Last week I had the opportunity to present to a group of business owners on why we need Innovation in business. The majority of the audience seemed a little shell-shocked at the reasons for innovation and the need to have innovation as part of the regular activity in any business.

So let me unpack some of these here in this and a series of blogs for you to read through.

Why do we need to innovate in business?

Three main reasons support this answers, but all have the same purpose. Attention span: personal attention span, product attention span and the life cycle of a business. For each one the life or attention span is limited and soon drops off as people get tired, things change and new things come into focus. If we are expecting our business to continue to flourish as it may have done once before by changing nothing, then think again. If you are at a plateau in the cycle thinking things will be ok, then map this against the rest of the world and you will soon see that you’re flat, or even slight growth looks dismal against the relative growth of the economy and new innovation of the markets.

Mapping your customer’s attention span or engagement to your product on a graph will show you the key places where the slumps are and when customers begin to move away to other brand or substitute products.

Any product life cycle has an initial hype cycle followed by a decline and plateau season. This is then followed by a slump of attention and purchases. Once again, mapping this out will detail the different trends and takeup from your customers.

The final graph to use is the business bell curve or life cycle. The bell curve clearly shows the early success, plateau and decline of a business. Every business goes through the same cycle, just the timing may differ. It is a wise and productive business owner who is able to manage this by innovating at the right time to lengthen the businesses lifespan as well as the customer’s attention and the product’s lifecycle.

Innovation does not need to be a huge change or revamp of your logo and change of corporate colours. It is often small regular changes to keep your brand fresh and top of mind for your customers.

Next blog we will look at the different types of innovation as we begin to unpack some of the things you can do for your business to keep it fresh and in business.