Les étapes clés pour une démarche d’innovation réussie

The key stages of a successful innovation process

Author: Syrine Cassagne

Webmarketing manager - Ixiade 

Creation & launch of an innovation project

Reading time: 6 min

Neither committed entrepreneurs nor project leaders (individual or within strcutured companies) will tell you otherwise: conducting an innovation project is not always easy. However; innovation is omnipresent today, thanks to a context that is favourable to it, notably marked by the uncertainties and major challenges around environmental issues. Policies are also more and more focused on innovation and invest in the development of industrial competitiveness and future technologies in order to better understand, better live and better produce. (cf. Plan de relance France 2030). The way in which innovation is approached has also evolved, with less and less "techno push" / "techno centric" approaches and more and more thinking for and with users. And as taking into account the user experience (UX) is the best way to achieve success in innovation, we will detail here the key stages of a successful innovation project.

Step 1 : Think your concept with user-centred view

The reasons for innovation and the objectives pursued can be varied: diversification of activities, expansion of the product or service portfolio, search for growth levers, response to significant trends or new expectations expressed by the market, etc..., the reasons are not lacking. Howeve, it is not always easy to find the right idea for an innovative solution, that is both diffentiating and designed for it users. To this end, the ideation and concretisation phases are essential for starting an innovation project. The key here is to approach these initial phases with a view centred on the future users of the innovation.

This first stage of ideation aims to generate a maximum number of possible solutions through creativity methodologies. Although " brainstorming " is the best known and the most used, it has many limits: creative detours are the most appropriate methods for generating differentiating ideas. These creativity detours are generally based on the principles of idea association (to force the meeting of stimuli from different envrionments) and problem solving, while at the same time unlocking mental inertia (the fact of being locked into a vocabulary and a system a thought specific to a domain, technical for example). Known methods include: the TRIZ method , which stimulates creativity with tools for unlocking mental inertia, the CPS method (Creative Problem Solving), which uses phases of divergence and then convergence to respond to creative challenges, or also the C-K theory, which puts the concept and knowledege in interaction so that they mutually enrich each other. These methods, in additions to generating a large number of potential ideas, make it possible to identify the most meaningful ones for the users. At this stage, tools such as illustrated idea books (associating sketches with the ideas generated) are effective in order to sort out and anticipated the next stages of formalisation. As for the development of the concept and its materialisation, the ideal is to mobilise design expertise focused on UX to design, model and prototype your futurer innovative product or service.

Step 2 : Give your innovation a unique place

In parallel to the definition of the concept and in line with the innovation strategy, it is essential to formulate an attractive positioning for your innovative product or service. If it is the role of an innovation to offer differentiating and credible elements to encourage its adoption, positioning is not a coincidence. It is a question of anticipating how you want your innovation to be perceived by the market. This stage deserves real reflection and collaborative work so that positioning can then be the driving force behind appropriate communication and an effective marketing strategy.

In marketing,the term "positioning" is widely used, but is rather understood as a means og guiding the " marketing mix " and identifying the place of one's product or service in its competitive. In the context of an innovation process, the definition of positioning underlies several aspects and depends on serveral prior steps. As a first step, and in addition to defining your offer concept, you will need to define the profiles of your target (your " personae ") in particular through " personae sheets ". These sheets, which can take the form of identity cards of your typical targets, allow you to understand the aspirations, needs and concerns of your targets. It is the match between the characteristics of your targets, which will then guide you in creating a unique value proposition (UVP). And it is the determination of the attractiveness, difference and credibility factors of your innovation (which constitute the golden triangle of positioning) that will then allow you to formulate a clear and unique positioning.

Step 3: Showcase your innovation and communicate in an impactful way

Because an innovation project is rarely built on its own, one of the key stages of a successful approach is also to be able to communicate about its innovation even before it is developed and launched on the market. Whether to convince partners, investors or potential prospects, the communication of the innovation project must reflect the value proposition and its uniqueness in an understandable way. One of the methods to be used here is the use scenario, which allows you to depict the use of your innovative solution and to show how the target user will interact with it. To build a good usage scenario, you need to define the user problem to be solved and the key moments that will guide the story. Knowing how to tell the story of the use your innovation is not easy and the main challenge is to create an imaginary world that is sufficiently realistic and strong for your targets to project themselves into the use of your conceptTo this end, there are many methods and tricks: mobilising detailed contextual elements, defining the temporalities of the scenario, creating a storytelling that arouses mental imagery, marking the emotions of the protagonists, etc... On the practical side, it is recommended to mobilise expertise in storytelling, graphics et design, whether to identify the style of storytelling and illustration best suited to your project or for the technical production of one or more communication media. The video format, which is very popular today, is often the favoured format because it offers freats possibilities for bringing an innovation to life, whatever its degree of maturity, notably thanks to the incrustation of 3D modelling, trickery and cinomatographic special effects.

