Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation

Innovation is the driving force of business. Without the ability to innovate over time, your organization will be stuck in place at best – and at worst, it will wind up extinct in short order. Even if you have a great idea to get your business started, you are still going to innovate from that point forward in order to stay ahead of the competition.

Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation

With that in mind, it is worthwhile to take a close look at Doblin’s Ten Types of Innovation. This tool is a list of various forms of innovation which can be used depending on the needs and resources of your organization. Below, we have listed each of the ten types of innovation included in this model, along with a brief description.

Profit Model

Most organizations have to find a way to make money in order to continue operations, so it makes sense that Profit Model is the first type of innovation on the list. This kind of innovation is the way you make money, so it is essential to the basis of what it is that your organization does on a daily basis. Without this type of innovation working for you, it is unlikely that you will be able to make it into any of the other nine options.


There is tremendous value to be found in working with others. Very few individuals or organizations are able to be successful on their own, as the world is far too competitive to take on alone. By networking as a form of innovation, you will be able to rely on the experiences and talents of others to work toward a brighter future.

Configuration Elements


It is possible to work toward new innovations simply by structuring your organization in a way that all of the talents and assets within the company are able to reach their potential. Just as great structure can promote innovation, so too can poor structure get in the way of progress. This is a point that can cut both ways, so it is important that good structure is one of the main objectives of the organization.


One way to stand out from the crowd in a competitive market is to use a process that is superior to that of the competition. Developing better and better processes over time is something that most businesses strive to do, but few actually achieve in a meaningful way. If your organization can make true progress in terms of the process that you use to do your work, it is very possible that you will be seen as an innovator in your space.

Product Performance

The products you take to the market are the face of your business in many ways, so innovating through offering up unique products is one of the most-powerful ways to differentiate your company. Those companies whose products provide features and/or functions that are not otherwise found in the market are going to naturally take a step away from the rest of the crowd.

Product Performance

Product System

In addition to having specific products which stand out from the rest of the market in some way, your organization can also offer a selection of products which work together to complement one another. This kind of cohesive product system is a powerful innovation method as it can make it possible to achieve things that could not be done with just one stand-alone product.


Every customer loves great service, and one of the ways in which you may be able to innovate as an organization is by offering a variety of support methods and enhancements. These pieces of support will augment the products you take to your customers and they will potentially take your products and services to a new level. Most people wouldn’t associate service with innovation, but great service can go a long way toward creating an impressive customer experience.


How do you take your products to your customers? This is your channel, and you might be able to be seen as an innovator in your market by finding a new and more-efficient method of channeling your products to your buyers. Channels have changed dramatically over the years thanks to technology, and these innovations have been some of the most notable of recent years.

Experience Element


Of course, you already know that your brand has a lot to do with your success or failure in the market place. Customers tend to trust certain brands based on reputation or personal experience, so having a strong brand will offer you the ability to innovate once you have the attention of your target market. Building a strong brand isn’t necessarily an innovation in itself, but it will provide a platform on which you may be able to do innovative things.

Customer Engagement

Is your business going to engage with your market in a way that is unique for your segment, or that is revolutionary across all categories? You may be able to innovate in a meaningful way by how you decide to interface with your customers. Thanks to the high-tech world in which we live, there are more ways than ever before to stay in touch with your target market. Whether it is digitally or in-person, great customer engagement has always been one of the keys to prosperity in business.

Innovation is one of the keys to the success of your organization moving forward, no matter what kind of market you serve. As you can see from the list above, there are plenty of ways in which you can be innovative within your company, as long as you are willing to keep an open mind and pursue opportunities wherever you may find them. From the innovations that drive profits and grow your network to those that are based around your brand or even customer engagement, there are always new ways to find innovative opportunities. With your team focused on innovation and a long list of possible options at their disposal, the future should be full of exciting new directions.

You can read more about the Ten Types of Innovation in our free eBook ‘Creative Thinking for Managers’. Download it now for your PC, Mac, laptop, tablet, Kindle, eBook reader or Smartphone.

For more information about the Ten Types of Innovation including links to the book, app and consultancy visit

Key Points

  • The Ten Types of Innovation framework provides a way to identify new opportunities beyond products and develop viable innovations.
  • All great innovations comprise some combination of these ten basic types and you can use them to help your innovation efforts. They are:
  • Innovative profit models often challenge an industry’s assumptions about what to offer, what to charge, or how to collect revenues.
  • Network innovations provide a way for firms to take advantage of other companies’ processes, technologies, offerings, channels, and brands.
  • Structure innovations are focused on organizing company assets in unique ways that create value.
  • Process innovations often form the core competency of an enterprise, and may include patented or proprietary approaches.
  • Product performance innovation involves both entirely new products as well as updates and line extensions that add value.
  • Product System innovations are rooted in how individual products and services connect or bundle together to create a robust and scalable system.
  • Service innovations enhance the utility, performance, and apparent value of an offering by making a product easier to use.
  • Channel innovations encompass all the ways that you connect your company’s offerings with your customers and users including electronically and via traditional channels such as physical stores.
  • Brand innovations help to ensure that customers and users recognize, remember, and prefer your offerings to those of competitors or substitutes.
  • Customer Engagement innovations are all about understanding the deep-seated aspirations of customers and users, and using those insights to develop meaningful connections between them and your company.

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