Business & innovation: what’s in a name?
Each day new products, methods, and ideas hit the market. But is that really all there is to innovation? In reality, it’s a word with many different definitions. As a B2B business, Barry Callebaut actually focusses on the end consumer. Because, they expect the next thing to be the next BIG thing. Over the years, they realized that in-house new product ideas, focus groups and market potential don’t always reflect the needs and wants of their end consumer.
“It’s about connecting with your end consumer earlier on in the process. And taking a broader view of their lives: how do they interact with your product, how does it fit into their lives, workflow… A method I call ‘purpose to experience’.” – Lode Avet
That’s why your innovation strategy has to be both top-down and bottom-up. If management doesn’t provide guidance and direction or doesn’t remove barriers for innovation, it’s very hard for individual teams to innovate in the context of a large organization. On the other hand: Innovation needs to be owned and driven by your teams and also by external partners. In the case of Callebaut, those are the top pastry chefs they collaborate with.
Don’t underestimate the knowledge your salespeople have either, since they are the closest to your customer. Both your salesforce and your partners have a good feeling of what’s going on in the market. The R&D department can use their sound information to create innovations that meet the customer’s needs. The challenge is to connect both worlds successfully.
So, are your ready to create a leading innovation? Discover what works and what doesn’t.