How did one global drinks brand go about getting innovative products to market, faster?

The Challenge

This renowned whiskey brand excelled at continually coming up with new ways to create some of the world’s best-loved drinks. While its ability to bring new flavors and possibilities to single malt wasn’t in question, its new product development workflow and output was.

The business found itself slow and cumbersome. Products were taking too long to get to market. And it was left dealing with excessively bureaucratic, gated processes.

As a result, rivals were capturing market share by launching products faster and achieving breakthrough innovations in new product categories.

Approach

We designed a system of work that established a new end-to-end Product Innovation approach. We began by assessing existing ways of working through the lens of Value, Flow and Quality.

Then we classified existing innovation projects and devised a value-based framework for prioritizing them. This was designed to speed up development and get products into the hands of customers much faster. We also set new processes for front-end innovation using desirability, viability, and feasibility as the key metrics and super-fast feedback loops to maintain speed.

Our impact

Our new system of work for Product Innovation made an immediate impact. It gave the formerly slow whiskey brand a new ability to innovate, facilitate Agile thinking and improve customer experience.

The new approach helped the company itself identify, develop and focus on breakthrough innovation. This means it can not only accelerate the process of getting new products to market and through regulatory red tape right now, it’s in a good position to do so for the future too.

The new way of working is geared toward the mindset of experimentation and how to develop new concepts, categories, and delivery mechanisms. All of which are essential in quickly getting new whiskeys into the hands of consumers.

This customer centricity is now key to all internal measurements and metrics. By focusing on how a new process can drive a better customer experience, the company has a platform for making the organizational changes required to respond. With enhanced feedback loops built in for super-fast feedback, this leading whiskey maker is set to continue its success through much more agile decision-making.

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