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Innovation for today: Digital tech empowers industry to innovate

By Nathan Gray+

04-Apr-2014
Last updated the 22-Apr-2014 at 13:18 GMT

The use of mobile technologies and social media to connect with real consumers can help manufacturers gain better innovation insights for today and tomorrow, says Chris Cornyn.

The use of social media and smart phones to gain ‘mobile insights’ from home consumers can lead to vital insights and innovations even in 'sleepy' food and drink categories, according to DINE Marketing founder and president Chris Cornyn.

Speaking to global industry leaders at the Food Vision event in Cannes, Cornyn warned innovation too often focuses on ‘blue sky’ thinking and long term projects, without considering simple refinements to products.

“Any time you talk about food innovation you have these things that you need to weigh, sort of pie in the sky, ten year’s out,” he told us during an interview at Food Vision. “But when we work with food companies, they want to innovate now, and they want to have things that they can go to market - not in seven years or ten years.”

Central to achieving these more immediate innovations is gaining real insights in to how consumers use and interact with your product, Cornyn said.

The DINE marketing president suggested a number of routes that manufacturers can take to start getting insights directly from consumers, adding that these insights will often drive immediate innovation and new product development.

Mobile insights for immediate innovation

Smart phones and the use of mobile technologies allow immediate interaction with real world consumers that can allow companies to get a clear idea of what people want or need. These can very quickly be fed back in to the innovation process in order to refine an existing product, said Cornyn.

“You might also explore that white space, of products ten years down the line, but a big thrust of what I really believe in is that you need to do both – you need to figure out insights to improve your existing products and then also insights to drive innovation long term.

“You can get insights from all over the world now, almost instantaneously, with mobile devices,” said Cornyn – who explained that the rise in mobile technologies like smart phones, and the increasing use of social media mean that it is easier than ever to get real consumer insights from anywhere in the world.

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