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Biz Takeouts Marketing and Media Radio show, we chatted to David Blyth, group managing director for Yellowwood Future Architects (@askYellowwood), an independent marketing strategy consultancy. We spoke about Transformative Innovation: An African Path to Success. Later in the show we talked to Alan Morrissey (@AMorrisseyEM), managing director for Effective Measure South Africa, to find out more about what the company is up to.
Get all the information by listening to this week's podcast of the show, which airs every Thursday 9am-10am streamed live via 2oceansVibe Radio. [twitterfall]
By telephone on Thursday, 20 February 2014, we hosted David Blyth from Yellowwood Future Architects to find out more about the Informative innovation white paper the organisation has just released.
What does Transformative Innovation mean?
David: Transformative innovation is innovation that does more than just take market share from competitors. It is about transforming categories, unlocking new markets and creating favourable conditions for market growth. Crucially, for the African context, it is innovation that creates jobs and upskills, empowers and contributes to prosperity on the continent.
In the paper, you refer to three kinds of innovation namely, T, T-1 and T-2. What are these?
David: T-2 innovations create shareholder value only. This kind of efficiency-driven innovation can often lead to serious brand damage and limits long-term business growth. For example, shrinking the pack size of a product without changing the price.
T-1 innovation is the typical arena of customer innovation and could be considered the core purpose of business: to better give customers what they want. Much has been written on this area of innovation - see the Yellowwood blog for tips on better innovating to create customer value. This kind of innovation becomes increasingly difficult with time, as each category fragments and competition becomes fierce.
T innovation is where transformation begins. This kind of innovation creates market value, rather than taking market share from a competitor. It creates new categories or attracts new users to a category - generating far greater long-term returns for the business. MTN's introduction of Pay-As-You-Go, for example, transformed the niche, contract-only mobile telecoms industry into one of the largest, most profitable industries on the continent.
Why is Transformative Innovation so important for South Africa and Africa?
David: Transformational innovation has the power to turn South African and African businesses into global leaders, and to transform our societies for the better. It doesn't require enormous research or NPD budgets; it just requires being cognisant of your role in society, and in this phase of African development. It requires building a culture of innovation, respecting the views of all your people and committing to create real, people-centric value from new thinking - instead of simply approaching innovation from a product point of view.
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