University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Bang and Olufsen: Design Driven Innovation
The key concern identified in this particular case is that Bang & Olufsen are lacking a strong sense of management. Designers seem to be the forefront of business innovation and innovation management needs to be altered. The article identifies that the designers are making major decisions in terms of product development, and although this may seem effective, management should have an influence on the entire company in order to make informed decisions in relation to the business’ innovation strategy. Bang & Olufsen follow a more semi-radical innovation approach, this is clear in the fact that the business has not changed the existing business model for some time, and more focus is towards technological advances. This is ineffective as for design driven innovation it is important to adopt an entirely radical innovation strategy. While B&O consider the design driven strategy as the best take for the future, the problem it causes is that they are unintentionally opening up the future of the business into the designers hands. Thus, Bang & Olufsen requires a radical change of the business model in order to effectively conform to a radical innovation strategy. The company needs to realise that change is necessary and aim to be more involved in the decision making process. B&O need to use the designers as a guide for product development, and be more concerned with executing its innovation strategies and using the company image as a representative to users of their products. An effective way of ensuring this is possible is through thorough examination of the internal and external environment, and a structured innovation plan.
This article, along with the discussion in the lecture has provided me with insight into issues involved in the case and marketing in general. There were several issues including conflicted vision within the company which led to missed deadlines and inability to effectively cooperate between the designers, engineers and management of B&O. This educated me on business’s requiring a solid vision in order to reach innovative goals and overall business objectives. Not only that, but management needs to be more involved in the innovation process so as to ensure input from people who envision ideas in the virtual world to be considered. Another fact relevant in the article as discussed in the lecture is concerning market research. “B&O lacked a sufficient amount of market research”, which although good in some way, allowing the company to be more innovative and create new, impressive products, it often led to wasted time developing concepts that had no “substance”. Thus we can see that market research is an extremely important aspect of marketing management in order to be efficient, and to effectively identify consumer wants and needs to develop concepts worth producing. A final important point about marketing I have learnt is that, the designs of both “Idea Lab” and “Idea Land” is key as one develops a product and whilst one focuses more at the technological side. A significant point here is that ideas of both “Idea Lab” and “Idea Land” would be much simpler to develop if the two were working together. Therefore, companies should attempt to combine both product ideas and technological developments in order to successfully achieve innovative objectives.