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The Top 5 Product Innovation Mistakes to Avoid

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Zandi Brehmer Bio

Today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world has applied even more pressure on innovators to grow their business. In order to remain relevant and stay ahead of the pack, innovators must have a top notch process to bring successful products to market.

With over 20 years’ experience in designing bespoke innovation solutions and assisting clients with their innovation strategies, Euromonitor International has compiled a list of the top roadblocks that hold innovators back.

The five biggest mistakes companies make when innovating new products

1. Not investing enough up front

Businesses have strict rules or procedures around concept tests and product launches, but often don’t go through a rigorous enough process in the early innovation stages to ensure they are solving the right issues at the right time.

Identifying the biggest consumer/customer needs for tomorrow is a critical first step that saves companies time and money in the long run.

2. Sticking too close to home

Many companies have the tendency to look for opportunities within their category, industry, or market and fail to factor the fast-paced evolution of the broader world in which consumers/customers view them.

Looking at global, socioeconomic, and demographic trends as well as ancillary industry movements helps innovators to identify patterns and draw parallels that can lead to disruption.

3. Being too conceptual

For companies that do think outside-the-box in opportunity identification, we often see that they fall short in a critical next step: taking a broad concept (such as a megatrend) and bringing it down to tangible actions for their category or industry.

Take broad insights and pivot to creative, strategic next steps through the power of cross-functional interaction, workshops, and hands-on immersion/learning.

4. Focusing on solutions and not on solving the issue

Once a need is identified, companies tend to leap straight into new product ideas and actual concepts.

Take the time to flesh out a full understanding of the issue and think of the need as a “job” a consumer/customer would like done to stretch to multiple ways one problem can be solved.

5. Getting stuck at the finish line

Many companies fail to consider the benefits of first-player movement vs. an absolute perfect launch and miss opportunities by being too slow, while others may have a perfect product that fails due to poor launch strategy.

Create a culture of innovation agility, but make sure that product marketing focuses on a consumer-based story of benefits over features.


Euromonitor International helps companies avoid the common mistakes above through the following capabilities: megatrends/scenario analysis, inspirational case studies, concept exploration, and interactive workshops. We work across 80 markets and 30 industries to help customers draw inspiration from numerous creative perspectives. Our database of thousands of trends, products, and players can help guide your innovation process from strategic opportunity identification to product launch. To learn more, request a consultation.

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