A few years ago our agency was integrated into the Innovations Department of an Automotive Aftermarket client. I didn’t know it at the time but it was a unique situation and very smart. The client set up representation from both inside and outside the company. So for example, I was on the team representing our agency. There was also an outside member from a very large package design company. From the inside there was representation from the marketing department and legal. All of this was designed for a very quick turnaround as we were vetting ideas almost weekly. That meant lots of focus groups and late nights writing concept statements. But it worked better than any of us imagined. It certainly worked for us because all agencies know that the sooner they get involved in a product introduction the more “original” the work will feel.
Since then I have never understood why more companies don’t open up their innovations to outside stakeholders as well as very important functions internally to expedite the incubation period.
Should anyone reading this want to chat about how best to set up an innovations department please feel free to contact me.