As a marketer, business person, or artist, you need to be innovative in order to stand out from the crowd, get new customers and convince those customers to return in the future. But what actually is innovation? It’s a word tossed around a lot but not defined very much.
In simple terms, it’s the ability to see, understand and act on what others miss. Nick Skillicorn believes that innovation is “turning an idea into a solution that adds value from a customer’s perspective.” Gijs Van Wulfen will tell you that innovation is “a feasible relevant offering such as a product, service, process or experience with a viable business model that is perceived as new and is adopted by customers.” From these definitions we can see that innovation is something new and useful that sets you apart.
Bringing it with you wherever you go means you can sketch whenever you want. This record of your work is a good motivator as you assess how your skill develops over time.
So how do you become innovative? How can you find solutions for your customers that they will adopt quickly and love you for? The key step is figuring out what your customers already need and are searching for. Then, all you have to do is service that need.
Figure out what your customers need. It could be something they are already asking for or something they didn’t know they needed. It’s easier said than done. How do you go about doing that?
1. Talk to your customers. You can use comment cards or email follow up to ask your customers what problems they are having that you can solve. If you run a face-to-face business, ask them directly. Develop reward systems for their feedback.
2. Get technical. You can use Google Analytics in conjunction with your website to see what search terms bring your customers to your site. You can then use those popular terms to research what else those kinds of people are searching for. Drawing conclusions based on these search terms can help you anticipate your consumers needs.