4 innovation ideas

May 4, 2020

Turning problems into a long-term business plan

Pumping at the core of every successful business is the strongest muscle: innovation. Creating a solution to a problem or producing an original idea can transform your company. But what exactly is innovation? And how can you achieve it? Sometimes all it takes is taking a step back and looking at simple problems that require complex solutions, or complex problems with simple answers.

We have a separate post on innovation, where we dive deep into some of the best tools and ways to optimise your team’s skillset to achieve tangible results. You can read it here. But before, read on to find out how companies that started from humble origins went on to become some of the most innovative in the world, and how your own business can follow their example:

1) Peloton

The problem: cycling aficionados found it challenging to find time to get to the studio due to home commitments

The solution: bring the studio home

With their sleek tech-enabled stationary bikes and monthly subscription service to access live-streamed classes, Peloton innovated home exercise as we know it.

Peloton’s hardware design readjusts the size of the LED screen, adds magnetic resistance systems,  and chooses power transmission belt drives over traditional bike chains. The user’s data transmits to the bike’s console, which runs a proprietary operating system that aggregates user data and sends it to Peloton’s cloud platform.  This data redistributes in real-time to users who are also taking the same live-stream class, simulating a real gym atmosphere from the comfort of your home.

With over 500,000 paying subscribers, the company reported $915 million in total revenue for the year ending June 30, 2019, an increase of 110% from $435 million in fiscal 2018 and $218.6 million in 2017.

2) Mars Translation Earbuds

The problem: the language barrier

The solution: translating earbuds  

These earbuds go beyond mere translation – it supports 10 languages, and only requires one set of earbuds. Each person uses one of the earbuds, which connect to each other and offer real-time translations. Additionally, automatic noise-blocking allows the microphones placed “inside” the earpiece to pick up a user’s voice directly through the ear canal.

They were awarded the 2018 Best of Innovation award at CES, and although not yet commercially available, it’s a perfect example of a proactive approach to technological advancements.

3) ServiceNow

The problem: software compromises workflow by forcing employers to work one single way

The solution: allow employers to dictate how to work, not the other way around

ServiceNow is a System of Action, a platform where you can automate the process using workflows. Built on the Now Platform, it’s a cloud platform whose core capabilities enable you to quickly and efficiently digitise workflows and run them at scale. It has diversified into 5 primary services which include IT, Security, HR Service Delivery, Customer Service and Business Applications. 

Its success comes from delivering a simplified solution to a complicated problem and continuously adapting to the customer’s needs, based on their feedback.

4) Social Pops

The problem: there was no low-cost tool available to create custom videos to boost fundraisers engagement and success.

The solution: develop a platform where users can easily mass-produce videos automatically tailored to every supporter.

When charity Blood Cancer UK (previously Bloodwise) asked Consider to create an integrated digital marketing campaign, Consider teamed up with Purr to develop truly personalised and flexible videos fundraisers could use to share their fundraising effort to their social networks.

Charities can create all the videos they want. Just supply the video assets like logo and text. Social Pops works together with fundraising platforms JustGiving and Virgin Money Giving to automatically import their supporters’ names, fundraising profile photo and their page URL to create a video unique to them and a unique URL per video which it sends to the fundraiser via email. Once the fundraisers receive their links via email, they can easily download the content and share it on their social media. The result? Valuable organic reach and fundraisers smash their targets.

In our efforts to explore the digital world and the ways other companies solve problems, we spoke with Tim Sparke, co-founder at Congregation and The Friday Club (an innovative start-up network and events organiser), about his approach to coaching teams and how his method helps marketing teams to find solutions. We discussed that people are a key element to innovation and that understanding individuals and how they interact with others should be a focus before attempting to create something new.

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