What is innovation? Lots of things, of course. In one sense, an innovation is really the emergent perceived outcome as captured by three simple phrases your customer should be uttering after a positive encounter with your product/service/system:
1. “Wow”— The well-designed encounter is stimulating, exciting, dramatically new & different, engaging and compelling in some sensual, phenomenal way (visually, aurally, behaviorally, etc.)
2. “Thank You”— The product/service provided some convenience, removing some pain from prior encounters with clumsier solutions. There’s a heartfelt sense of gratitude. Thanks for being so easy, intuitive, meaningful to me and my life, helping me do what i want…instead of making me fight you and getting frustrated or angrily defeated in the process.
3. “Of course” — The innovation does something in a way that, when your customer thinks of it, really isn’t all that crazy or radical…in fact, it’s just common sense! It feels sensible, natural, and perfectly appropriate. Duh, of course the interaction should be like that. How simple, elegant and clever all at once. But it just fits.
If you can get your customer to say these three phrases (whether out-loud or implicitly to themselves) reflecting genuine emotional and thoughtful engagement, then it’s probably fair to say your innovation has hit the mark!