In a nutshell, Reverse Innovation is a process by which Product ‘X’ gets developed in and for places like China or India. It meets very specific needs at a lower price. However, after launch there is a realization in the U.S. that Product ‘X’ meets needs for a sizable demographic within the U.S., at the lower price. In a strange twist, a company creates products that compete against its own products. Instead of expensive, feature rich products being developed in the U.S. and then being modified for sales overseas, products get developed overseas and come back to the U.S. at a lower price point.
That said, is reverse innovation truly innovation?
Vote here before reading my take:
Ultimately innovation, which involves bringing good designs to market at acceptable price points, comes from knowing the customer. This should be done on a local level, and that part of reverse innovation is on the mark. However, it shouldn’t take someone creating a device in a different country to open one’s eyes to a market for that same product in the U.S..
I’m not sure what I’d call it, but if you want to know what reverse innovation sounds like, I created this: