How to use an effective Innovation strategy in a business model

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What is an innovative strategy?

The moment a seemingly great business idea strikes one’s mind is also the moment when one needs to realize that ideas alone cannot suffice for the business he dreams of. A great business idea is just the beginning. The key lies in brainstorming over the multiple and multi-layered strategies that can truly transform ideas into profitable business models.

The key difference between What is an innovative strategy? and business strategies is that the former involves the 3 Ps – process, prediction, and precision. Innovation strategies cannot be one-dimensional. They must also include a proper analysis of the competitive and technological environment of a business, a SWOT analysis that can help understand the challenges as well as how to tackle them, and the advantage-disadvantage ratio of the situation. A holistic approach works best. Especially when it comes to businesses, nurturing a culture of innovation strategies in the workplace is urgent and necessary.

Innovation Strategies – Types and Approaches

No idea can transform into profit without a strategy – be it in business or other dealings. With the challenge increasing in the form of the number of start-ups and businesses selling similar products, the only thing that can establish a real profit for someone is their innovation strategies. Unless one has something new to offer to the user, he cannot sell it to him. 

What are the 4 innovation strategies?

There can be, chiefly, four different types of innovation strategies, according to a classification by Dodgson. These are the proactive, active, reactive, and passive types. The approach, the underlying principle, the directed mission, and the outcomes are different for all four different categories


More research-oriented, hence the market leaders in technology. They always have the advantage of stepping first into the market, and they believe in taking risks for development, be it radical or gradual.


Follow what is called the wait-and-watch approach, and do not support taking as many risks as the former.


Exposure is medium, even low at times, for they believe in putting existing technologies to use after waiting for them to have been established. They usually follow a gradual flow when it comes to introducing innovation strategies in their business models


Any change or innovation comes only after the customer has demanded it, and their implementation is never radical.

Innovation Strategies for Business models 

There must be some fundamentals, however, to let one think crookedly. Of course, the purpose is not to spoon-feed the strategies themselves, but there are a few do’s and don’ts that can suffice in the path of turning one’s thoughts into business.

Business models run on problems more than solutions

It is great to have a business idea in mind, but it is always better to know what it is for. The root of a business is the problem it means to cater to. There is no doubting the fact that there can be multiple solutions to the same problem, and experience has shown that a few, if not all, of these solutions, do end up as successful but competing businesses. Profit would outnumber investments only when the problem chosen is untouched, and unsolved. A good business idea therefore must immediately narrow itself down to the problem it must solve. The solutions will follow soon and automatically.

Think like the Customer

Any business has one keystone – the customer. The best business ideas are bound to flop if they aren’t customer oriented, at least after a certain point in time. As important as it is to come up with a genuinely unique and fetching idea, thinking like the customer – what he wants, what he dislikes, what he desires, and what he deserves – is the feather to the cap. The first big leap in establishing a profitable business model is to know the customer from tip to toe. Besides, one must also learn to narrow down their niche market, for not every customer is meant to profit from your business. A great business idea is just the seed; watering and nourishing it to blossom would take, firstly, becoming the person you are catering to.

Personalization is the key

Businesses all around the world may cater to different customers – different in the cultures they follow, in the stories they believe in, and in the lifestyles they lead. Yet, these businesses fail to treat them as different. Many services and products are the same for different people from different corners of the world, and thus they fail, no matter how great the ideas are. One of the simplest yet most effective innovation strategies for transforming a good idea into a great business model would be to personalize and adapt it to the customer’s culture and needs. The differentiation that a touch of internal assessment would create would be remarkable.

Surprises are seldom bad

A unique business idea that delivers a promising solution is quite a refreshment in itself. However, transforming it into a profitable business model would become monotonous if it isn’t prepped up at intervals with some elements of surprise. All of these elements don’t need to be designed on the fly. These can be planned and integrated into the model in advance, and even tested for their impacts after the central idea has been running for a long.

Playing with Value and Demand

One of the key principles underlying any business is that customers buy offers only when their value exceeds their price. Therefore, there is a constant need to keep upgrading the value of one’s products. The key to innovation lies in this understanding. To increase the commodity value, one needs to subtly play with the curves of demand and value. The same product can be either delivered in lesser quantity or in tweaked ways to help enhance its value. Then again, it has proved beneficial time and again to focus one’s strengths and time more on planting the seeds of a great business rather than on hunting down profits.


After the web’s boom, many brains throughout the world came up with ways to make huge profits. A “new” sector, the digital economy, emerged as advanced technologies evolved by night. Business models were created to supply existing items to established markets but in complicated ways. This has always been the challenge of turning an idea into a smart business: being so clever with your method that it’s hard to replicate or think parallelly.

Our team of advanced patent attorneys assists clients with patent searches, drafting patent applications, and patent (intellectual property) agreements, including licensing and non-disclosure agreements.

Advocate Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyer practicing Technology, Intellectual Property & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at rd (at) patentbusinesslawyer (dot) com & @rdpatentlawyer on Twitter.

Quoted in and contributed to 50+ national & international publications (Bloomberg, FirstPost, SwissInfo, Outlook Money, Yahoo News, Times of India, Economic Times, Business Standard, Quartz, Global Legal Post, International Bar Association, LawAsia, BioSpectrum Asia, Digital News Asia, e27, Leaders Speak, Entrepreneur India, VCCircle, AutoTech).

Regularly invited to speak at international & national platforms (conferences, TV channels, seminars, corporate trainings, government workshops) on technology, patents, business strategy, legal developments, leadership & management.

Working closely with patent attorneys along with international law firms with significant experience with lawyers in Asia Pacific providing services to clients in US and Europe. Flagship services include international patent and trademark filingspatent services in India and global patent consulting services.

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