5+ Best Examples of Innovation in Business

examples of innovation

5+ Best Examples of Innovation in Business

The only constant in today’s business world is change. Adaptability is a core skill you should look for while building your team, as the only way to thrive is to embrace innovation like a surfer riding a tsunami—change with the changing times.

Innovation in business isn’t just a term, it is like the oxygen we breathe. I have seen “cutting-edge” ideas crumble faster than a soufflé in a hurricane. While they had the best ideas, they failed to adapt as things changed.

I will explain examples of innovation strategies you must adopt for your business to thrive and remain relevant, irrespective of what has changed.

Have you ever wondered why some companies outlive generations while others end with the founder’s death? Look no further for the answer. It is simply a lack of innovation in business. However, I have explained what innovation in business entails and listed global examples of innovation strategies you can start using immediately in this article.

What is innovation in Business?

Innovation in business is all about bringing fresh ideas to life in ways that create value for your customers, your company, and potentially the broader world.

It’s more than just having new ideas; it’s about successfully implementing them and making a tangible impact.

According to, innovation is the ability to conceive, develop, deliver, and scale new products, services, processes, and business models for customers.

I reiterate the need for innovation in business to my clients to give them a better understanding.

Business innovation is the process of continuously evolving products and services to meet the needs of clients and customers.

The key word in defining innovation in business is continuous. This means innovation in business is not a one-off thing.

You must continuously implement new processes, ideas, services, or products to boost the bottom line.

What are the 4 Types of Innovation with Examples?

It may seem daunting to streamline types of innovation into four only. However, economist Joseph Schumpeter proposed five types, while the OECD listed four.

I would lean towards the four types of innovation. From my years of experience, you can easily categorize any innovation into these four types.

They stand out and seem to be the preferred ‘solution’ among organizations looking for groundbreaking ideas, concepts, products, or talent.

Incremental Innovation

Let’s say you have launched a product or service and have built a customer base, already. Well, you have done a great job but you can do better.

Sit with your team, filter reviews and feedback from customers, and categorize them into positive and negative. Then, answer these questions:

Incremental innovation comes in – it’s the secret sauce to keeping your business fresh and your customers thrilled. Imagine your product is a delicious chocolate chip cookie. Incremental innovation is about finding ways to make that cookie even more awesome, one small step at a time.

So, go back to your team. Review your best-selling product and analyze its strengths and weaknesses.

What can you improve about this product? The design, functionality, or even the packaging?

You don’t need to break the bank to achieve this. The beauty of incremental innovation is that It’s often more resource-friendly than radical changes. You’re building on what you already have, so the risks and costs are lower.

Read: 10+ Examples of Brand Values for Your Business (With Templates)

Radical Innovation

This is a bit more audacious than incremental innovation. You must be a risk-taker and a visionary to successfully implement this.

Now, beloved business owner, you are not tweaking what you know. You would be inventing something entirely new, something that throws out the rulebook and leaves everyone scratching their heads in awe.

Do you think you are ready to take this ride? I know there is lots of ‘what if things go wrong” rambling in your thought, right now. But let’s explore the benefits, first.

Radical innovation is like a supernova in the business world, shaking things up and leaving everyone with their jaws agape. It’s about creating something so groundbreaking that it disrupts entire industries and redefines the rules of the game.

So, you may not need to touch your existing products. However, what entirely new thing can we do in this business?

Think of Uber transforming transportation, Airbnb shaking up hospitality, or Tesla electrifying the automotive industry.

I encourage you to leap into the void, not tiptoeing around the edges. It requires a healthy dose of risk-taking and a willingness to challenge the status quo. Don’t be afraid to question everything and dream the impossible.

So, instead of just baking a cookie, can you build a teleporting cake that whisks people to a tropical island with every bite?

Yeah, that’s the idea – be radical in innovation.

Disruptive Innovation

This type of innovation introduces simpler and more affordable products or services that initially appeal to a niche market, but eventually disrupt established markets by offering better value.

