Best Practices

Innovation in Action


Customer behaviors and needs change rapidly. Smart brand marketers make it a priority to identify high-potential innovations. A strategic innovation development process uncovers the ideas that resonate most with customers, determines how to build them out, and guides the creation of an innovation roadmap for the future. A successful innovation strategy also examines demand potential for ideas, and how to maximize ROI on each one. Here is a recent example of strategic innovation approach for a leading beverage company.

Creating a 3-year innovation roadmap

Business Issue

The food and beverage landscape changed dramatically with the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, a large, global food company needed to pivot its strategy for beverage category innovation. The brand team decided to focus on identifying Ready to Drink (RTD) opportunity areas to broaden the product portfolio. The goal of the insights work  was to uncover and identify multiple groups of consumer tensions (high-level opportunity areas) within the RTD Beverage category to develop ideas that would feed into a 3-year innovation roadmap.


Radius conducted a Virtual Ideation Workshop to identify opportunity areas in which the RTD team could innovate. We crafted a detailed activity flow to allow for the necessary creativity and critical thinking to best achieve the team’s objectives

  • Consumer Understanding: The team completed a category scavenger hunt and empathy-building activity to put themselves in the consumer mindset.
  • Data Organization: Using the consumer understanding the team identified Consumer Tensions, Motivations and Behaviors through a series of laddering techniques and exercises to prioritize the most relevant themes.
  • Iterate to Optimize:  Each high-level theme was developed into its best version through in-depth discussion and rapid iteration

Growth Outcome

The brand team was able to identify over 25 RTD opportunity areas, and then quickly prioritize to focus on the 6 areas that offered the most consumer potential, and the maximum ROI on innovation investment. These 6 focus areas became the foundation for the brand’s 3-Year Innovation Roadmap.

Additional insights on Innovation: Hear SVP Shari Aaron and VP Chris Marketo discuss how to avoid mistakes with rapid iteration, ensure customers are deeply embedded in the process, and how to use scenario planning to create relevant innovations for 3+ years in the future.

Want to learn how this type of insights work can impact your brand’s growth journey?

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