If you’re involved with product innovation in your company, you probably already know that the best new product concepts are not written in a quiet writer’s nook somewhere in a remote area where inspiration is sparked by dancing butterflies, colorful birds and bright sunny days. Today, concept writing is a collaborative, creative process that unveils a company’s ability to tap into consumer insights using a blend of superior communication and product innovation.
Take Sabra Foods, for example, who held a multi-day “innovation summit” on concept development at their headquarters in Richmond, VA in order to cook up heaping helpings of new guacamole product and packaging ideas that could be put into their innovation funnel. Writing by Design was brought in as part of a collaborative creative group, including a packaging specialist, a creative director, a moderator, researcher and an illustrator. Our job? To inspire and guide the Sabra innovation team to a robust pipeline of new product and packaging ideas by the end of the summit.
Led by researcher Abby Leafe, principal of New Leafe Research, and creative thinker and moderator extraordinaire, Laurie Tema-Lyn of Practical Imagination Enterprises, the creative team explored trends in food and packaging and hosted co-creation and concept evaluation sessions with Sabra guacamole enthusiasts (no back room this time!). We played in the kitchen (all of us!) and then Writing by Design provided Sabra stakeholders the secret ingredients to successful new product concepts.
And then? We started building – AKA, writing – the concepts. Side by side, right there in the Sabra Foods executive kitchen. It was creative, inspiring…yes, even fresh! The excitement and momentum this team – Sabra marketers, researchers, food experts, consumers and the entire creative team – had generated over a few days was unbelievable. At the end of the summit, there were cartoon marker drawings, flipboard charts and over 100 new product ideas scattered about the room!
The results? Deliciously satisfying new products and profits for Sabra Foods, who recently introduced one of the many new ideas in the pipeline from this tremendously interactive, collaborative and creative process.
So, if you’re still sitting in that room somewhere waiting for inspiration to write those new product concepts or they’re already written but just feeling a bit stale (or, dare we say half-baked?) maybe it’s time to infuse some fresh new ingredients into your innovation process – and your concept writing!