Now, you’re not just going to be baking cookies bakery, you’re launching a fleet of drone-powered cupcake delivery services that revolutionize birthday parties forever.

In this type of business innovation, you crash into established markets with something so simple, affordable, and convenient.

However, you must play by the rules – Target the overlooked.

Don’t try to fight head-on with the industry giants. Find a niche, an underserved group with unmet needs. Also, keep it laser-focused.

You already own a cookie business, right? Don’t offer every pastry under the sun, focus on delivering one thing, but doing it exceedingly well and differently.

Remember, even a single cupcake, delivered by a drone playing ‘Happy Birthday,’ can be game-changing.

In addition, make your offering affordable and easy to use. Think of low entry barriers, seamless user experiences, and prices that make your competitors blush. And, be prepared to adapt, iterate, and evolve your offering constantly.

Architectural Innovation

If you have more than one product or service you offer, ask your team how can you recombine existing pieces in ingenious ways.

In architectural innovation, it’s not about inventing entirely new things. Architectural innovation is about taking familiar components and orchestrating them into something fresh and exciting.

If this resonates with you, gather your team and answer these questions below listing out all existing products and services

For instance, can your cookie be delivered by drones instead of human logistics? You don’t need to own all the resources you combine in architectural innovation.

The idea is to encourage your team to think outside the box and experiment with different combinations.
Architectural innovation thrives on collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas from diverse perspectives. For instance, Uber didn’t invent cars or GPS, but they combined existing technologies and a new business model to revolutionize transportation.

What is the Most Common Type of Innovation?

The most common type of innovation is generally considered to be incremental innovation.

It is the gradual improvement of existing products, services, or processes. Think of it as fine-tuning a well-oiled machine, continuously making small adjustments and upgrades to optimize performance and value.

Every business owner can adopt incremental innovation easily because it is less risky than venturing into entirely new territory.

Also, since you are building upon existing infrastructure and knowledge, it makes it simpler and quicker to put into practice. Even small advancements can accrue over time, leading to significant progress and competitive advantage.

 Irrespective of what products and services you offer, incremental innovation can be applied to almost any type of business or product, making it a versatile tool for growth.

For instance, you can easily add sea salt to your cookie recipe without creating a new product. Phone companies can add new features to a smartphone like new cameras, processors, or screen technologies to improve the product.

What is an Innovation Strategy?

An innovation strategy is a roadmap for how your business will achieve its goals through creativity and the development of new ideas.

It’s more than just brainstorming – it’s a structured plan outlining the specific actions, resources, and investments you’ll make to consistently turn ideas into reality and generate value.

It’s a collection of rules and behaviors aimed at promoting organizational growth and development.

The most forward-thinking companies recognize that great, novel ideas require an ideal atmosphere to flourish. Notable innovation strategies include product innovation, service innovation, process innovation, technological innovation, and marketing innovation.

5 Examples of Innovation Strategy

I have explained in clear terms what innovation strategies and types are. Now let’s take an in-depth look into 5 global brands and their innovation strategies. 

#1. Microsoft – Multiple Innovation Strategies

Microsoft plays the card of employing different innovation strategies. Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform, is their crown jewel from radical innovation. They’re pushing hard to challenge Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud, investing heavily in AI, data analytics, and hybrid cloud solutions.

This focus on the future of computing is a smart move, positioning them for growth in a rapidly evolving market.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and mixed reality (MR) are like beautifully interwoven harmonies in Microsoft’s strategy.

Azure AI tools empower developers and businesses to build intelligent applications, while HoloLens and other MR devices create immersive experiences that blur the lines between physical and digital worlds. They understand the power of technology to empower people and organizations, and they’re constantly striving to create solutions that make a difference.

#2. Google

Google’s innovation strategy always points towards understanding and exceeding user needs. From search algorithms that anticipate your questions to AI-powered assistants that simplify your life, everything revolves around making the user experience smoother, faster, and more intuitive.

