Product System Innovation Checkup

Type of record:
  • Strategy method
  • Micro method
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Ideal innovation phases for this method:
  1. Innovation Phase
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
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The Product System Innovation Checkup is a tool and component of the Ten Types-Of-Innovation macro method (also described here). The sixth of the Ten Types Of Innovation describes innovations that do not concern individual products but are characterized by the combination and bundling of several products and/or services.

Product system innovation can consist of individual products being modular, working together or being integrated. Values and benefits can also be created by establishing links between offerings that normally have nothing to do with each other.

Example: In Taipei, you can shop in the subway and order groceries via the Internet using your mobile phone. These can then be removed from the cool box of a vending machine at the exit point.

With product system innovations, you build your own benefit ecosystem that your customers will love and that is difficult for competitors to copy.

The most common model of a product system is to bundle products or to combine related offers and sell them in a common packaging. In the 20th century, technology companies in particular worked with exactly such models. They have developed platforms and thus encouraged other companies to make their offerings compatible with the platform.

Other product system innovations are based on enhancements to existing products or combinations of services and products. It is not always necessary to produce all components of the system yourself.

Successful product system innovations in practice:
- Mozilla: The non-profit organization became famous with Firefox. The web browser is based on an open source platform that allows independent developers to program countless suitable plug-ins. In 2012, 450 million people worldwide used Firefox.
- Oscar Mayer: Lunchables are packages with crackers, meat, cheese and desserts - products that are also offered individually by Oscar Mayer. Packed together they are handy snacks for schoolchildren.
- ELFA: In 1948 the Swede Arne Lydmar designed a modular storage system consisting of a cupboard, shelves and sliding doors. The variation and combination possibilities are limitless for customers in practice.
  • Effective for disruptive innovations
  • Effective for highly complex challenges
  • Effective for marketing innovations
  • Effective for medium complex challenges
  • Effective for product innovations
  • Effective for radical innovations
  • Effective for service innovations
  • P1 Understanding (identify innovation fields - problem solving)
  • P3 Observe (people - environment - product use)
  • P6 Idea enrichment (idea combination - idea integration)
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