Tag Archives: Innovation

Embracing Innovation

Innovation is a fact of life.  It always has been, always will be.  Just comes at us faster now.  Embracing innovation has always been a path for companies to achieve quantum leaps in status/market share.

You have two options when your business model or market is undergoing significant change:Embracing innovation

  1. Embrace the innovation, and attempt to utilize it to your advantage
  2. Fail

Embracing innovation is not optional!

Contrasting approaches to embracing innovation is apparent in an article last week in the Wall Street Journal.

Apparently James Craigie from laundry soap manufacturer Church and Dwight seems to be living in the past.  Below is an excerpt from the article with Mr. Craigie commenting on a product innovation by Proctor and Gamble.  P and G introduced the unit-dose pods, which are a convenient way to add detergent to the washing machine.

“Pod is killing the laundry detergent category,” Mr. Craigie said at an industry conference in February.

New products ought to expand the revenue pie for manufacturers and retailers, not shrink it, he said. That is what innovation always did in the past, he said.
 

Can you see the contrasting approaches to this innovation?  The telling words of Mr Craigie are “that is what innovation always did in the past”.  Does it sound to you like Craigie is committed to embracing innovation?  Sounds to me like he is committed to “status quo”. Personally I think he is on a path to failure.  Rather than complaining he should be looking to drive some innovation on his own.  The article states that his firm produces the “low end”  detergents.  He has chosen a very difficult path to profits.  Tough to win the game of “out cheaping” the competition.

P and G has been proactive in a very tough, competitive market.  It is laundry detergent for Heaven’s sake!  If you have a chance to make a significant improvement – you jump at it.  If you launch an innovation and your competition complains about it in an interview, it is probably a pretty good sign you are doing something right.