The best way to get to know the value of Future Thinking is to experience the journey you are going through when being responsible for the next-generation solution portfolio and the innovation roadmaps.
You’re a top leader in a company that makes
camping stoves using butane gas. For a while, your sales have been steady.
But now, with more people wanting green products, energy problems, and changing what they buy, there’s more competition. Your company knows that using butane gas might not work in the future because it’s not renewable. So, you’re thinking about the tech out there and what products you should make to stay in the game.
To make products that will sell well in the future and fit with what your company is good at, you need to think about what customers will want and what new tech can offer. Using the 3-diamond method can help find these new wants and tech opportunities, helping you build a strong product line for the future.
The first thing to do is:
Diamond 1 - Set out your strategic direction
It is tempting to develop new solutions from what you know and do best. But as a producer of ice cream, you want to avoid investing in developing new products without knowing whether they will be succesfull. That’s why knowing how new trends will affect food behavior will be perceived, and what impact this will have on cooking solutions. Here are some scenario’s:
To what trend do you want to respond? Every scenario involves other types of ice cream solutions and will affect the investments you will have to make towards them. In what scenario would you step in? And based on what arguments? Most probably your colleagues have other opinions.
Unbiased data-driven insights can help to make this decision.
Here it seems that the
contribution to mental wellness is most prominent. It also fits well with your strategy to surf on the wave of renewable energy.
Diamond 2 - Identify opportunities
The next question is find out what is the best opportunity to create an answer this trend. Remember, we have a lot of insights about consumer needs. So we can deep-dive in there what are circumstancial needs when people want to start cooking during camping. Convenience is far out most important. So let’s have a look first what already exist, the so-called
Data-driven research can also help here. Press below to see the state-of-the-art in portable cooking systems.
So plenty of portable or transportable systems that already exist. Good news for you, as you can ‘steal’ these solutions. Bad news for you as well, as there is a lot of IP on it.
Moreover, what is the best opportunity for you? Do you desire to develop a disruptive
product using solar energy? Or even more disruptive for you, develop a drone delivery service instead of a product? The state-of-the-art has learned us that there is still some white space even when you stick to your core competences, which is making heating devices.
Diamond 3 - Create your next-gen portfolio
But now it is a question to stand out from your competitors. In esssence, there are three main elements we have to consider: (renewable) energy, heating and interface.
Cross-industry learning is extremely usefull for discover and transfer ideas outside the domain of camping cooking devices. Cross-industry learning not only provides unexpected inspiration, it also reduces development time.
Data-driven research can also help in this ideation. Read further to see cross-industry ideas to potentially use in your portable cooking systems.
Compact, fireless cooking system powered by catalytic heating technology that uses butane gas to emit concentrated infrared light for efficient cooking
Camping cooker with hydrogen as its energy source, leveraging existing catalytic heating technology for flameless heat. Foldable supports for stability
Cooker transforms hydrogen into electricity via an integrated fuel cell, powering an induction cooktop and doubling as an energy bank, revolutionizing traditional camping cooking methods
So we have gone through the ideation session. Your big dream is to use hydrogen in an efficient, safe and convenient way and we have come up with the “Hydrogen” concept. An ambitious but realistic concept, as all technologies already have been researched or used somewhere. But not in a camping stove.
Horizon model envisions setting out your innovation roadmap in a smart way. The three stages Horizon 1, 2 and 3 build upon previous knowledge and experience building and valorization on the shor, mid and longter. Here, the “Catalytic stove” uses catalytic heating that is commercially available and to be retrofitted in your current products. In the meanwhile, you can start experimenting with hydrogen as alternative fuel, to finally use your new experience in the “Hydrogen concept”.
.. or not? Technologies evolve or are substituted by others. So we consult to keep track of these developments and the early signs of disruption. But let us also give you confidence at the same time. Thanks to our Future Thinking methodology (using the Triple Diamond framework), we’ve looked far into the future with an open vision, so we can be sure we won’t run into any surprises. And that gives you confidence for your ongoing investment in product development and go2market.
This is a case that most probably less relevant to you, we admit. But we encourage you try this methodology yourself for your own products.
Need any help with this? Contact us to discuss openly.