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Brand New: Solving the Innovation Paradox—How Great Brands Invent and Launch New Products, Services, and Business Models by Paul B. Brown, Luisa C. Uriarte, G. Michael Maddock

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CHAPTER 8

Sustainable Innovation: Creating (and Profiting) from a Green, White Space

Q: “What is the newest innovation challenge going forward?”

A: “Finding an unmet need in the marketplace and offering a product that fills it in an eco-friendly way.”

Using a “green lens” can spur your thinking, keep your innovation efforts extremely focused, and boost your bottom line.

A few years back, a conversation with one of our C-Suite clients started like many others, but it was the kicker that surprised us.

Client: “We need $50 million in incremental growth from a new product or service within 18 months. It needs to strengthen our core MegaGalactic brand, and we must own the intellectual property because we don’t want to be knocked off as soon as it hits the market. And oh yeah, the idea has to be green.

This request took place around the middle of 2005 and it served as our first real indication that Corporate America was (finally) getting serious about a favorite topic of tree huggers everywhere: going green. It also seriously changed our perspective on how your company and ours should develop new products, services, and positioning going forward.

One of the newest challenges is finding an unmet need in the marketplace, and offering a product that fills it in an eco-friendly way.

Delivering on Needs and Making a Difference

In the world of innovation, a common goal has always been to find the “white space,” which is another way of talking about the first circle of discovering unmet ...

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