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Kalypso Announces Social Media and Product Innovation Research Findings

February 2, 2011

Early adoption reveals business and financial benefits despite uncertainty; trend is growth

BEACHWOOD, Ohio – A new study from Kalypso on social product innovation, the practice of leveraging social media technologies in the innovation process, reveals that 70 percent of participating companies are using, or are planning to use, social media for product innovation. However, a general lack of knowledge, leading practices, and uncertainty of benefits has many companies acting without a formal strategy in place. The survey findings are published in a Kalypso white paper released last week.

The Kalypso white paper titled “Social Media and Product Innovation: Early Adopters Reaping Benefits amidst Challenge and Uncertainty” is based on findings from a survey of over 90 manufacturing and service companies. The research was conducted to better understand the impact of social media on product innovation.

Only 33 Percent Have a Strategy in Place

While many organizations are familiar with using social media for outbound marketing and communications, the research indicates that leveraging social media for product innovation is a new concept for most. The study found the majority of companies interviewed are struggling to find effective ways to use social technologies to enhance product innovation for a variety of reasons - 46 percent reveal they are not sure which approaches are effective and 23 percent say the effort is too time-consuming. As a result, only 33 percent reported that they have a formal strategy in place.

“When it comes to applying social technologies to product development and innovation, most organizations are still early in the adoption phase,” said Amy Kenly, Director of Social Media at Kalypso. “Experimenting is important, since leading practices are still being defined. But like any transformational business initiative, companies with a strategy in place are better positioned to capitalize on the potential benefits.”

Despite the challenges of early adoption, the study demonstrated that those adopting social product innovation practices are achieving benefits such as sourcing new and better product ideas, gaining consumer/customer insights, increasing time to market, achieving faster product adoption, and lowering development costs. In turn, those companies that are using or planning to use social media for product innovation will continue to grow their initiatives - 90 percent are planning to increase their usage over the next 12 months and none plan to decrease it.

Study Addresses Four Critical Phases

In addition to specific recommendations for developing a social product innovation strategy, the study recommends that organizations address four critical phases to getting started:

  1. Understand and assess the product development process
  2. Develop a strategy integrating all categories of social media including in-house/Enterprise 2.0, external partner collaboration, and public networks like Facebook
  3. Integrate innovation strategy with internal and external partners
  4. Implement social product innovation, by prototype or full offering

“The value of social product innovation is clear and can longer be viewed as ‘just a trend,’” said Kenly. “By developing a social product innovation strategy that supports and aligns with product development, innovation, and business goals, organizations have the opportunity to drive better innovation, profitability, and performance.”

To access the complete research findings, download Kalypso's white paper at http://kalypso.com/spike.

About Kalypso

Kalypso is the world's premier innovation consulting firm, helping clients improve performance by delivering on the promise of innovation. Kalypso offers clients full service capabilities including Business and Innovation Strategy, Front End of Innovation, Portfolio and Pipeline Management, Development and New Product Introduction, Value Management, PLM Technology, Leadership and Learning, and Intellectual Property Management. For more information, visit http://kalypso.com. Follow @KalypsoLP on Twitter and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/KalypsoLP.