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The 12 Pathways To Innovation At Expo West


The 12 Pathways To Innovation At Expo West

At Telocity we have an approach to new product development that is structured around our framework for thinking called ‘The 12 Pathways To Innovation’. This framework enables us to create effective new products for our clients beyond random ideation by looking at the business opportunity through a lens of what are the strongest innovation pathways to pursue based on where the brand and business is today and where it wants to go.

At Expo West, I was very excited to see so many different pathways to innovation so effectively brought to life through the myriad of natural and organic brands and products on display.

One of the pathways that we focus on is The Brand Purpose. A brand at the expo that very effectively uses its purpose to increase the brand’s traction in the market is the KIND Snacking Brand. The Kind brand is built on the concept of being kind to one’s body, tastebuds and the world. In addition to providing consumers with exceptionally good quality healthy snacks, they also have brought their brand purpose to life through the Kind Movement that focuses on encouraging people to do their part in supporting 24 big, kind acts. The movement is incredibly successful because not only does it tap into a very strong, emotional premise, but there is excellent brand fit with the Kind brand.

Another pathway to innovation we look at is brand archetypes and whether a brand can fulfill a different consumer need within a category by fulfilling a different archetypal role than that traditionally filled by brands in the space. A good case in point at the Expo was Dr. Lucy’s Cookies (BTW – they are delicious). Cookies mainly fulfill the role of an ally or an entertainer, but Dr. Lucy’s archetype is much more that of a caregiver. She has created a cookie brand that actually is positioned as looking after you and your family through the creation of allergy free cookies. The fact that the cookies are made by an actual doctor (and a mom) both ‘caregiver archetypes’, gives them that extra edge of credibility.

Good Belly is a brand that is an excellent example of finding a new delivery system for a product (a third pathway to innovation), in this case, probiotics. Before Good Belly, if you wanted to take probiotics, you were limited to going somewhere like Whole foods and buying probiotics in the forms of tablets or a liquid formula. Good Belly has managed to make taking probiotics much more accessible, for adults and kids,  by serving them up in either in a juice or a juice shot format that you can buy in the yogurt section at your regular supermarket. Not only are they more accessible location wise but also from a pricing perspective – and don’t forget being pleasurable and fun to consume.

There were many other wonderful products at the Expo that had innovated against the other nine pathways to innovation with results that were inspiring, exciting and more than merited their market success. Overall, it was a great show and a great place to find a lot of very impressive new product ideas.