Value Innovation Associates

Are you sharpening your pencils too early?

Sure business cases are important. However, if you truly create a new market idea on paper, relying solely on traditional analytical business tools to "prove the idea" and estimate market size may prevent you from implementing a valuable concept. Virgin Atlantic understood this when they created their Upper Class value innovation strategy. According to CEO Steven Ridgway, "we've always positioned our products half a notch out of the convention"*. When Virgin Atlantic debuted their Club House Lounges in the 1990s, they went way beyond what other airlines were offering in their lounges (e.g., Virgin Atlantic offered hair cuts). Initially consumers told Virgin Atlantic that they didn't want these items. Virgin offered these items anyway and later consumers told Virgin Atlantic how much they loved their offering.

If you are developing market-creating ideas, it may be difficult for potential buyers to fully appreciate your concept before they have a chance to experience it. Rather than prematurely killing a potentially winning idea consider the use of business prototypes to advance learning. Business prototypes can be very helpful in refining and validating market-creating offerings before spending too much time proving a business case. They are also a great way for business managers to discover the most appropriate business model to deliver the offering. Getting the business model right is a critical part of creating buyer value and capturing company value.

Value Innovation Associates can help you to create growth ideas and subsequently help you to sharpen those ideas before you sharpen your pencils with experiential business prototypes before you prematurely kill them with traditional paper business case exercises. Please contact us for more information.

*"No, The CEO Isn't Sir Richard Branson: Virgin Atlantic's Ridgway Balances Profit, Innovation and Keeps the Planes on Time," Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2007.

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