Which innovations support your business promises?

As a starting point, all innovations must be based on customer value-creation; truly understanding the customer’s needs and matching their expectations. New products and services are linked to the previously-defined brand and not only appreciated by customers but also by the whole organization.


The cornerstone of a successful innovation pipeline/portfolio is the establishment of an innovation architecture. Fulfilling the brand promise by offering a portfolio of customer-relevant innovations and, in doing so, driving the entire business process forward is a never-ending exercise. Within the innovation architecture, we distinguish between three areas: Core area, Incremental area and Disruptive area. 


The core area of the company involves products and services currently offered to its customers and directly associated with the company by its customers and the general public. Experiences from the past also play a role here. In the core area, we often find permanent optimisation in small steps with a focus on automation; output is gradually increased.


This area depicts the expansion of the company’s product portfolio and product range, which often stems from the further development of technologies (e.g. Internet, streaming), yet is still in line with the core segment. This is accepted by the customer if the quality is compatible with the claim from the core. Major changes are therefore achieved by scaling and smart changes e.g. production processes and project structures.


The most visible changes are made in the disruptive area, where future changes in customer behaviour are anticipated. It is often paired with great technological leaps (AI Tech Developments e.g. NLP)) and crosses the chasm of products from the consumer’s perspective (e.g. the swift adoption of a voice-AI-enabled personal assistance system, such as Alexa). Thinking  and acting big is a decisive factor here. Completely new approaches are applied but are always kept in line with the value proposition. This also allows spatial jumps (aka space jumps) to be made here.

These areas can sometimes flow into one another. A balanced approach combines new and existing products and services.

An innovation architecture / framework includes the corresponding KPIs and supports the central value proposition. It provides guidance for resource-allocation and value-creation. The interplay of the different planning and implementation stages helps to make reinvention operational in the everyday workflow, and facilitates constant reflection and learning.


As with all of our five dimensions, the guiding question at the beginning is easy to ask but needs time and energy to answer. So, take your time to browse through your mind and our magazine, and then return: Which innovation supports your reinvention journey in a sustainable and credible way?


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Reinventing Mercedes – a mind game

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