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Unpacking Innovation from Businesses You Know and Love


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While some of these brands had large budgets behind their fresh thinking, here we share simple ways that any small business can put these concepts to work. With some outside-the-box thinking, your small business will be on its way to being seen as a leader in small business innovation.

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Unpacking Innovation from Businesses You Know and Love

  1. 1. Unpack Innovation from Businesses You Know and Love The Problem There was a shortage of fresh thinking around new LEGO sets and a lack of customer engagement. The Innovation LEGO’s Ideas invited fans of the brand to publically submit their own concepts. Apply it to your small business! Allow customers to try before they buy. Depending on your product or service, consider offering them a small sample or a shortened service to help them see your company’s value. Apply it to your small business! Reimagine the ordinary in the products and services you create. Address the most often cited complaints with even simple changes, and showcase them on your website. The Problem There was a need to provide customers with more relevant programming. The Innovation The company developed multiple algorithms that deliver personalized recommendations on what to watch. Apply it to your small business! Create a more personalized experience for customers with behavior- and purchase-based recommendations. Even if the algorithm is you, it will work. As a small business owner, it can be daunting to think of new ways to solve age-old problems. But a look at some of the nation’s most beloved brands can remind us that big innovations sometimes come in simple packages. The Home Depot The Problem Customers were unable to imagine paint colors in their spaces. The Innovation The Project Color app was created, allowing customers to “try on” wall paint before making a purchase. Dyson The Problem Hair dryer design had not meaningfully evolved in more than 60 years. The Innovation The Supersonic Hair Dryer was created to minimize heat damage to hair, cause less strain on the arm, and — importantly — be quiet. Netflix LEGO Apply it to your small business! Invite customers to share ideas with you through a focus group or on social media, and then celebrate their participation publicly. JetBlue Mint The Problem Travelers felt frustrated with air travel’s high prices and ever-shrinking perks. The Innovation Pricing on passenger perks was dropped. Things passengers typically paid up to $2,000 for — streamlined check-in and boarding, free Wi-Fi, meal services, lie-flat seats and closable suites — JetBlue offered starting at $399. Apply it to your small business! Analyze your pricing. If there’s a way to solve a common complaint with a smart cost correction, your business will stand out from the crowd. 10K 1%The amount the fan earns of the royalties. of what people watch on Netflix is a suggestion from their recommendation engine. YEAR 1 FLEET YEAR 2 FLEET The number of votes required before LEGO gives the design consider- ation. If LEGO approves, the product is created and sold. SOURCES 75%