The Pursuit of Innovation: Breakthrough vs. Incremental

Every aspect of a business, brand or organization can be optimized through innovation – customer relationships, process, human resources – all in pursuit of a meaningful experience. What’s more is that this application opens up the culture of innovation to all, not solely the ‘creatives’.

With an incredibly competitive market and a demanding customer base, creative agencies require an innovation culture to stay relevant. Many employ one of two types of innovation, even without knowing it.

More often, unaware of it’s process, a company innovates through an incremental process. Incremental innovation is considerably the more conservative method and exists on small, gradual improvements to a product or service. This may not even be seen as innovation during implementation, but in retrospecting a product’s synthesis over time, one can obviously see the benefit and upgrades to it’s user – thus solving their problems through innovation. Incremental innovation responds to it’s users needs, making their lives better, becoming more useful and earning the trust of the marketplace. Because this type of innovation is more of a reaction made in increments, the process is seen as immediate and responsive, which can prove wildly beneficial for a brand – although far less attention grabbing than its counterpart.

Alternately, the headlines we all hear about in flashing marquee lights and in the morning paper are the breakthrough innovations. Those impressive, life changing moves that are inarguably inhabit the fantasies of CEO’s and startups everywhere – swirling visions of their organization being catapulted to every home in every city and solidifying their stance for years to come. Although seemingly a quick burst of information, breakthrough innovation is marked by years of research and development requiring large amounts of capital.

However an organization approaches innovation, it’s truly about the people at the helm, moving the process forward. In an age of staggering technological advancement, there exists dizzying array of innovative products but the actual innovating is about as humanistic as it gets.

It’s a truly unique ability to be able to process mass amounts of information and ideas, intuitively turning them into groundbreaking creative endeavors.

Vanessa Petersen

As Executive Director of Brand Strategy based in ArtVersion’s Portland office, Vanessa manages both national and West Coast accounts. She brings with her a passion for strategy with extensive experience in creative marketing, brand growth and development. She is a true advocate of storytelling and brand building from the inside out, and her keen knowledge of the marketplace, trend patterns and usability lead her to identify opportunities that can inspire powerful design strategies.

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