A Snack Is Not an App: Agile Innovation in an FMCG World
In 1917, Nikola Tesla, one of history’s great innovators, was awarded the Edison Medal. During his acceptance speech, he revealed the secret to his success: “a new method of materializing inventive concepts and ideas.” By constructing a new idea in his mind and considering calculated iterations before generating a final product, he was able to avoid losing steam and preserve the integrity of the original idea.
Today, thanks to the evolution of technology, there’s no need to use our minds to run these projections. Machine learning and simulators can help manufacturers in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry achieve what Tesla discovered more than 100 years ago. By applying this process of predictive research, successful innovations can be realized without the sacrifice of quality and time.
These are precisely the elements at stake when a product or marketing plan is launched before being truly ready, later demanding course correction. Yet in the current FMCG landscape, where manufacturers are pressured to be more agile in order to achieve growth, quality is sacrificed for speed in the name of being “agile.” So while beta testing in market—when a product is launched in a live setting and only then improved upon and iterated, based on initial launch feedback—is one of several common approaches responding to the call to be more agile, it presents risks.
In previous research, we concluded that it’s the combination of being faster and smarter that ultimately improves the chances of success. Agile market research should help you prototype your ideas in a safe environment and enable you to identify the best possible version of each prototype before you invest in more expensive execution steps. And the concept of predictive research as an agility enabler can increase your chances of success by 3x.
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