Consumer products & retail struggling to innovate

Posted at June 23, 2014 | Categories : News

A new report from Ernst & Young (EY) claims that the vast majority of consumer products and retail executives (66%) believe that collaboration with smaller entrepreneurial firms has become increasingly important to drive innovation and achieve their strategic goals.

Yet only one in 10 deem their companies very effective at both sourcing potential collaborators and aligning incentives between the two partners.

Commenting on the findings, EY’s global innovation and digital strategy leader, Andrew Cosgrove, says: ‘’Traditional approaches to innovation are no longer fit for purpose. Consumer products companies and retailers must innovate both their products and their business models. Growth is challenging, margins are stressed and the rapid evolution of technology and data has fundamentally changed consumer behavior.”

The paper, which also features the insights of 45 in-depth interviews with senior industry figures, outlines nine key principles that larger consumer products and retail companies should follow to create value from collaborating with smaller entrepreneurial firms and deliver agile innovation.

These are:

  1. Make the case for being agile
  2. Cultivate an agile culture of experimentation
  3. Think simple, act fast
  4. Identify the right team
  5. Determine the appropriate framework for each collaboration
  6. Maintain open and frequent communication
  7. Adapt processes and break the rules as necessary
  8. Define and measure success
  9. Iterate and work incrementally

The full paper can be downloaded at: