Market research plays a crucial role in identifying opportunities for innovation in less affluent markets. It helps in understanding the needs, preferences, and buying behavior of customers in these markets. This information can be used to create affordable products that fill a need for the masses, thus driving innovation.

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Companies can use innovation to create a balance between profitability and affordability by developing products or services that offer high value at a lower cost. This can be achieved by improving operational efficiency, utilizing cost-effective materials or technologies, and optimizing the product design for mass production. Additionally, companies can explore innovative business models that allow for lower pricing, such as subscription services or shared economy models.

Focusing too much on profitability in innovation efforts can lead to several pitfalls. It can lead to neglecting the needs of a larger, less affluent market that is looking for value for money. It can also result in a lack of affordability in products, which can alienate potential customers. Furthermore, it can stifle creativity and risk-taking, as the focus is primarily on safe, profitable outcomes rather than groundbreaking ideas.

Companies can ensure that their innovation efforts are meeting the needs of their target market by focusing on creating products that offer value for money. They should aim to create affordable products that fill a need for the masses, rather than just focusing on affluent markets. This approach can help them tap into a larger market and ensure that their innovation efforts are successful.

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HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Innovation

Innovation is more than creativity; it is a process that is structured, with rules and best practice...

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