Step 4: Assess the true potential of your innovative product or service

After having formalized your concept, defined its positioning and showcased its future uses, the last step is to evaluate the market relevance of your innovation. We talk about user studies : Indeed, what better way to integrate UX into your project than to go meet your targets to get their perceptions, opinions and feelings? This is how the showcasing of your concept in a communicative format can also be used as an evaluation tool with your future users. If many types of studies exist, usage studies, because they are centered on the user, are the best way to determine the chances of success of your innovative product or service on a given market and thus to have the keys to maximize them. In order to carry out a usage study, it is possible to mobilize several methodologies such as the evaluation of the acceptability of your innovation, which allows you to analyse the capacity of users to project themseleves in the use of your innovative product or service. Acceptability analysis allow you to identify motivating factors (drivers of a good diffusion of your innovation on the market), success conditions (concrete improvrment paths) as well as obstacles to the use and adoption of your innovation (blocking criteria for users). Another key methodology: the assessment of desirability which allows you to analyse the emotional perceptions of your targets regarding your innovation. This methodology allows you to identify the emotions that will encourage the adoption of the innovative concept as well as the emotions that will block the success of the project. The interest of conducting a usage study in your innovative product or service will be perceived by your future users, to anticipate the risks of failure, to clarify your decision making, but also to orient and secure your developments and investments. Because in addition to the analysis and detemrination of the chances of success, the objective of these studies, which are carried out by experts, is to identify operational and strategic areas for improvement to ensure that the innovation will meet its market..
In conclusion, even if the objective of this article was to describe the ideal innovation process, each innovation paths remains uniqueThis mean building your own path and approaching these steps in the way that best suits the objectives and needs of the projects. The presentation of these stages also highlights a crucial element: the need to mobilize specific dedicated expertise. Calling on an external partner will allow you to take the necessary distance from your project, to avoid certain biases, to professionalize the innovation process, but also to ensure that you are on the right path to success !

Discover the range of RyM services that guide your innovations to success

Reach your Market helps your innovation projects move forward and grow at each key stage


RyM - Our history services [EPISODE 1]

Use case of a RyM "First Exploration" study

Discover the story of Jean who starts a new adventure: developing his innovation idea!


After a career in engineering and since several months, Jean has been working on an idea for an innovative product.Today, he finally gets his patent and everything accelerates !


To develop a prototype, Jean is looking for funding: financial support, subsidies,... and soon realises that he will not have all the necessary funds.


Following this, Jean met his banker and presented his project. Unfortunately, the banker could not grant him a loan unless he was sure of the potential of his project. de son projet. Jean leaves this meeting very disappointed.


Jean does not lose and searches on the internet for study solutions. He finds the Reach your Market service which seems to meet his expectations and books a slot with a RyM expert.

The following week, Jean met Juliette, a RyM expert, who asked him about his uncertainties and presented him "First Exploration" offer that best met his needs and budget. Jean is convinced and launches into the RyM adventure.


Once the quotation is signed, the project of Jean is presented to a targeted community of usersFor several days, they share their reactions and opinions directly from their smartphone.


During the data collection and while waiting for the results, Jean can go on with his "to-do-list" (administrative tasks, prototyping appointments, ...).

A week later, Jean recevied the resultats of his study. He learned about the motivations and obstacles of his future users and was relieved to discover thathis innovation had 75.8% chance of success !


Now that Jean has proof that of the potential os his project, he returns to his banker. He is now convinced and grants hime the loan needed to pursue his project to prototype it.

Would you also like to experience the RyM adventure to boost your innovation project?

Benefit from an innovation support service, within a controlled timeframe and budget, to maximise the chances of success of your innovative product or service.


RyM - Our history services [EPISODE 2]

Use case of a RyM "Usage Check" study

Discover the story of Sophie & Thibault, managers of the marketing and innovation department of Solutech, a fast-growing SME, who want to meet the needs of their market by developing a new product!