Google sits on a mountain of data, and they’re not afraid to mine it for insights. This data-driven approach fuels their innovation engine, allowing them to personalize user experiences, predict trends, and develop solutions that seamlessly integrate into our digital lives.

While it’s so difficult to streamline Google’s innovation to only one or two, Its parent company Alphabet’s continuous investment in R&D suggests, that the company targets radical, disruptive, and architectural innovation.

#3. Apple

It will suffice for any business expert to say Apple implements an incremental product innovation strategy. At the heart of Apple’s strategy lies an unwavering focus on design that obsesses over every detail.

From sleek hardware to intuitive software, Apple strives to make its products not just functional, but delightful to use. This creates a strong emotional connection with customers, fostering loyalty and brand advocacy.

But Apple isn’t just a technology company, it’s a master of vertical integration. They control hardware, software, and services, allowing them to optimize every aspect of the user experience.

This tight control ensures seamless integration and fosters a consistent brand identity across all devices. So, Apple also implements radical, and architectural innovation strategies.

#4. Huawei

The Chinese tech giant has carved its name in the global landscape through its aggressive innovation strategy.

With heavy R&D Investment, Huawei commits to pushing the boundaries of technology. This fuels its advances in areas like 5G, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing.

Huawei embraces a collaborative approach to innovation. They actively partner with universities, research institutes, and other companies to accelerate breakthroughs and tap into diverse expertise.

Huawei navigates a complex global landscape, tailoring its offerings and strategies to different markets. This balance between global ambition and local adaptation helps them cater to diverse needs and remain competitive. So, architectural innovation is a ‘huge’ thing for this company.

#5. Amazon

Amazon – the retail behemoth transformed how we shop, read, and even watch TV. Did you guess right?

Amazon is known for implementing radical innovation strategies across products and services.

However, every decision, from algorithms to warehouse design, is laser-focused on understanding and exceeding customer needs. This relentless customer-centricity fuels loyalty and fuels constant innovation.

An incremental innovation strategy exists here too. Amazon sits on a mountain of user data, and they mine it like gold.

From purchase history to browsing behavior, every click translates into insights that personalize experiences, predict trends, and drive targeted marketing. Data is the fuel that keeps the innovation engine roaring.

Examples of Innovation in a Workplace

Having analyzed the innovation strategies implemented often in these world brands, can you identify any in your workplace?

Innovation in a workplace is much more than computerizing attendance sheets or payroll. It is often customer-centric and a pathway to growth. However, you can begin with baby steps to integrate the value.

Here are some practical examples of innovation in a workplace a small business owner can adopt.

  • Automate repetitive tasks: Free up your team’s time by using tools for scheduling, data entry, and customer service.
  • Attract talent and boost productivity by offering flexible work arrangement
  • Use social media for marketing and engagement: Connect with your audience and build brand loyalty.
  • Offer personalized experiences: Use data and customer feedback to tailor your offerings to individual needs.
  • Embrace cloud-based tools: Access data and collaborate from anywhere with cloud-based applications.
  • Invest in research and development: Equip your team with the skills they need to excel and adapt to new technologies.

FAQs on Examples of Innovation

Which is an example of an innovation in business?

In tech innovation, Airbnb’s disruption of the hospitality industry through a peer-to-peer platform is a great example.

What are the 4 types of innovation with examples?

1. Incremental Innovation- Netflix personalized recommendations
2. Radical Innovation – Tesla electric cars
3. Architectural innovation – The development of hybrid cars, combining electric and gasoline engines
4. Disruptive Innovation – Mobile Payments

What is the best example of product innovation?

Penicillin antibiotic revolutionized medicine by effectively treating bacterial infections, saving countless lives, and changing the course of medical history.


The world of business is a playground for innovation. For your business to thrive, you must continuously innovate to meet the changing times.

You must embrace creativity, challenge the status quo, and prioritize both profit and purpose.

I explained the concept of innovation in business, listed notable examples of innovation strategies, and suggested practical steps you can take toward adopting innovation in your workplace. You should read it!!


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