Category: Innovation

Innovation Occurs In All Industries

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Chicken Soup - 516617197When it comes to innovation, we can learn a lot from other industries. Take the food and beverage industry. Keurig, the popular coffee brewer and K-Cup maker, is expanding its K-cup line with an instant version of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. The new product will use a K-cup for the broth and a separate packet for the dried noodles and veggies.

You might be thinking ok, I can have some coffee with my soup now, but how does this relate to innovation within the financial services industry?

Innovation always begins with a problem to be solved. What was Keurig’s problem to be solved? Key patents on Keurig’s K-Cups have expired. Third-party sales of coffee pods are increasing. Keurig’s problem to solve: how to protect revenue and increase sales.

Similarly, when asset managers are challenged with how to increase sales, they sometimes develop new products. For example, in 1993 State Street Global Advisors expanded its product line by launching the first ETFs in the U.S.

Companies must sometimes extend their own capabilities by relying on other firms to provide particular resources. They do this by forming key partnerships in order to make new business models work. A key component of Keurig’s strategy is an innovative partnership with Campbell.

Likewise industry trends have prompted our clients to look for a comprehensive solution in the unclaimed property administration (UPA) space in order to preserve assets while staying fully compliant with state regulations. When faced with this problem to be solved, Boston Financial developed a service which provided asset managers with one-stop access to the most comprehensive set of unclaimed property solutions available in the marketplace today. After evaluating options and performing due diligence on a number of vendors, Boston Financial formed a strategic partnership with Keane to complete this business model.

I don’t know if I’ll be using a Keurig in the future to make chicken noodle soup, but I can appreciate Keurig’s ability to solve problems through innovation. The food and beverage industry is vastly different from financial services; however, we still share common threads when it comes to the innovation and product development process.

Frank Citrone

Frank Citrone

Frank works for Boston Financial's New Business and Product Development Team. He is managing the development of the Compliance Program Products and is developing a structure around Boston Financial’s Product Development process. Frank joined Boston Financial in 2004, working on the Federated Transition. He then developed Boston Financial’s first Project Management Methodology, centralized the Project Management function and established the Project Management Office. Prior to joining Boston Financial, Frank worked for Columbia Management, Liberty Financial and Colonial Management.

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