I was recently asked the question "Where is the opportunity to innovate?" The above illustration shows an over-simplified set of methods to identify some of the opportunity spaces, highlighting the areas to bring innovative ideas to market. By combining a few structured methods with the results leading into the next, you can start to build your gut and make educated decisions on what areas you want to spend your time and resources to create those new ideas. I have run this activity several times with product development teams, and successfully identified where the opportunity spaces are given our specific category expertise. With a little prep work, you can go through this set of methods in a few hours.
Of course, this just identifies the opportunity spaces. We still need to find a consumer insight or unmet need as a starting point to make our idea successful. See my last post on 4X scenarios of ideas that lead to success.