Thanks to its R&D activities, Solutech benefits from the Innovation Tax Credit (CII), an indirect aid from the State that covers part of their expenses, which greatly helps Sophie and Thibault in managing their projects.

From some time now,they have been observing evolutions in their market of connected solutions. They are particularly concerned by the new behaviours of their users and by the new expectations they express in their satisfaction surveys.

No time to lose, Sophie and Thibault take charge and organise several creative sessions. An idea for a new product emerges: smart shoes connected to a health application.

Sophie and Thibault soon realised that they needed to carry out a study to confirm the potential of their idea. Sophie then remembers the Reach your Market study service that was presented to her at a trade event last month.

Le lendemain, Sophie contacte le service RyM to make an appointment and an expert replies. This was an opportunity for her to start explaining her innovative project, her study needs and her uncertainties.

Two days later, Thibault and Sophie met Juliette from the RyM team, who advised them on a "Usage Check" study that was particularly well adapted to their situation. Convinced by the methdology and the operational results, they decided to launch into the adventure.

The following week, the RyM team mobilised to recruit future users of the innovation. Once their eligibility has been validated, the participants express themselves and discuss about the project through the questions they are asked on the yoomaneo application.

Once the data collection is completed the RyM experts look at each of the analysis aspects (Evaluation of acceptability, emotional compatibility and the different functions of the innovation) and formulate improvement recommendations..

Four weeks after the start of the study, a complete turnkey deliverable was presented to Sophie and Thibault who were reassured by the 84% chance of success of their innovation. The bonus? They will be able to decalre the costs of their RyM study in their CII.

Would you also like to experience the RyM adventure to boost your innovation project?

Benefit from an innovation support service, within a controlled timeframe and budget, to maximise the chances of success of your innovative product or service.

J’ai un projet innovant : quelles études choisir ?

I am working on an innovative project: which study should I choose to ensure its potential?


Author: Syrine Cassagne

Webmarketing manager - Ixiade 

STUDY | Reading time: 7 min

Chaque démarche d’innovation comporte son lot d’incertitudes et de risques, et le parcours d’innovation est généralement semé d’embûches, que vous soyez une start-up ou un grand groupe. Telles des boussoles, les études permettent d’orienter les prises de décision et de guider votre stratégie pour optimiser votre proposition de valeur. De plus, la partie relative aux études dans vos montages de projets et demandes de financements est celle qui va susciter le plus d’intérêt de la part de vos potentiels investisseurs et partenaires qui misent sur le succès de votre projet. Parfois négligées au détriment des spécifications techniques, les études sont néanmoins très demandées par les organismes publics ou privés tels que la Bpi ou les fonds d’investissement et sont décisives pour l’obtention de financements mais aussi pour la poursuite de votre projet.

Malgré le caractère connu et populaire de ce terme en marketing, le monde des « études » est plus obscur qu’il n’y paraît et il n’est pas toujours évident de s’y retrouver parmi tous les sens et méthodologies qui peuvent y être associés. C’est pourquoi, dans cet article, nous allons décortiquer pour vous les grandes familles d’études qui existent et vous donner des clés de compréhension pour vous guider vers l’approche la plus adaptée à vos besoins.

