This type is about developing distinguishing features for your product or service. This is the most ‘well-known’ form of innovation because it includes styling, exceptional quality, new technology and safety aspects of the product or service. In the example we’ll see a product that is superior in technology and design from Dyson. Another form of product performance is customization. A classic example of customization would be Mars with its M&M’s that are fully customizable with personal logos and messages. Another example would be Nike, which gives users the opportunity to design its own shoes. An example of a technology with a radically improved quality is Corning Gorilla Glass, a very thin scratch-resistant glass especially developed for smartphones. It is currently used in over a billion devices worldwide for over 33 brands.
A combination of new products could lead to a product system. This is about creating value from complementary products and services. For instance, complements, extensions, plug-ins and modular services. IKEA, while also accelerating in process innovation, also reinvented the world of complements (or bundled products) by letting users select certain bundles of products and adding extensions, colors and other materials individually. It was a radically different view in the furniture industry.
Technology is also about creating superior methods to do your work (more effectively and more efficiently). Examples of process innovation are ‘lean production’ and ‘on-demand production’. In the example depicted we are seeing the case of Uber versus the traditional taxi industry. Uber basically reinvented the process of getting a cab. It is very lean and very automated and therefore highly effective. The need for clarity around problem solving, collaboration, and communication leads to formal operational processes which can reduce ambiguity and create more predictable results. Operational processes that are too formal, however, can erect barriers to creativity, create bureaucracy, and lead to less coordination across the organization (Roca, 2013).