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Product Performance Checkup

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The Product Performance Checkup is a tool and part of the Ten-Types-Of Innovation macro method (also described here). The fifth of the Ten Types Of Innovation describes innovations that give your product outstanding features and functionality.

This type of innovation includes fundamentally new products as well as updates and enhancements that increase the value of an existing offering. All too often, there is a misunderstanding that product performance equals “innovation in itself” – while it is certainly important, at the same time it is only one of ten types of innovation and, of all things, the one that is easiest for competitors to copy. Think of any product or feature: from stronger truck components to easier-to-use electric toothbrushes, products are manufactured and imitated in an industry race. Product performance innovations that provide a real competitive advantage for an extended period of time are the exception rather than the rule.

Nevertheless, product performance innovations can excite customers and bring growth to a company. Typical examples include simplification, sustainability and specialization.

Successful product performance innovations in practice:
– OXO Good Grips: Retiree Sam Farber watched his arthritis-plagued wife peel an apple and designed a better grip for her. From this, together with the New York company Smart Design, the company OXO was born, which produces over 850 practical household items that have a huge fan base. Now even hospitals are using OXO syringes.
– Dyson built 5000 prototypes for its Dual Cyclone Technology until the transparent, filter-bagless system for its famous vacuum cleaners was ready for the market. After only 22 months, Dyson was the market leader in the UK.
– MARS: secured market share in the confectionery sector through M&M. Customers can personalize the colorful chocolate chips and have them printed with logos.
– Corning Gorilla Glass: serves a niche by producing hard, scratch-resistant glass for touch screens on smartphones and computers.

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