Here is an example of two innovation templates in one product. The Double Down sandwich from KFC removes the traditional bread slice (demonstrating the template, Subtraction), and it assigns the additional job of “sandwiching” to the two slices of fried chicken (demonstrating the template, Task Unification).
What I like about this idea is that it shows the power of innovation templates to break fixedness. Sandwiches have been around for a very long time, yet this idea transforms us to consider other components than bread for this critical role of “sandwiching” – bread slices holding one or more fillings between them. The use of the Subtraction template in this example is obvious – remove the bread. But then giving the additional role of holding the other components of the sandwich between two slices of chicken is quite novel. This pattern is called Task Unification.
How would you extend this idea? Consider applying a third template such as Division. Take one of the components of this product and divide it one of three ways: functional, physical, or preserving. Look for additional consumer benefits, markets served, or new efficiencies.
Special thanks to my graduate student, Luke Kim, for sharing this example.
Drew Boyd is Director of Marketing Mastery for Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon Endo-Surgery division). He is also Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing and Innovation at the University of Cincinnati and Executive Director of the MS-Marketing program. Follow him at www.innovationinpractice.com and at https://twitter.com/drewboyd