Grow your business with smart innovation
New Zealand is well known to be innovative and the “No. 8 wire” mentality is well ingrained within our culture. But to remain competitive on the global stage we need to refine our approach, to allow us to innovate more effectively. New Zealand businesses need to get smarter, leaner and more brutal when it comes to investing in new growth opportunities. Too often in SME’s and corporates, innovation is executed poorly with significant sums of capital wasted, taking a punt on new products or services, without properly testing their feasibility or understanding the potential of the opportunity. The ICEHOUSE now has a programme that can assist you to innovate with “smarts” and unlock the growth potential that is lingering within your business.
There’s no doubt about it, innovation is tough. If you dial in on one particular part of innovation, new product or service development, the statistics paint a grim picture. The failure rate for new products launched by established companies is approximately 65%. For those that haven’t heard this figure it’s a huge shock and the obvious next question is why? The main reason is simple. They don’t sell. There are a number of reasons why products don’t sell but almost everything can be distilled down to one thing, there is a disconnect between the people making the product and the people using or purchasing the product. They either don’t understand the customer need they are solving or they are solving it in a way that doesn’t resonate with their target market.
The good news is that there is something that businesses can do to increase their odds of product success. By focusing on the customer, first and foremost, businesses will give themselves a much better probability of developing an offering that will gain traction. The ICEHOUSE has adopted the Ready – Aim – Fire approach, popularised by one of The ICEHOUSE’s International Executive in Residence, Dr Rob Adams. Using the Ready – Aim – Fire process companies can quickly, effectively and cheaply understand whether a particular growth opportunity warrants a further investment of time and money. After a successful operating career that included stints at a range of technology companies Dr Adams is now recognised as an expert on the topics of company and product strategy, marketing and technology issues. Having had involvement with the launch of over 100 products Dr Adams has first-hand knowledge about the challenges and pitfalls associated with taking new offerings to market and has devised a methodology to help pave the way for the next generation of ground-breaking products and services.
The Ready – Aim – Fire approach is a series of fundamental business practices that are arranged and executed in a unique and innovative way. The process helps to answer two questions – Is there a growth opportunity? And if there is, how do we tackle the opportunity and deliver an offering that will fulfill the customer need in a way which is loved by those customers? At the conclusion of the process, companies will possess a unique and proprietary view of the opportunity that will better position them to make a decision about whether further resource is invested to execute on the opportunity. Specifically, companies will understand:
- The market landscape and the potential of the opportunity
- The problem they solve for their identified target market
- A tested value proposition and refined set of features or service offerings that customers require
- What pricing the market will bear
By following a clear process with defined outputs Business Owners, Senior Managers, Project Managers and Board-members will have access to clear, actionable information that will allow them to make more informed decisions. In addition to gaining clarity about the attributes above, companies will minimize their time to market, be able to efficiently allocate marketing and product/service development budget, have a list of qualified leads that are potential customers and ultimately minimize the risk of innovation by spending a little to learn if and how any further funds should be spent.
So what kinds of companies can we help? The beauty of the process is its ability to work for a diverse range of opportunities. In recent months The ICEHOUSE has helped a number of businesses to unlock their growth potential. Below is a quick snapshot of the types of companies we have helped and how we have been able to assist:
- Performing a project for a medium sized services company that was looking to expand its operations into a new geographical market. The project ultimately accelerated the learning curve and provided some hard evidence that enabled them to develop a Go-to-market strategy based on facts and evidence rather than just gut feel and instinct.
- Assisting a medium sized education company spin-out an internally developed piece of intellectual property and assist in understanding if and how they could pursue the commercialisation of this technology. The organisation was keen to work with The ICEHOUSE to ensure proper process was followed that would help mitigate the risk of the project.
- Assisting a large corporate, that is looking to expand into the Asian market with a handful of new opportunities. Although they are a very successful company they were eager to have The ICEHOUSE involved in the project to challenge their assumptions and provide objectivity, ensuring that proper process is followed. The ICEHOUSE helped them to quickly “park” the bulk of their opportunities and focus on the handful that showed the most promise.
If you have an established business and are looking at venturing into new places or spaces or a combination of both, let us guide you through the process, provide the objective oversight and assist you to develop a successful offering that gains traction and turns on a brand new revenue stream for your business.
For more information about how The ICEHOUSE may be able to assist you as you pursue new growth opportunities, please contact Mike Stokes at The ICEHOUSE. M.Stokes@theicehouse.co.nz