We are entering a new era of innovation
It starts from the human; and it creates more competitiveness and growth than technology.
Recent developments in the economic world have brought a new paradigm of innovation based on the Experience. Behind this statement lies a very simple imperative: the need to put people at the heart of the creation process of business models.
Attentive to innovation trends, the Public Investment Bank (BPI) recently announced its intention to fund non-technological innovation. Although all companies have not yet adopted that approach, I was pleased to note that a larger number of entrepreneurs get interest in new methods of innovation focused on the usages and needs of individuals. Good news, because the analysis shows they create more value for businesses.
Let’s enter a new era!
The first industrial revolution has given prominence to engineers and their technological innovations. During this period, new technologies were born that have changed people's lives, such as the steam engine, the internal combustion engine or the electronic component. The Peugeot story is a symbol of successive evolutions of a company related to R & D and technology: having prospered in metallurgy, then in the manufacture of bicycles, the company has refocused on the automotive technology in the first half of the twentieth century. We owe to its engineers the world's first petrol car in 1919.
The second era of innovation was that of the brand. Since the 60s, marketing and advertising have gradually become powerful engines for innovation. Companies have become global icons like Nike or Coca-Cola, whose advertising campaigns reach consumers worldwide thanks to their marketing creativity. But today, the brand and its enchantment capacity are not enough to sell properly.
Let the human be at the heart of the innovation process
People better buy and better use (and more, and more often) what is primarily designed for them. What is thought to solve their problems and improve their life, and only that. This seems obvious? Yet even major corporations have lost sight of the meaning of their business. They do not know why they work anymore. They have forgotten for whom. In their complex organizations, man, this living, carnal human being, not always with an ultra bright smile, who lives in a family not always in gold, has disappeared from the radar. These firms invest huge sums in R & D and marketing, but they are helpless; they do not understand why people are not buying their products anymore.
The answer is yet quite simple. To create innovations, these organizations are remarkably structured around technological and / or brand skills. But they underinvest in the knowledge of the people who buy them. They do not know how they live, why they consume, what they yearn for.
(Re) placing people at the heart of the organization creates value
A new paradigm is emerging that puts the human at the heart of everything. Innovation has entered a new era, that of the Experience. It has its foundations in the intimate knowledge of people's lives through in situ anthropological observations. It produces new offers for the company, which the R & D and marketing then give form and flesh. That innovation is non-technological - it resonates with a mutation of the usages, the emergence of new needs to which it provides a proper answer. Because your products are designed for them, people will buy them and use them.
The performance of the innovation by the experience is read in the company performance.
Many companies have already understood the importance of taking advantage of the knowledge about human lives. Based on an analysis of usages in their complexity and their mutations, through greater attention to users, these companies design products that meet a real need. Stimulated by AirBnB which highlights that the travel experience has changed, Accor developed a user-centered strategy. And in 2015 the group entered the CAC40 largest increases top 10. In the banking sector, Benoît Legrand, CEO of ING in France, says its online banking service meets the mutations of needs of the most connected consumers, who look for an emotional and digital proximity, an accessibility and operational efficiency. ING Direct is the #1 in online banking in France and will pass the one million customers in France in 2015.
The culture of the experience spreads gradually in companies and start-ups, guides their strategies and engages them in a virtuous circle. The future of innovation lies in the observation and subtle understanding of emerging usages and of the desirable experience. Our engineers and marketing people have the talent to turn it into a sustainable offer. In all areas, now, the future is not invented, it is observed.