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Innovation isn’t just a word, it’s a way of working

Innovation has been a bit of a buzzword for us this month, not least because we’re sponsoring the Technology Innovation category in the Cotswold Life Manufacturing and Engineering Innovation awards.

We’ve also written about the topic in the recent issue of Cotswold Life Business and Professional Life Magazine, which you can find more about here.

But the word ‘innovation’ is thrown around everywhere these days – it seems every business, brand or person is claiming they are ‘innovative’, but what do they really mean? And if you want to drive innovation into your business and marketing, how do you achieve this?

The dictionary definition is as follows:

Innovative (adjective)

(of a product, idea, etc.) featuring new methods; advanced and original.

(of a person) introducing new ideas; original and creative in thinking.

Some synonyms include: original, unconventional, unprecedented, experimental, ingenious

With this definition, we can start to see what we really need to do, to be truly innovative. Innovation is simply the action or process of innovating, so to achieve it we need to be delivering something new, creative or original in whatever field we’re in.

For Kava that means creating original brands, creative designs and ingenious marketing strategies or communications campaigns that stand out against competitors.

Innovation doesn’t have to be a new product or experimental technology. We can drive innovation into the way we work and the marketing we deliver. Even a simple piece of website copy can be innovative and original – it can deliver a message in a way never done before, it can experiment and play with language, for example. It’s not enough to simply say ‘this is a new and innovative product’ – that’s merely a claim. The concept has to be followed through from start to end.

It’s about always standing back and starting at the beginning with the notion of a great idea, and a plan to deliver it. What is different about what you do, what are you offering that is new or unprecedented in your industry? If you can answer those questions then from there you can pull these ideas into every area of your work.

What you’ll end up with is a product or service that is innovative – and you don’t even need to say it’s innovative because if it is, everyone can see it.