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What strategies to follow for innovation?

The matrix of innovation

The types of innovation are not set in stone and depend on the company's strategy. There are four main types: architectural, incremental, disruptive, and radical innovation. Radical innovation is usually associated with some sort of technological or design innovation.

Incremental innovation is the most common type because it takes advantage of what has already been created to offer a better version of it. This happens when there are small improvements to products, services or processes that consumers already use.

Breakthrough innovations such as sweeping and disruptive, on the other hand, occur when there is a major change in technology or design that will disrupt an entire industry or change the way consumers behave by creating new markets.

The Ansoff Matrix

The Ansoff Matrix (or product-market matrix) is a marketing tool created by Igor Ansoff. The matrix determines four different paths that a business can take through products or markets, both existing and new.

Market Penetration: A strategy that involves the idea of bringing an existing product into an existing market is a market penetration strategy. (this situation is the most common and the most experienced by companies).

Market Development: If, on the other hand, it is decided to bring a product to a new market (typical export dynamics), a market development policy should be pursued.

Product Development: If instead the product were new with respect to the market, we speak of product development (the most widespread product innovation scenario)

Diversification: Finally, if you create a new product capable of creating a new market, we talk about diversification, this scenario is the basis of the Blue Ocean Strategy.

4 Types of Innovation

“ The only real step forward is to define the problem you seek to solve and to build your own innovation strategy ” Greg Satell

According to Greg Satell, author of the book Mapping Innovation, the key to success for today's businesses is to make an impact in an industry. This is possible with the development of new ideas and solutions to new problems. To define the type of innovation strategy to be pursued, Satell redefines the scheme created by Ansoff by replacing the product with Technology. This diverse matrix provides the picture of the four different types of innovation that a company can pursue at different stages of its life.

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Incremental Innovation – Incremental Innovation

Incremental innovation is when you bring a widespread technology to an existing market and improve it. An example would be the auto market where every model was updated with existing technology within a few years.

Architectural Innovation – Architectural Innovation

Architectural innovation is the application of an existing technology in a new market. Remaining in the automotive world, an example could be the introduction of a fingerprint sensor instead of the key to start the car.

Disruptive Innovation – Disruptive Innovation

Disruptive or disruptive innovation is the type of innovation that is changing our markets the most, in fact it involves applying a new technology to a consolidated market. The digital revolution is the perfect example, companies like Booking or Uber with this innovation strategy have become market leaders from scratch.

Radical Innovation – Radical Innovation

Radical innovation is a product innovation that creates a new market. The greatest example of all that we have experienced in recent years may be the invention of the smartphone by Apple in 2007.

A compass for innovation

The innovation matrix is ultimately a compass for companies that have established their North. The definition of the innovation strategy then makes it possible to define the steps to be taken and the metrics to be monitored in order to achieve the pre-set results.


The world is changing and those who are successful learn to innovate their own products along with their own processes and at people.

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