Innovation is a big word, one that is used all around us. All companies need to innovate to thrive or we all need to use the latest and most innovative concept/app/product…
It is a kind of buzz word and is all over the place.
I made a quick survey and found out for innovation and tea a lot of articles or even white papers presenting more or less the same thing: on the one hand, “innovations” to harvest/produce) tea, which more or less meant mechanising it one way or another or doing it with less human people and on the other hand innovation on the drinking side with new machines, new mixes, more information available for the customer, more small producers available on the market, more focus on health, making each experience unique…
You will probably think that I am mixing a bit of everything but what I only did was putting together some pieces written by several people (sometimes as advertising or because it is how their brand is working) and seeing that some themes keep on repeating themselves.
And don’t worry I do think that most of these companies are working along these lines and believing in the extra little bit they can bring to the customer.
Does this sound familiar to you? If not, I would sum it up as a focus on better products with higher quality and experience that are being sold at a higher price. This is part of a trend that runs through the entire food industry.
One example in another drink market is the famous 3 waves of coffee (I even read about a 4th one going on). It seems that the tea industry (but also other products) is following the same trend and path.
Why is that? Is there another way? What is theory (both marketing, economical…) saying about innovation and how can we relate it to tea? Why is that most focus is given to certain innovations and not others?
This will be the focus of my next articles.
But before I leave you, I would like to give you a hint by Clayton Christensen, an academic and consultant that focused on disruptive innovation (i.e. those that allow a company to create a new market, changing the entire market), “a sustaining innovation makes better products that you can sell for better profits to your best customers.”
Does this ring a bell? Yes, you just need to read what I wrote a little above that everything and everyone follow the same pattern and the same ideas… if they do so it is because it is a good way to sell better products for a better profit at customers and isn’t business all about money?
I agree. More companies talk about it than do it, though.
That’s also part of my questioning.