Jun 24

Do you know how many different types of innovation there are?

Well, according to Chicago based Design and Innovation consultants, Doblin Inc. , the magic number is …10. Doblin have categorised their┬á10 different types of innovation┬áunder four main headings

  • Finance, covering business models and networks/alliances
  • Process,┬á covering what Doblin call enabling processes and core processes
  • Offerings, including product perfomance, product system and service
  • Delivery, covering channel, brand and customer experience

Here is a diagram to illustrate the innovation types, with some examples:

Many product innovations focus on one or two areas but Doblin claim that if you focus on a broader range of innovations which have relevance to your target market, you can increase your chances of success. To illustrate this, Doblin say that the iPod innovated across 7 of the 10 types of innovation.


I guess the value of a model like this is to help innovators to prompt concepts which can impact more broadly and, in particular, can be used to encourage different thinking around new business models, an often overlooked but powerful area for innovation. In my view, however, while this model provides a useful prompt, it is over-complicated for real world innovation.


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1 Comment so far

  1. Subanu discovered the above as I was researching in innovation for the dissertation March 12th, 2011 6:21 am

    I just saw the above model while I was researching on innovation for my dissertation. It’s an interesting model. I followed the model from Abernathy and Clark (1985) and later expanded by Hjalager (2002, p.467) which only talks of types of innovations.

    My constructive feedback is that this model can be re-named as innovative position. What do you think?


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