Deconstructing Innovation

At Rubis, we spend a lot of time in a broad spectrum of industry discussions. One increasingly common threads is the use of the word "innovation". We tend to think the word innovation is  valuable but at times it can be misunderstood, so today we decided to go back to basics and define "innovation" with the goal of reminding ourselves what it means at face value.

Lets take a look at the Latin root words;

  • in, into

  • novus: new, novare: make new

  • innovat: renewed, altered

  • innnovate (mid 16th century): make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.

  • Innovation: the action or process of making changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.

Given such a simple definition, it's no wonder people are confused by the various things that innovation is used to describe. Take for instance, Mars Inc.'s new Snickers ad campaign, Hunger Innovationsa tongue-in-cheek snicker-inducing (pun intended) jab at what many say is the overuse of the word "innovation". We can only imagine that while in a idea workshop at BBDO, their account team kept running into innovative as a descriptor for this new Snickers bar. Kudos to them for the multi-layered approach at launching an innovative product!

photo credit: thinkpublic CC License