How to Remove Barriers to Bring New Products and Services to Market

Jan. 7, 2022

Eller Business Blog

What is one step to identifying and removing barriers to innovation to bring new products and services to market?

To help you in your innovation initiatives, we asked business professionals and leaders this question for their insights. From performing a SWOT analysis to embracing the power of yes, there are several things to consider when bringing a new product or service to market.

Here are seven ways to overcome barriers and welcome innovation:

  • Foster Cross-Functional Collaboration

  • Get Out of Your Own Way

  • Conduct Informational Interviews

  • Embrace the Power of “Yes”

  • Beware of Change Apprehension

  • Avoid the Fear of Failure

  • Performa SWOT Analysis

Foster Cross-Functional Collaboration

Innovation rarely happens in a vacuum—unless we're talking about Dysons or Roombas. What sets innovative products or companies apart is the new approach they take to solve problems that consumers face. Solving problems in unique ways requires unique perspectives and new ideas, but that creativity isn't an on-demand service (yet). 

The most innovative businesses keep that spark of creativity alive by fostering cross-functional collaboration, encouraging feedback and seeking out the places where unique experiences and perspectives intersect with problems in need of new solutions.

Kevin Kitchen ’22 MBA (Marketing and Entrepreneurship), Director of Marketing Operations at Brandetize

Get Out of Your Own Way

One of our most significant barriers to innovation, growth and bringing new products or services to the market is ourselves. Our mind is powerful, and we can limit our growth potential. 

We may doubt ourselves or our abilities or have guilt. In order to reach that next level and remove barriers, focus on your thoughts, your actions, your beliefs and make sure your goals align.

Alison Stine ’13 BSBA (Finance), Founder of Stine Wealth Management

Conduct Informational Interviews

The best way to bring a new product or service to market is to develop a minimum viable product, or “MVP.” To develop an MVP, a company founder or product manager needs to focus on developing the key features first and sideline secondary features on the product development roadmap. 

How does a founder know which key features to develop? By asking customers. Early on, a founder should spend a considerable amount of time validating assumptions, showing mockups of products and listening hard to customers. 

These informational interviews will help developers create the right features, help a company bring their product to market quickly and save on unnecessary development expenses.

Brett Farmiloe ’06 BSBA (Accounting), CEO and Founder of Markitors

Embrace the Power of “Yes”

One of the most important ways to ensure that a company fosters innovation in its products and services is by embracing a culture that believes there is no such thing as a silly idea or bad question.

In improv, people are told to embrace the “yes, and” approach. Instead of using “no, but,” which tends to shut down ideas of innovation and creativity, businesses should embrace the “yes, and” approach to remove internal barriers to innovation.

Stephanie Schull, Kegelbell

Beware of Change Apprehension

I believe new features that are supposed to overrule the old are the biggest obstacles to innovation. There are always more conservative users when it comes to learning new features of a product, which can hinder the release of a new feature or product. It's essential for organizational change management that your UX or product leads champion product changes long before they make it into the sprint.

If iteration is part of the product culture, your organization should hire people who are open to it. When it’s time to release a new product, the main barrier should be the messaging and whether you've nailed the buyer persona or not.

Guy Katabi, Lightkey

Avoid the Fear of Failure

Fear of failure is a fundamental flaw that plagues many businesses. Failure is not an option in organizations' minds. I would recommend that leaders allow employees to work freely on their own projects and maintain active communication with them to collect suggestions. While the majority of these attempts will not always produce profitable products or services, there will be projects that rise to the top.

When it comes to innovation, successful companies emphasize the value of corporate culture. True and continuous innovation is the result of a deeply-rooted culture that focuses on flexibility and transparency.

Spiros Skolarikis, Comidor

Perform a SWOT Analysis

As the industry changes over time, it is important to consider how changes in external factors might present opportunities or threats to your developmental ideas. For example, although unpredictable, the pandemic changed the world of work forever by adopting new work-from-home or hybrid models.

The social activism of the summer of 2020 has encouraged a lot of necessary changes to the way we work and the need for greater empathy and a sense of belonging. At Preciate, we saw the opportunity to provide more value to our clients through relationship building.

We developed our platform in 2017 to cultivate better work relationships between mentors, proteges and more for greater social-emotional support at work.

Ed Stevens, Preciate

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