The Pursuit of Innovation: Breakthrough vs. Incremental

February 17, 2015In Ideas2 Minutes

Every aspect of a business, brand or organization can be optimized through innovation – customer relationships, processes, and human resources – all in pursuit of a meaningful experience. Moreover, this application opens up the culture of innovation to all, not solely the ‘creatives.’

With an incredibly competitive market and a demanding customer base, creative agencies require an innovation culture to stay relevant. Many employ one of two types of innovation, even without knowing it.

Often unaware of its process, a company innovates through an incremental process. Incremental innovation is considered the more conservative method and exists on small, gradual improvements to a product or service. This may not even be seen as innovation during implementation, but in retrospect, a product’s synthesis over time, one can obviously see the benefit and upgrades to its user – thus solving their problems through innovation. Incremental innovation responds to its user’s needs, making their lives better, becoming more useful and earning the trust of the marketplace. Because this type of innovation is more of a reaction made in increments, the process is seen as immediate and responsive, which can prove wildly beneficial for a brand – although far less attention-grabbing than its counterpart.

Two people collaborating on a innovative idea
Collaborating on the Idea

Alternately, the headlines we all hear about in flashing marquee lights and in the morning paper are breakthrough innovations. Those impressive, life-changing moves inarguably inhabit the fantasies of CEOs and startups everywhere – swirling visions of their organization being catapulted to every home in every city and solidifying their stance for years to come. Although seemingly a quick burst of information, breakthrough innovation is marked by years of research and development requiring large amounts of capital.

However an organization approaches innovation, it’s truly about the people at the helm moving the process forward. In an age of staggering technological advancement, a dizzying array of innovative products exists, but the actual innovation is about as humanistic as it gets.

It’s a truly unique ability to process mass amounts of information and ideas, intuitively turning them into groundbreaking creative endeavors.