Students from the International Master in Multichannel Marketing Management had the chance to be part of the Innovation Design class held by Pr. Roberto Verganti. Professor Verganti, author, self-entrepreneur, is also a researcher in the Innovation field specialized in product innovation.

The purpose of the Innovation Design class was to have a clear understanding on how innovation represents the core value of today’s businesses identity.

We tend to live in time where being ‘innovative’ is a requirement or a prerequisite to exist on the market. To attract young talents, firms and companies are mainly describing themselves as “Young & Innovative”. But what can be really described as innovative? And why is it necessary in business today?

Originally, the term “innovation” came from the latin word “innovare” that referred to “come back to; to renew”. It is mainly a mix between “changing” and “new” attached to the prefix “in” that indicates an inside movement.

When we think about innovation, we mainly believe that it is correlated with the application of better solutions and new requirements for a specific product or a new disruptive idea. To understand the concept more practically, The Oslo Manual of 2005 mentioned in the workshop defined the innovation as “the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organizational method in business practices”.

With Pr. Verganti, students had the chance to develop their skills and think ‘outside the box’ during workshops, and approach innovation with a different angle throughout team projects and discussions.

Nowadays, marketers tend to place the product in the centre of attention while the efficient success of businesses is located where companies and brands share their values and beliefs. This laboratory class aligns its constitutional framework with Simon Sinek approaches for business inspiration, which drives companies to success. While focusing on 3 different elements, people, vision and solution, companies will become more problem solving and more design-driven oriented.

Students understood along the modules that the core value of a business are composed of:

  • The Vision Design and,
  • The Creative Problem Solving Solution.

In other words ‘Why’ (Vision) companies are launching themselves on the market and ‘How’ (Solution) they can provide a new suitable solution. Like Simon Sinek likes to remind it in his different conferences “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” No matter how good is your product, visions and beliefs need to be perceived by the consumers in ways to create added value and guarantee differentiation from competitors.

To respond creatively to a problem, the approach must be correlated to a developmental criticism where typical questions such as “this does not work” needs to be transformed as “I would do it like this”. By looking for hidden values while using constructive terms, companies, groups, students will bring a fresh vision that is always positive. The creative problem solving path can be complex and uncommon for people which are more conditioned to think sensibly and reasonably.

In conclusion, the Innovation process is necessary to be competitive in a fast-moving changing environment. Our time today forces companies to always provide unique selling products and services while sustained innovation is rare: a disruptive company today can become obsolete tomorrow. We live in a world of development and we are surrounded by disruption day after day, it is our key mission today to transform our way of thinking to become marketers of the future.