’s algorithm also provides personalized recommendations to users based on their viewing history.
Tesla – Tesla has revolutionized the automotive industry by developing electric vehicles with superior performance and safety features. Its electric cars offer long-range capabilities, fast acceleration, and state-of-the-art safety features, making them highly attractive to consumers who prioritize performance and safety.
Dyson – Dyson has innovated in the Product Performance area by developing vacuum cleaners and other home appliances that offer innovative design and advanced features, such as cyclone technology and HEPA filtration. This has helped the company differentiate itself from competitors and attract customers who value high-quality products.
McDonald’s – McDonald’s has innovated in the Process area by introducing self-service kiosks that allow customers to customize their orders and pay with mobile devices. This has improved customer satisfaction and reduced labor costs.
Zara – Zara has innovated in the Structure area by developing a fast and flexible supply chain that allows it to respond quickly to changing fashion trends. This has allowed the company to differentiate itself from competitors and create a unique business model.
Google – Google has innovated in the Structure area by developing a flat organizational structure that encourages collaboration and creativity. This has helped to drive innovation and has allowed the company to stay ahead of competitors in the fast-paced tech industry.
Airbnb – Airbnb has innovated in the Network area by creating a community of hosts and guests who can connect and interact with each other through its platform. This has helped to differentiate Airbnb from traditional hotel companies and has allowed the company to grow rapidly.
Alibaba – Alibaba has innovated in the Network area by developing a massive network of buyers and sellers through its e-commerce platforms. This has allowed the company to dominate the Chinese e-commerce market and expand into new areas such as cloud computing and digital payments.
Facebook – Facebook has innovated in the Network area by building a massive social network of users that spans the globe. This has allowed the company to create new opportunities for advertisers and has helped to drive its growth and profitability.
In conclusion, Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation is a comprehensive framework that can help businesses innovate and succeed in today’s competitive market. Here’s a quick summary of the key takeaways from this article:
- The 10 types of innovation are: profit model, network, structure, process, product performance, product system, service, channel, brand, and customer engagement.
- Successful innovation requires a holistic approach that encompasses all 10 types of innovation.
- Examples of companies that have successfully innovated using the framework include Apple, Airbnb, and Uber.
- The benefits of using the framework include improved efficiency, increased profitability, and enhanced customer experience.
- To effectively apply the framework, businesses must first identify their innovation goals and then use the appropriate types of innovation to achieve them.
In nutshell, Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation provides a valuable framework for businesses seeking to innovate and succeed in today’s fast-paced and competitive market.
By embracing this framework and focusing on all 10 types of innovation, businesses can enhance their chances of success and achieve sustainable growth.
Doblin, L. (2010). Ten types of innovation: The discipline of building breakthroughs. John Wiley & Sons.
Hamel, G. (2012). The 10 types of innovation: A review. MIT Sloan Management Review, 53(3), 75-81.
Liedtka, J. (2015). Perspective: Linking design thinking with innovation outcomes through cognitive bias reduction. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 32(6), 925-938.