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MKTG 579 Marketing of Innovations - Sources of Innovation

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Sources of innovation

Drucker (1998) contends that successful innovations are a result of a ‘conscious, purposeful search for innovation opportunities.’ In the same article, he suggests that industry and market changes and demographic changes represent two areas of opportunity.
For this assignment, you will critique the influence of industry, market and demographic changes as sources of innovation. In addition, you will provide some current examples where industry, market, and demographic changes have been the sources of innovative products and services.

To prepare for this assignment:

1. Critique the influence of industry, market and demographic changes as sources of innovation and explain your rationale.
2. Consider some current examples where industry, market and demographic changes have been the sources of innovative products and services.


Sources of innovation

There are many sources of innovations for organizations both inside and outside. These sources provide an opportunity for the company to develop either new products or services into the market or modify the existing ones into more superior quality. We are going to examine two sources of innovation for organizations both from inside and outside and give real-world examples of how they have created opportunity.

Inside sources of innovation

Research and development: A company can look into its products’ features, and the information they gather will be useful in identifying an innovation need. The company can make some modifications and invent a more powerful product or even come up with a new product (Rogo, Cricelli, Grimaldi, 2014, p. 71). An example is Apple, which continues to invest heavily in its R&D department to come up with increasingly sophisticated and innovative products such as the iPhone.

Unexpected outcomes: A unexpected event such as a company’s failure of a product can be an excellent source of innovation as it will have an in-depth look at the product. It can then develop a product that better suits customer’s tastes and preferences in the industry. For example, Honda Motor Company initially failed when it introduced low-powered motorcycles into the US market. However, it later enjoyed greater success when it instead sold high-powered motorcycles (Brait, 2004, p. 173).

Outside sources of innovation

Industry and market change: It is vital that an organization be adept at the fast-paced market changes or its products may become obsolete. The technology revolution has had a significant impact on different industries from transport, healthcare, hospitality and tourism, financial, communication and other service-oriented industries. These developments pose a threat to the existing traditional organizations as the disruptive technologies cause them to lose their market share. Organizations can take advantage of the countless opportunities opened to come up with innovative products that also suit the consumer tastes and preferences. Consumers now continue to demand instant and round-the-clock services that give them quick access to goods and services (Christensen & Bower, 1995, p.48). For example, the rise in popularity of Uber taxis globally shows how industry and market chances created a source of innovation. A tech company took advantage of the opportunity which enables clients to use mobile-based services to enjoy their innovative services (Rogo, Cricelli, Grimaldi, 2014, p. 65).

Demographic and population changes: the make-up of the population based on aspects such as ethnicity, religion, education, age, disposable income offer opportunities for organizations to provide innovative products or services in a particular region. The composition of the population will determine the consumers' tastes and preferences. The organization will, therefore, need to come up with products that are particularly convenient for the target demographic group. It may involve coming up with newer products and services or customizing existing ones (Shehabuddeen,2007). For instance, the rise in the Hispanics in the US created a new opportunity for media organizations to exploit. Newer channels catering for the specific ethnic group such as Telemundo and Telenovela were created which features their culture, language. As a result, the innovative product was able to satisfy the tastes of the Hispanic-American population (Korzeny & Chapa, 2017).

In conclusion, organizations need to actively take advantage of the sources of innovation by researching the population, market, and industry to find out if there is any available opportunity. They can take advantage by coming up with fresh new products, services or processes to maintain their presence in the market.


Brait, R.A. (2004) ‘Lead users as a source of innovation’, International Journal of Law and Information Technology, 2 (2), pp. 168-177.

Christensen, C.M. & Bower, J.L. (1995) ‘Disruptive technologies: catching the wave’, Harvard Business Review, 73 (1), pp. 43-53.

Korzenny, F., Chapa, S. and Korzenny, B.A., 2017. Hispanic Marketing: The Power of the New Latino Consumer. Routledge.

Rogo, F., Cricelli, L. & Grimaldi, M. (2014) ‘Assessing the performance of open innovation practices: a case study of a community of innovation’, Technology in Society, 38, pp. 60-80.

Shehabuddeen, N. (2007) Innovation in real life: a hands-on guide to genuine innovation. Open Innovation Ltd.

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