INJECTING INNOVATION INTO NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
An entirely different approach to product development
Guinness’ marketing department commissioned the Programme because they recognised that the company needed an innovation injection. Several levels of the business required fresh ideas – it had to be shaken out of a tendency to rely on old formulas. Guinness was confronted by market related disruption with a decline in the UK beer industry.
The business needed to generate agreement at various levels. New product development deserved a significant portion of time and resources. Once it had achieved this, the business was in need of an entirely new approach to product development. Finally, Guinness wanted tangible new product and distribution ideas, fast. The dip in the industry contributed to the urgency for new ideas and new approaches.
Breakthrough devised an 8-day Programme structure for 33 leaders drawn from departments across Guinness. Leaders from marketing, sales, finance, R&D, production and media advisers came together with board directors and other employees. A three-day intensive was followed by a two day BIG TALK® session. Three ‘Follow Through’ days later that year checked-in, re-energised and focused on the future.
NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
As a result of the Programme, Guinness set up a dedicated new product development team within the marketing department, with full board level backing. This team continued to benefit from enthusiastic support from across the company and its advisers. New product development links were formed for the first time with associate companies within Guinness Group UK and internationally.
NEW PRODUCT IDEAS
During the Programme a huge number of new ideas were developed and considered with many of these tested on consumers during the BIG TALK® session. Six new products were developed from that pool.
NEW DISTRIBUTION CONCEPTS
The highly successful Irish Pub concept is largely a result of the Breakthrough Programme. In an innovation response to the fall in revenues at traditional pubs, 35 pubs were converted or opened in the UK with an Irish theme, one of which boasted the largest weekly take in the county.