We find that investigating and developing a story based on what is going on – with the consumer, their world, the products they use – sets an incredible stage by which to introduce your new development. Consumers always know that their existing products aren’t 100% perfect and to show how your new product is / will be different and better you need to understand first what is currently missing.
Most product ideation is done via concept development, resulting in a 3 sentence summary describing the new idea and why it will be different and better. Too often, these concepts fail when tested or when launched. The issue is that most concepts are written without really investigating what is going on. In many ways it is like writing a newspaper headline without ever writing the story that underpins it.
By developing a story first to fuel concept and product development, we find that this dramatically increases the success rate of new ideas and propositions. In addition, once we start looking for a story we rarely only find one. Armed with many stories means that we have the building blocks of a year on year innovation strategy and as a result your overall return on investment is hugely increased.
Any time. It’s never too early or late to start writing a story for your brand or product.
If you have already developed a product, developing a story can reach back into the development process and draw out key design elements that can be highlighted in communication. Importantly describing your product in the context of a story will help the consumer see themselves as the hero and see the new product as something that was designed to empower them – offering them something different and better.
If your product is already in market, developing a story generates new opportunities to commercialise your existing offering, refining communication to make it even more impactful and resonant for your target and thought leaders.
If you have a prototype, developing a story can help identify design cues that can be used in actual product design so that both your product and communication tell the end user or consumer the story of how it is different and better.
If you are at the front end, looking for new products and ideas, developing ‘future stories’ can garner momentum across the entire innovation process. Early story ideas can inspire concept development as well as product development and developing a sequence of stories sets the stage for a compelling long-term innovation strategy.