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Beyond the product: Rewriting the innovation playbook

Big pay-offs from dynamic and distinctive innovation capabilities


Leading businesses today focus on more than creating a better product or service. Instead, they innovate to deliver differentiated customer experiences that can lead to a 3 to 7 percent annualized revenue lift.

identifies four
key categories of innovators:

Early Innovator

Market Share Protector
Market Share
Efficient Executor
Value Maker

Our analysis provides a clear correlation between companies’ innovation capabilities and their financial performance by industry peer sets:

Success in the digital future rests on a new approach to innovation. Accenture defines leading innovators as “early innovators and value makers” who can direct a multi-faceted value proposition of superior insights, digital platforms and total solution experiences.

For businesses looking to rewrite their own innovation playbooks, we outline key steps that should be addressed in order to build the right innovation model for the digital age.

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Accenture analyzed the innovation practices and value performance of 351 businesses from the Global 2000 across eight sectors (automotive, industrial equipment, consumer goods, medical devices, enterprise technology, consumer technology, communications technology and software) and nine geographies (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, South Korea).


Key Findings

Early innovators and value makers are three-times more likely than others to achieve significantly better results in:

Identifying insightful customer/market trends

Incorporating digital as part of the customer experience

Achieving more successful product introductions

Being faster to market

They are three times as well prepared as others for Product-as-a-Service business models.
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What's Next?

A decisive shift from "product push" to meeting the demand for the total experience. The "build it and they will come" approach no longer brings competitive differentiation.

Today’s world requires agile and open demand-driven value creation that offers customers new dimensions of service and experience to anticipate and meet their fast and frequently changing needs.

And to succeed in this new world, companies have to rethink and evolve their innovation "DNA". Achieving that cuts across operations and collaboration with customers and partners. It requires a new lens on competitors and culture, along with the ability to operate in more open and fluid ecosystems. And it demands the ability to master multiple development lifecycles running simultaneously at different speeds.

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Early innovators and value makers are achieving outsized returns from dynamic and distinctive capabilities. Others seeking to increase their return on innovation performance will need to make some significant changes. In Accenture’s view, that means building a concurrent innovation model that rests on three pillars:

While businesses clearly must continue to improve and augment their products and services, they also need to focus broadly and deeply on the ecosystem of customer experiences and connections

Create new revenue through continuously renewing combinations of products, services and experiences that dynamically change and quickly adapt

Orchestrate, activate and influence enterprise wide change; ensure leaders at the helm capable of seeing value where others can't, set the right course and chart progress