Empowering Innovation



The setting of innovation research has changed. Design Thinking and Agile Engineering are entering the scene. Interdisciplinary work, iterative development, innovativeness on the path to innovation – all this is common practice. And that means for research: no one-fits-all process but agile requirements management.

Idea Generator

Develop new perspectives and ideas

How to create disruptions in established markets when these are confined to repetitions and incremental improvements? How to develop innovative ideas with consumers that depart from existing perspectives and category codes when, as Bourdieu might have said: you like what you’ve got because you’ve got what you like?

Genuine innovations always just appear at the market fringes. This is where the Idea Generator comes in: the framing-based approach doesn’t only capture innovative ideas from the category and usage situation but also directs attention to developments in the wider market environment. What wows and fascinates – and which semiotic and semantic deductions can be drawn? The resulting innovative ideas are turned into concepts in a follow-up ideation workshop. The vivid and tangible scribbles are then available for consumer feedback.

Trend research in the market environment, e.g. sociocultural trends, new technologies, design trends, developments in adjacent markets

Ethnography and creative groups on market activities, usage situations and the target groups’ mind-set and behaviour

Development and evaluation of ideas, further concept development using ideation and prototyping techniques

Boosted Pretotyping

Use the power of experiment for innovation

How to turn an idea into a concrete and tangible solution? How to correctly translate an idea when there are hundreds of alternatives? How to optimally exploit the potential? How to address the intended segment in the best possible way? How to maximise price acceptance?

The design space and hence spectrum of available options often includes thousands and thousands of potential solutions. A sound basis for decision-making is required to correctly translate the product ideas into first prototypes. As this is often lacking, “gut feelings” and a look at proven solutions on the market dominate. But: proven kills innovative. And even the best idea dies if it is not correctly translated into practice.

Boosted Pretotyping is based on an experimental approach, combining methods of design thinking with statistical methods: statistics meet creativity.

Similar to the principle of the morphological tableau, innovation and design experts develop possible solutions and variants for category-defining attributes.

The variety of solutions and their possible combinations form the design space.

Using a stochastic method, a representative selection of 20-30 different experimental solutions is drawn from the design space and the range of possible solutions.

This selection is scribbled or translated into renderings – the product idea becomes concrete and tangible in various ways and hence also available for critical evaluation for the first time .

A quantitative test of these representative mixes of “experimental pretotypes” now reveals the potential of each product idea, decodes the relevant elements and shows optimal routes for further product development.

Concept Check & Concept Lab

Feedback loops for product development: refine ideas & bring them to life

How to turn a good idea into good concepts? How to get the right tone of voice in the insight and achieve identification? How to make the benefit and reasons to believe plausible, unique and relevant? And, finally, how to get a perfect match between insight, benefit and reasons to believe?

This is more a matter of narrative than likes and dislikes. How does the consumer deal with the idea? How is the idea perceived and positioned in the consumer’s environment? How about the wow factor and what actually triggers excitement? Therefore, the Concept Checks include a lot of associative and projective techniques.

The Concept Lab differs from the Concept Check in its iterative feedback loops. In a 2-3 day workshop, rough concepts are discussed with consumers first of all. The following rework sessions aim to fine-tune, improve and discard before the reworked concepts are then considered in a further group discussion.

The main objective of Concept Check and Concept Lab is to optimise the strategic logic of the concepts:

Optimise insights: how can the product idea be embedded more strongly in the consumers’ need-set? How can the idea be optimised to increase identification and relevance in real life?

Refine the main promise and benefit: how relevant is the product promise in general? How can individual benefits be better aligned to consumers’ needs and mindscapes?

Identify and evaluate RTBs: how can the promised solution be backed by credible and relevant arguments? How convincing are the answers to the issues described in the insight? How attractive and valuable are the planned product features?

Concept Screener

Gauge the strength of an idea and its market potential

All the strategic conceptual work has been done – the product concept has been finalised, the content of the product idea ideally implemented. But how much potential does the idea really have on the market? How high will volume and value probably be?

This is precisely where the Concept Screener comes in. Besides predicting success and market acceptance, there may also be a need to add the finishing touches. Therefore, besides assessing the level of appeal and willingness to buy, the contextual dimension is scrutinised in order to ensure the long-term success of a product idea:

Identify substitutes and the source of business.

Check the insight, benefit and RTBs: does the idea strike a chord in the target group’s hearts and minds? How relevant, credible and unique is the benefit? How well is it supported by the RTBs and reassurance?

Compare with the strategic positioning: how well does the idea manage to occupy the emotional and functional territories?

Check uniqueness and relevance: how distinctive and different is the product idea? How important is the benefit and advantages it offers?

Analyse brand fit: how well does the product idea match the brand and the strategic positioning of the brand?

Measure perceived value / value for money: what price is accepted? What is the optimal price and how much leeway is there?

Predict volumes: how high is the willingness to buy at different price points?