Innovation: ‘breaks conventions’

Your cover story and editorial concerning the dearth of true innovation (MW January 11) struck many chords. So many companies insist that they want to be market-led with their new product development efforts. In fact to break new ground, to really innovate, the requirement is to be market-leading.

Being market-led implies being led by the consumer – and consumers are bad at coming up with innovations (Henry Ford’s quote: “If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse” springs to mind…)

Market-led automatically implies incremental development within the existing business system. Market-leading, on the other hand, is usually based upon product innovation. It’s non-linear, it breaks conventions, it changes existing consumer behaviour. It’s doing things differently – and doing different things.

True innovation requires cross-functional working in exciting combinations that challenge the prevailing corporate mindset. And, more than ever, it requires a speedy transfer from concept to market, a can-do attitude, and genuine commitment from on high.

David Lowings

Chief executive

42 consulting


Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here