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How to have innovative ideas?

The attractiveness of your company is determined by your value proposition. It is determined by what you offer to your customers. Whether it is a service or a good, it must meet a need, an expectation. The quality, the offer and the availability are important, but the idea behind it is essential.

As we have seen with the arrival of the COVID health crisis, habits and the way of consuming have changed. We had to adapt to meet their demands. This situation has highlighted the rapid nature of changes in consumption.

To keep its customers and continually attract new ones, it is necessary to innovate.

Mais comment innove-t-on ?

In this article, we will give you some entry keys to help you come up with innovative ideas.

Let's start at the beginning. What is an innovation?

The meaning of an innovation

When we think of the concept of innovation, within the collective, we immediately see the idea of something that has revolutionized the world. An invention that turned our lives upside down and made them even better than before.

In a way, this is true, but innovation also takes place on a smaller scale.

According to INSEE, an innovation is any product or process that improves on something that has already been developed.

So an innovation is also something that has gone through small, significant changes to improve a previous version. Innovation does not necessarily have to be final.

But how do you find the idea that will change things and that can be categorized as an innovation?

Les types d’innovation

Before talking about the different techniques that can help you find innovative ideas, we need to determine the different types of innovative ideas.

Incremental innovation

It is the form of innovation that represents the improvement of an already existing product, service or process. The goal of this innovation is to meet the demand. Thanks to this form of innovation, you will retain your customers much better.

Adjacent innovation

Adjacent innovation is based on a product or service by creating a variation on it. This form of innovation allows you to enter new customer segments and to offer different product/service ranges.

Disruptive innovation

Contrary to the adjacent innovation, where one wishes to open up to new segments of more specific customers with a product specific to the target. Disruptive innovation aims to democratize a service or a product to a large audience. This type of innovation allows you to open up to a multitude of customer segments.

Radical innovation or invention

This is the most common form of innovation in creative thinking and represents the creation of a new product, service, or process from scratch. It is the innovation that can create new markets. You will then be teleported to a market with no competition because you are the leader. Radical innovation will bring you to a blue ocean situation.

Knowing the different types of innovation will allow you to guide you towards the best way to generate ideas for innovation projects.

Techniques for finding ideas that will lead to innovations

Finding an innovation idea, as with any creative process, can be time-consuming and complicated. It is best to start with minimal innovations before looking for invention innovations. The first key point to start with is to look at your company's strategy and goals. The values that guide your company are also an interesting first launching point to start an innovation research process.

By researching your guiding rules, you can determine which innovations would be most interesting to develop. Your customers are your focus and following your analysis would they be more likely to receive an incremental, adjacent or disruptive innovation.

What objectives should your innovation development meet? What resources can you put in place and invest in?

Ask yourself a lot of questions that will help you pave the way for your research project. One technique that can help you do this is the SCAMPER technique, which allows you to deconstruct an existing service and rebuild it completely after a brainstorming session, for example.

During this phase of questioning your strategy, but also during your innovation research phases, several working methods can help you develop your creativity and find your next innovative project.


Brainstorming is the most common technique for setting up a creative research process. It consists in gathering a group of people in order to exchange ideas on a theme. It is a technique based on the release of ideas through verbal expression.

Design thinking

Design thinking is a management process that brings together several concepts within it. The idea is to bring together people with different skills in a think tank. The diversity of profiles will help to develop creativity, and the intelligence of the group will allow seeing ways of thinking that could not be directly taught in a non-diversified group.

Brain writing

Unlike brainstorming, where ideas are exchanged orally, brain writing consists of putting ideas on paper. The driving force of innovation is the fact that after writing down your idea, you give it to another collaborator who will develop it and then pass on your idea and its improvements to another person, and so on.

The brain walk

Based on the idea of mind-mapping, the brain walk is a technique where you start with a central idea that is then developed one person at a time using the ideas of the previous person. The notion of moving in space is added, which allows you to clear your head while walking.


This is a widespread technique, especially in large companies, where teams spend several days working on the creation of a project. These are days allocated to collective research.

The focus group

Depending on your strategy and your objectives, the focus group can be a technique to use when, within your company, a creative block is visible. The focus group consists of gathering consumers of your products and services and letting them give their feedback. You will then use them to start your thought process or directly on what has been said to start an innovative project.

You now have some ideas to start your own creative thinking process and succeed in finding your next innovative project.

If, after reading this article, you are looking for a tool to help you set up idea exchange phases within your company, our IDEATE tool combines design thinking and brain writing techniques. You can consult our explanatory article or make an appointment with one of our experts.

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