Market studies vs. usage studies

Market Study"  is probably the most commonly used but often misunderstood term. The purpose of a market study is to gain a better understanding of the market and the environment into which your new product or service will be integrated. In a macro-economic way, market studies investigate the environment from different angles, using different methodologies such as:
  • PORTER's five forces which makes it possible to assess the competitive intensity of the market by distributing the power of negotiation between the various stakeholders such as customers, substitute products, new entrants and suppliers (some add a sixth force relating to the influence of the state).
  • The competitive benchmark, which is relatively well known and unavoidable, makes it possible to identify the competitors, which is particularly interesting for determining one's marketing position, for example.
  • PESTEL analysis (Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Ecological and Legal) to identify opportunities and threats in the company's macroeconomic and sectoral environment.
  • SWOT analysis (FFOM in french) which classifies the opportunities and threats of the market as well as its own strengths and weaknesses in order to build virtuous combinations and identify key success factors.
These approaches are interesting in the launch phase, to identify the market, supply and demand, and are perfectly suited to products or services for which the markets are existing (which is less the case in an innovation process). With mainly information research work, the weakness of these "market studies" is that they do not directly involve future users.
This is the main difference between "market studies" and usage studies" which objective is to evaluate the way your targets perceive your innovative product or service and could adopt it. Usage studies are part of UX (User Experience) approaches and are the key to evaluating the true market potential of your solution. The interest in usage studies is all the more growing as the wrong apprehension of users is one of the main causes of failure in innovation. Usage studies can involve two main scientifically validated methodologies:
  • The assessment of acceptability, which allows to understand the ability of users to imagine themselves using the innovative solution by looking at four levels of analysis (adequacy of the innovation to the know-how, practices, identity and environment of the user)
  • The assessment of desirability, which allows to evaluate the emotional compatibility between innovation and users by comparing the expected emotions to those actually felt.
These methodologies, in addition to providing you with a key indicator of your chances of success in the marketplace, are fundamental to helping you close the gap between the attitudes and behaviors of your targets. By analyzing the envisaged uses, these methodologies also allow you to identify the motivations of your users, the obstacles to be overcome and the conditions for success to guide your development and commercialization strategies. In practice, it is therefore necessary to directly involve the potential users of your solution and to collect data directly from them. To do this, there are two possible approaches, qualitative and quantitative, to be favored according to the objectives pursued.

Qualitative studies vs. quantitative studies

Qualitative studies allow to obtain rich data on the opinions and perceptions of users, thanks to open-ended questioning and discourse analysis. In practice, the most traditional methods of collecting data for this type of study are individual interviews or focus groups. With Reach your Market, we also use an innovative data collection method: online user communities, through our yoomaneo platform. In addition to offering the flexibility of digital data collection, the interest of this solution is to mix individual and collective data collection techniques by offering the possibility for users to express themselves individually and then interact with the other participants.It is this double approach that allows us to collect particularly rich and unbiased data.

When conducting quantitative studies, the objective is to measure and quantify the opinions of users auprès d’un large panel de participants, représentatif de la cible visée. Grâce aux analyses statistiques, les études quantitatives permettent de mesurer plus finement certains points, de modéliser des données, de confirmer les résultats d’une étude qualitative préalable ou de déterminer quelles sont et comment se forment les préférences des utilisateurs. En pratique, les questionnaires en ligne sont le mode de collecte le plus adapté puisqu’ils permettent de poser rapidement un certain nombre de questions fermées ou à choix multiples et qu’ils peuvent être complétés par les utilisateurs à tout moment.

Le tableau comparatif ci-dessous reprend les grandes différences (en termes de méthodologie et de résultats) entre les études qualitatives et les études quantitatives proposées dans notre service Reach your Market.

Our models for rapid and robust usage studies

Reach your Market offers three study models for different use cases. Whether you are a project leader or a large group, we accompany your innovation towards success whatever its stage of development with the most appropriate solution among:
  • "First Exploration", a qualitative study model that allows to explore the spontaneous interest for your innovative product or service among our user communities and understand the motivations and obstacles of your targets as well as the conditions for the success of your innovation. Thanks to this study model, you will obtain in a few days a deliverable of results with operational recommendations for the continuation of your project.
  • "Usage Check", another qualitative study model that allows to evaluate the acceptability and desirability of your innovation among its targets (BtoB as well as BtoC) and also the different functions / characteristics of your innovation.. Within 4 to 6 weeks, you will receive a complete, interactive and turnkey deliverable as well as personalised recommendations on strategic and operational aspects to maximise your project's chances of success.
  • "Quanti Validation", a quantitative study model that allows you to measure the opinions of your users and ensure that your innovation makes sense to a large panel of respondents. Within a few weeks, you will also obtain an interactive deliverable of results to guide you in the next steps of your project and in your decision making.
Without claiming to be exhaustive, this article aims to give you the keys to understanding the different types of study that exist. Your choice of one type of study or another may be guided by the stage of progress of your project, its technical complexity, the profile of your targets and, of course, your objectives: convincing partners, exploring a new market, which innovative project is the most successful among a portfolio of projects, preparing the market launch of your innovation, preparing your commercialisation and marketing strategies, validating the potential of a prototype...etc. Quel que soit l’objectif poursuivi, notre équipe reste bien entendu à votre disposition pour échanger sur vos projets d’innovation en cours ou à venir !

Conduct a study now with Reach your Market

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