Incremental innovation is a process of changing or improving a product, marketing initiative, or sales strategy over time to add long-term transformative value.
When businesses need to improve a product, service, marketing initiative, or sales strategy to keep pace with market trends, they have two choices: invest heavily in one-time disruptive change or use an incremental innovation process to instill change over time.
Incremental innovation is a common tactic that businesses use to transform their products, customer engagement strategies, or sales metrics over time.
Take smartphones, as an example. Smartphone companies launch new phones almost annually that include the same basic foundation alongside a handful of new — but significant — features.
Each new iteration isn’t necessarily disrupting the entire electronics ecosystem, but rather slowly evolving the tech industry and customers’ engagement with it.
Incremental innovation is critical to brands today because it forces leaders to consider how they can constantly differentiate themselves from the crowded market. With a strong incremental strategy, brands can lead the market without risking too much investment at one time.