Whether you use the 4-step IP management process just described or not, there are 4 kinds of intellectual property that you can produce and manage. In other words, there are 4 types of knowledge about any product, service, strategy, or industry.
- Knowledge of what stakeholders value
- Knowledge of the key issues you face
- Knowledge of solutions to individual issues
- Knowledge of complete product, service, or strategy concepts
You can, and should, formally manage EACH type of intellectual property. Here’s why …
What Stakeholders Value – If you know more than your competitors about what stakeholders value, you can create value-driven solutions that competitors can’t.
Key Issues – If you know where your products lag the most compared to competitors, you can focus on creating solutions that will provide big value gains. If you know the issues the entire industry faces, you can create value-based innovation.
Solutions to Individual Issues – If you create multiple solutions to individual challenges or issues, you build a library or inventory of building blocks that can be used to build (or inspire) future product concepts.
Product Concepts – If you build multiple iterations of product concepts, focusing each new iteration on improving the areas where value lags the most, you grow product value quickly. If you test multiple product concepts with consumers, you build a much greater understanding of stakeholder value and key issues.