How to visualize innovation holistically using Doblin’s framework

We’ve explored Doblin’s framework on the types of innovation using our SPEEDA Edge platform

Janine Manishka Gunasekara
December 1, 2022
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Working in innovation sounds like an idyllic job, creating and inventing, but do words like ‘data’ and ‘discipline’ come to mind along with ‘design’? Probably not.

Doblin's research demystifies innovation through a framework that breaks it into 10 types, none of which involves waiting for a muse! We agree with Doblin’s sentiment; lasting innovations have intense behind-the-scene work. It’s not simply eureka moments, but a structured discipline that combines critical thinking with creativity.

The framework is divided into three categories: configuration, offering, and experience. Innovation involves each of these aspects of a business, though perhaps not all at once, which means going beyond the product or service, to how you price it, network, and differentiate, for starters.

Here are ways to re-think your innovation process, beyond product orientation, by combining five elements within the framework, with our data-driven research and tool, the Competitive Analysis, on SPEEDA Edge, so you can visualize how players are changing the game.

Profit model: How you make money

Pricing might seem straightforward and not a metric that calls for innovation in most traditional industries, but a tactical change like tweaking your profit model may be the innovation move you need.

Take Smart Farming, for example; traditionally, farming equipment is a direct sale, but players like Farmwise provide its robots on a pay-per-acre basis or otherwise dubbed, Farming-as-a-Service. 

Identify and compare pricing methods easily using the business/revenue model data included under competitive analysis, and link them to business impact and topline growth.

Section of Competitive Analysis Module in the Smart Farming Industry hub

Network: Treat your connections as assets

It takes a village to cater to a customer, sometimes. Leveraging your network to form mergers and acquisitions, complementary partnerships, or collaborations is one way to reach markets and industries you’d like to access.

For example, Lucid Motors (formerly Atieva); initially, the company developed EV batteries and powertrains for third-party EV makers, but it rebranded in 2016 aiming to develop passenger EVs, and has four EV models in its portfolio.

Its partnerships with multiple players to source supplies, for one, can be tracked at a glance through the key partnerships row and further probed into through company profile and news filters.

Section of Competitive Analysis Module in the EV Economy hub

Furthermore, you can track incumbents like Tesla’s partnerships and compare them with peers through a complementary tool, the incumbent module.

Process: Distinct methods or practices

A product or service can benefit from a superior process or distinct offering. Take the food waste management industry, for example. Players like Apeel Sciences, the highest-funded waste management startup, offers an edible coating (made from plants) that claims to extend the lifetime of fresh fruit and vegetable produce by 2 to 3x. 

Use the benefits claimed row and understand a company’s core value proposition quickly.

Section of Competitive Analysis Module in the Food Waste Industry hub

Product performance: Distinguish your product or service

Innovating your product’s performance sounds like an obvious move, but it’s not only about tangible differences, but also about uniqueness beyond the product, like how easy it is to use, whether it’s better than competitors, and its focus.

In a legacy industry like health, technological innovations proliferate, but health issues and those receiving care stay the same. Telehealth players like Folx Health have challenged traditional systems by serving a systemically underserved group like the LGBTQIA+ community, making their distinguishing feature their service’s focus.

Spot the unique feature by using the differentiator row to understand a player’s competitive edge.

Section of Competitive Analysis Module in the Telehealth Industry hub

Product systems: Complement your offering

Offering ancillary products or services to customers is one way to innovate core offerings. It speaks to understanding the customer’s behavior in the products’ use.

Take for instance connected fitness equipment provider Zwift; this startup develops and also hosts virtual cycling races. It offers a basic set of hardware, such as a trainer, a bike, and a computer, and for more professional cyclists, heart rate monitors, speed and cadence sensors, and power meters to enhance the experience. It’s understood the customer needs to improve their fitness but also provide a suite or products that are in tandem with the core workout.

Find more information on a product or player’s offering and activities using the technology/product specifications row.
Section of Competitive Analysis Module in the Connected Fitness Industry hub


Expand your definition of innovation to include additional angles that provide more context through competitive intelligence, and use SPEEDA Edge to scout for modern, up-to-date examples of emerging technology solutions, so you can visualize the innovation landscape in emerging areas.

Get in touch with our team to refresh your innovation framework.

Janine Manishka Gunasekara
Content Marketing Lead, SPEEDA Edge

Janine is a Content Marketing Lead for SPEEDA Edge, an emerging industry intelligence platform.