Incremental innovation occurs when added value is given to a product that already exists on the market.
When an incremental innovation is carried out, there are gradual and gradual changes in an existing product and the results can be appreciated in short periods of time.
In the same way, to give added value to a product, small improvements or modifications are added to a good or service. Which allows it to have superior performance or functionality each time.
However, to carry out incremental innovation processes requires the proposals of many creative ideas. Each idea must be focused on achieving a specific goal. Therefore, innovation is taking place gradually and small improvements are being achieved.
Indeed, it is considered incremental innovation to give new functions to a product, change its design or in general make it more attractive and interesting for the consumer. Incremental innovation is also done to improve consumer expectations and experiences with modifications added to products.
How incremental innovation is done
To achieve this type of innovation requires that the companies that implement it involve all their staff. The most commonly used techniques are brainstorming, study groups or proposals for new designs as tools where people's creativity is revealed.
Although, the problem with this type of innovation is that the improvements can be considered by users as unnecessary. They may also be accepted, but may only be perceived as important for a short time.
Advantages offered by incremental innovation
The main advantages of incremental innovation are:
1. Economic benefits
In fact, companies that are dedicated to applying incremental innovation processes obtain economic benefits over time. This, because making small modifications to the products allows them to keep them well positioned in the market and for customers to continue to prefer them.
2. It does not take much time
However, since incremental changes are being made to the products, the research and development process does not require a lengthy one. Therefore, little time is needed to carry out the process of change and improvement in the product.
3. Increase the level of sales
Similarly, changes and innovations in products are perceived by the market in a positive way. Since adding new functionalities and attributes to products makes them more attractive to consumers. This results in a higher effective sales margin for the company. The improvements also favor a greater satisfaction of the consumer or user of a product.Incremental innovation
Disadvantages of incremental innovation
Among the main disadvantages of incremental innovation we find:
1. Not getting a differential advantage
But, it can happen that companies invest a lot in making changes or improvements in products and consumers do not consider them important. In addition, it could happen that they perceive them as something similar that they can find in the products of the competition and they do not acquire a differential advantage.
2. Imitation by the competition
Also, the company may have invested a lot of money to achieve an advantage through incremental modifications added to a product. However, the competition quickly follows suit and the advantage cannot be sustained for long.
3. Adaptation risks
Likewise, there is a risk that it will be very difficult for a company to adapt quickly to market demands. This situation means that there is very little opportunity to obtain a reasonable level of profit.
Examples of incremental innovation
Certainly, to mention some examples of incremental innovation, we can name the Apple company that has been characterized over time in continually improving its products. The idea is to stay well positioned in a market segment that appreciates product quality and is willing to pay a high price for this benefit.
Similarly, the case of Sony can be mentioned, which is a well-known brand in the video game market. Since it constantly makes changes and modifications to its products, which allow it to maintain market leadership.
Finally, we can affirm that incremental innovation is a tool that helps to keep products in a strong position within the competitive environment. Because it is used to add value to the goods and services that already exist in the market. Above all, when we see that the markets remain in a process of continuous evolution; and where consumers become more demanding in terms of price and product attributes.