Technique 6.28 Industry Innovation Analysis (including heat maps)


This is a technique like SWOTT, PESTLEC, 5 Forces, etc that helps people understand the broad picture of an existing industry, sector, organisation, etc. It helps spotlight potential new areas for investment and innovation plus outlines the current boundaries of an industry. Finding these is a critical starting place for innovation.

Analysing innovation patterns is important:

"...You need to understand what is important to customers; get a sense of what is possible today and in the near future, and assess the economics......Then work to understand how these dimensions are changing over time, and at what pace, and how other players are responding..."

Larry Keeley et al, 2013


1. Define your boundaries

- define which industry's categories are in, or out, of your scope of analysis.

- include organisations (internal and external to your industry) that have different and interesting ways of serving customers, doing things, etc

2. Precisely define innovation

- your definition will influence your results

- remember that the10 frameworks, ie profit model, network, structure, process, product performance, product system, service, channel, brand and customer engagement (for more detail, see Ten Different Types of Innovation in this knowledge base)

3. Scan multiple sources

- 'cast your net far and wide' including journals, magazines, periodicals, academic papers, analyst reports, social media sources

4. Visualise and assess the results

- use visual techniques like topographical maps or heat maps (see below), mind maps (see elsewhere in this Knowledge Base), etc to identify clusters, patterns, omissions, etc




5. Identify key forces of change

- identify the broad drivers (short-term through to long-term) of change, or trends, currently influencing society as a whole and your customers in particular. Use techniques like PESTLEC, SWOTT, Porter's 5 Forces, etc (see elsewhere in this Knowledge Base)

6. Stand in the future

- explore the most recent year of analysis to identify potential opportunities in your industry so that you remain relevant and understand future innovation themes

- some questions to help with this:

i) where are people currently focusing?

ii) which areas are being overlooked together?


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