Product innovation: what it is and how to communicate it online

Product innovation means giving a given service or product more quality than the competition or completely revolutionizing the concept to introduce an absolute novelty.

Innovating a product or service also means changing the communication and promotion system for it. Today more than ever, marketing takes advantage of digital technologies to do so because the web allows you to have a virtual showcase that is always visible to interested potential customers.

Product innovation could really be a trump card if a company takes advantage of online channels to disseminate and promote it. If you have a company and you are thinking of innovating your products and services by exploiting the potential of digital, sign up for the course Digital Innovation Program.

What is meant by product innovation?

Product innovation is the process of technological innovation of a product or service. This process uses scientific and technological progress to improve the production processes of products already on the market or to develop new products.

What is meant by technological innovation? It is a question of introducing innovative, original products that reflect revolutionary and cutting-edge concepts. It is the only way to survive in an extremely competitive market, where there are thousands of similar products, and also subject to international competition.

That’s why if you want to have a competitive advantage over the competition, it is essential to study market demands, reflect on what might be the right choice for your company, and understand how service or product innovation can be welcomed by your customers.

Innovating a product also means revolutionizing and refining sales, promotion, and communication techniques, in order to make it known and make it captivating in the eyes of customers and to acquire new customers.

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What is the difference between product innovation and process innovation?

Innovation can go beyond the launch of totally revolutionary products or services or the enhancement of an existing range of products with a view to making a significant improvement. In this regard, we speak of business process innovation in relation to the introduction of new ways in which the company carries out its activities.

This may concern production processes and techniques, marketing and communication, logistics, or storage methods. Process innovation, therefore, requires substantial structural changes, which will contribute to increasing the efficiency of the production and distribution of a product or service.

In this sense, product innovation and process innovation are complementary: even if product innovation is more evident in the eyes of customers, the two types go hand in hand in helping a company’s competitiveness. The latter in most cases indicates an investment by the company, it will find itself investing considerable economic resources.

Types of product innovation

How innovations can be? There are various classifications that divide product innovation into several types, the one that concerns the development of new industrial products or the improvement of production techniques of them is the following.

  • Radical innovations: it is the improvement in terms of quality of products already available on the market, a process that starts from the invention phase, and then continues in the experimentation and distribution phases. The main feature of radical product innovation is the likelihood of obtaining unprecedented performance, but also that of equipping the products with new functions and configurations. As the term itself says, radical innovations mark a break with the traditional product in terms of concept, use, and performance and in this sense, they are disruptive and extemporaneous.
  • Incremental Innovations: they bring improvements, implemented in a progressive way, to existing products but without modifying the basic production technology. What are the main characteristics of an incremental innovation? Compared to the radical, occasional, and explosive one, the incremental one is constant and gradual and is implemented on products that are intended for new user groups and new applications to respond to market demands. By not assuming a transformation of production technologies, the skills required are not too different from those already possessed and the risk of an uncertain investment is minimal.

Another classification belongs to consequences on company competencies, i.e. the new skills and knowledge that the company must acquire to support the product innovation process, individual competence enhancing innovations, and competence destroying innovations.

While the former determines a change that improves the previous skills, the latter cause the company to develop completely new skills that mark a break from the pre-existing ones, which become obsolete.

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Product innovation and marketing

A fundamental component of the product innovation process is its marketing and communication to generate in potential customers the request for the product in question.

To introduce an innovative product on the market it is necessary to study the clientele in order to arouse in them the need for that product, going to stimulate people’s unconscious, what are the factors that trigger the impulse to buy, and the impact that your product could have on the potential customer.

Based on this information, it is necessary to plan a strategy that communicates the product to existing customers and potential future customers. Today the best way to promote product innovation is certainly online which, with Digital Transformation, allows you to reach customers where they spend most of their time.

The web provides numerous tools for innovation by communicating and promoting innovative products and offering potential customers content tailored to their interests to attract their attention.

How to communicate product innovation with digital tools? You need to study one strategy that coordinates and involves the different tools in order to retain acquired customers and intercept potential customers interested in your product. The following channels and tools cannot be missing from your digital strategy.

  • Website: the site represents the business card of your company, so it is essential to be found online by making sure you have a website optimized for search engines and with attention to the User Experience aspects to guarantee users a simple and memorable interaction.
  • Social Media: social networks are the real revolution in communication between companies and customers, they are the virtual place where users spend most of their time, so you can use them to make them aware of the product innovation you have undertaken, to transmit its value, the message, and the benefits.
  • Public relations: to make your innovative product known, you cannot fail to establish relationships with other companies, organizations, brands, and people related to your business, you can take advantage of the digital PR tools that allow you to communicate thanks to blogs and social media. In this sense, public relations also allow you to make yourself known and talked about through online press releases and online newspapers.
  • Digital Advertising: advertising has always been a fundamental communication channel for promoting new products, the digital one exploits channels such as blogs, websites, and social media, therefore it allows you to intercept only potentially interested users.

However, what are we talking about in technical terms? Do you know what marketing technology is? And what is the Martech meaning? It is the union between marketing and technology.

This new orientation allows companies to speed up and automate internal processes and achieve more efficient results in less time.

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Examples of product innovation

A world-renowned company that makes product and service innovation its distinctive feature and takes advantage of optimal communication Amazon. The Bezos marketplace was a simple site for online book purchases and, over the years, it has evolved more and more, making more and more products available, increasing the number of categories that have become increasingly numerous and transversal.

All this has led to a total corporate evolution which is also reflected in the communication and brand elements, such as the logo, which in its transformation, i.e. from the simple curved gold-colored line to the symbol of the arrow, wants to communicate precisely the sale of products from a to z.

This is a classic example of product innovation which has also materialized in a progressive integration of innovative services, such as Amazon Prime and various other products such as Amazon Music, Prime Video, and the cloud storage service.

Now that you have a general overview of what product innovation is, you will have understood how useful it can be to a company and, above all, how much communication and digital marketing channels can benefit and accelerate the process.

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