Innovation Discovery at the Convergence of Technology, Product and Behavioral White Space

CRAEVS to Build Successful Innovation Pipelines

By Dave Lundahl (InsightsNow), Emily Cruz (CuliNex) and Matt Ferguson (Xinova)

Product innovation has been called the “life blood” of a food company.  Stop innovating and your organization is certain to grow old and eventually die.  For this reason, one of the most important activities a food company can do is invest in the Discovery process – the innovation front end.  Many marketing, development and innovation professionals call the innovation front end the “fuzzy front end.” However, if you are going to invest in Discovery, it is critical that this process be anything but fuzzy.  It needs to bring clarity to focus your valuable product development and commercialization resources to achieve a high return on your innovation investments.

There is never a lack of ideas.  Even good ideas can be a dime a dozen.  Winning ideas are forged by creative focus at the innovation front end where three white spaces converge.  This includes ideas filling Product White Space where your competitors are not playing, Technology White Space where your competitors cannot play, and Behavioral White Space where there is great disruptive potential.

Venn Diagram 2020-11-5

Understanding opportunities at this convergence of white spaces is easier said than done.  Ideas that only fill Product White Space may be different, but not disruptive.  Disruptive ideas are both different (i.e. filling up product white space) and change consumer behaviors (e.g. fill up behavioral white space).  Bush Brothers, for example, achieved success by changing behavior through its Grillin’ Beans line for the outdoor cooking and eating moment.  Discovering this underserved moment was key to success. Simply coming up with another line of bean products differentiated by flavor or type of bean would likely have gotten lost in the clutter. Products targeting behavioral white space are “sticky.”  They provide differentiation beyond form and functionality, becoming the sole product for new routines and habits, sometimes creating completely new categories.

Further, ideas which are different and disruptive may be initially successful, but too easily copied.  Unless your brand owns a category, success may quickly lead to competitors and a new round of commoditization to depress margins.  Access to technical unlocks creates technical white space.  Technical white space not only leads to different and disruptive product ideas it can also places significant barriers to slow down competition likely to follow success.

For these reasons, we are excited to introduce CRAEVS Discovery – a fresh solution for the innovation front end.  This solution combines the behavioral marketing research expertise of InsightsNow with the food product development expertise of CuliNex and the open innovation technology expertise of Xinova.   Using an integrated working process, we are able to deliver commercially viable new product ideas targeting opportunities discovered at the convergence of technology, product, and behavioral white space.

CRAEVS Discovery delivers innovative food product platform concepts, differentiated by technology, and developed by culinologists to be delicious, culinary-inspired, and commercializable at scale. Consumer research identifies those platforms able to play over the broadest landscape of moments and have the greatest disruptive potential to change consumer behaviors.  These platforms are used to create early prototypes ready for downstream development and commercialization initiatives.

Over the next five weeks please look for more posts drilling down into CRAEVS details, uncovering how you can use take your viable new product ideas and to rapidly sprint to in-market success through the CRAEVS Solution.