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Research: The Mother of All Innovation

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Unlocking Innovation with Qualitative Research
Unlocking Innovation with Qualitative Research

It’s a seductive fantasy – innovation produced by a few chosen geniuses locked in their solitary tower or basement – however it’s not reality. In real life, innovation demands toil, and qualitative research. Read the full article below…

Most businesses understand that innovation and new products are critical activities for their success. But neither innovation nor great new products simply come like a flash of lightning. As Idris Mootee writes in the Ivey Business Journal: “Innovation is a process, and while the introduction of a genuinely innovative product or service may be highly publicized or even glamorous, the process itself is driven much less by creative brainstorming or strategic planning than by carefully managed and highly-sophisticated cross-disciplinary thinking and research.”

The type of research best applied to the front end of innovation is qualitative research. Unlike in the more structured quantitative survey, qualitative works when you don’t know what questions to ask. Use a qualitative research setting to explore your customers’ challenges, needs, and pain points.

While focus groups usually come to mind when businesses think about qualitative research, and indeed can be used to explore the customer needs and challenges that you leverage to innovative product and service launches, consider utilizing an alternative amongst the multiple qualitative techniques available.

  • In-Depth interviews work best when you want to get profound and rich information out of each participant. Because these are one-on-one interviews (done in person, by telephone, or by videoconference), and not done with a group of people, you get more information from each participant. Additionally, if your participants are widely dispersed geographically then in-depth interviews are an excellent choice, or if you don’t want them speaking openly in front of other participants (for example, in the case of competitors.)…
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