The ‘Store of the Future’ is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve got nothing against redesigning the retail experience, but there’s so much more to product innovation.
Take Apple for example. They have a world-class customer experience in their advertising, store experience and Genius Bar support. However, they also design some of the world’s best computers, gorgeous smartphones and convenient services such iTunes and iCloud.
Innovation doesn’t stop there in Cupertino! They enjoy some significant network effects from their supply chain and operating systems.
When you consider this bigger picture, you’ll see how pervasive innovation is at Apple. Just like Amazon and Google, they exploit the full spectrum of product innovation. Moreover, the numbers don’t lie. According to Fortune Magazine, Apple has been the most profitable company on the planet for the last two years in a row.
Here’s a breakdown of the product innovation spectrum that will help you make some Apple-like profits.
There are three unique parts of The Product Innovation Spectrum:
- Customer Experience: the journey from interest to advocacy
- Product: any core product or service in a digital or analogue form
- System: an exponential network or structure
Pro: Fast / Con: Copiable
- Marketing: Nike Just Do It Campaigns
- Sales: Tiffany Stores
- Service: Apple Genius Bar
Pro: Builds long term relationship / Con: Takes significant time and money
- Convenience: Soap
- Shopping: Furniture
- Speciality: Lambo
- Unsought: Funeral
Pro: Creates long-term competitive advantage and profit / Con: high risk, takes time
- Direct: Telephone
- Two-sided: Etsy
- Data: Waze
- Tech: Bit Torrent
- Social: Currency, religion
This spectrum can challenge how you perceive the current rate of innovation in your business. If you’re in healthcare or financial services, your product is highly regulated, so you should consider accelerating your efforts in customer experience and system-wide innovation.
Wherever your find opportunity in the spectrum, keep in mind those that do all three areas on the spectrum will significantly outperform the competition. Just ask Tim Cook at Apple Inc.