The essence of creating new value is in creating new value networks. Where existing businesses are able to generate new technologies timely and swiftly, they lack to flexibility of new entrant businesses of creating new strategies, new business models and new cost structures. New entrants effectively create new categories and these new categories have new sets of criteria to measure success. To quite Clayton Christensen, “Consistently, established firms attempt to push the technology into the established markets, while the successful entrants find a new market that values their technology”.
Key in finding these new markets, is to understand customer behaviour, understanding the why of your customer’s needs. Building solely on the expressed needs of your customer is a larger than life pitfall, as the majority of your customers do not necessarily look beyond ‘what is’, instead of ‘what can be’.
 Christensen, Clayton M. The Innovator’s Dilemma. New York, 2011, see p. 80
Innovation is quickly becoming an overused and under-delivered term. Our current business society has extreme high expectations of innovation, mainly based on the successful tech-driven companies of the late 90’s and early years of the 21st century. Innovation has become a buzzword and nobody really knows what to expect from innovation; to quote James Dyson: “Everybody wants to be innovative; many companies and ideas are proclaimed to be innovative and no one doubts that innovation is a money spinner.”
So what is key about innovation? It’s about delivering value to customers. Any value? No it’s about value that is differentiating, and thus defensible. It’s about addressing needs in the market, sometimes manifest, sometimes latent, sometimes undeveloped – a market yet to be built. By understanding consumer behaviour better, innovation gets better and starts to deliver.