"To find a solution, Sarah and her team reconnected with Gatorade’s core customer, the serious athlete. What they found was that these athletes did much more than just hydrate during athletic events. [Moi ici: Olhar para os clientes-alvo e para o seu contexto, e identificar os desafios que têm pela frente] They would load up with carbohydrates before (Gold-medal winning runner Usain Bolt ate Skittles candy), and drink protein shakes after to recover. The team saw an opportunity to expand beyond the hydration niche, and introduced the G-Series family of products. The G-Series family included three complementary products to help athletes: energy chews and carbohydrate drinks to “Prime” before an athletic event; the core hydration drink to help the customer “Perform”; and protein shakes and bars to “Recover” after an event. The team expanded the products around the hydration drink, but also cut back on the range of different versions of the core beverage.
What Robb O’Hagan did was to apply what we call the Third Way to innovate. Neither incremental improvement of current products, nor radical rethinking of the business, the Third Way focuses on innovating around the current product to make it more valuable. Robb O’Hagan turned around the product not by changing the product but by complementing it with sports bars, energy chews, and protein shakes. What her team did wasn’t an expansion or revision of the current product; in fact the team reduced the range and number of variants. It also wasn’t a radical rethinking of the product. The Third Way is a different approach to innovation.
What’s different? First, it’s not a “clean sheet” approach. It focuses on innovating around an existing product for an existing customer segment in a way that makes that product more appealing and valuable. Second, it’s not just a diversification approach – it’s not a search for random products that will appeal to the same customer segment. Instead, it focuses on developing a family of diverse innovations that are all focused on delivering a single business promise;
How do you get started with the Third Way approach to innovation? Here are three simple steps:
First, reconnect with your core customers, and understand what gets in the way of them getting value from your product. Follow them through their acquisition, preparation, use, and disposal of your product, and watch for frustrations, challenges, or other barriers they face.
Then, challenge your team to innovate around your customer’s value chain, not yours. What can you do to remove the barriers that prevent your customers from getting value from your products? These represent opportunities for complementary products."
Trechos retirados de "How Gatorade Invented New Products by Revisiting Old Ones"