The Renaissance Innovator

Thoughts, examples and updates on the Renaissance Innovation Method

Posts tagged “Zara

Business Model Innovation: The Gift that Keeps Giving

Posted on December 6, 2012

In a recent blog post on the Harvard Business Review bloggers network,  we discuss the sustainability of the advantage that come  from innovating the business model. With the Winter holiday shopping season, fashion apparel retailer Zara has been the focus of media attention — the New York Times recently profiled the innovative fast fashion business model pioneered by Zara, while Elizabeth Cline’s book on the costs of fast fashion has climbed up the sales charts. Despite this very recent popularity, the novel business model of Zara has gone virtually unnoticed for over 30 years, allowing Zara’s parent company, Inditex, to grow from zero to almost $20B in revenues. Why wasn’t it copied immediately? How can it be so sustainable and continue growing? The answer lies in a different type…

The Renaissance Innovator joins the INSEAD bloggers network!

Posted on January 22, 2012

From today, our blog, The Renaissance Innovator, is part of the official INSEAD bloggers network. So if you arrived here through the INSEAD blog, Welcome to our blog and read on for what this blog is about. For our loyal regular readers, nothing changes, you can read our blog posts exactly as you did before, and  we’d also recommend checking out some of the other excellent posts on the INSEAD blog. I often open my industry engagements on innovation with a simple thought experiment for our participants — I  ask them to think of the most innovative organizations and identify what exactly they did that made them so innovative. The answers we hear are very predictable– no matter if we pose this question to…

Learning the Process of Renaissance Innovation

Posted on July 27, 2011

On this blog, we often share examples of firms that have successfully innovated their business model. While most find these examples inspiring, we  often get asked if there is a toolkit or a step-by-step way for firms to innovate themselves along these lines. In our executive teaching, managers routinely want to take “home” a toolkit so that they could transform their companies in the same way as Rolls-Royce did. Our MBA students, often ask us for techniques so that they could become Renaissance Entrepreneurs, a la Michael Dell or Amancio Ortega. This is exactly what we have been working on in our research– the renaissance innovation method.

Renaissance Innovation @ INSEAD Knowledge

Posted on June 1, 2011

Check out  this  interview we did for INSEAD knowledge, our in-house business publication. The write-up and the companion video (embedded after the break)  summarize the key aspects of our theory of Renaissance Innovation and we answer some common questions related to the practice of Renaissance Innovation.  Regular readers of the blog will notice that we mention many of the example that we already blogged about here. We find that videos are  a great tool to liven up discussion in the boardroom or classroom, and we welcome you all to use the video to initiate the uninitiated… Click through to see the video interview…

Fast Enough to Catch up with Fashion

Posted on April 23, 2011

Some of you may have heard of  Fast Fashion, the practice of quickly bringing  designs from the runway to stores. This strategy helped upstarts like ZARA, supplant some of the most-established leaders of apparel retail. The strategy has now been emulated by many others like Uniqlo, H&M, Forever 21, etc.  Today, the strategy is recognized as being more responsive to customer trends, but it is often derided for its inefficiency.  When ZARA started out many practitioners were puzzled by many counter-intuitive choices in the design of this business model– production in high cost locations, super expensive air freight and logistics, limited sales, etc.  As a consequence of all these expenses, practitioners expected  ZARA’s products would have to be much more expensive than traditional retailers to cover the…


Posted on March 23, 2011

Hey! Welcome to our blog on Renaissance Innovation. Here we plan to share our latest research, case studies and thoughts on ideas that disrupt industries, revolutionize the business landscape, and generate immense wealth– all by selling exactly the same products as competitors to the same customers, but by reinventing the operating model of the industry. We call such ideas, and the process of identifying, generating and refining them the The Renaissance Innovation Method, or simply Renaissance Innovation. Who is a Renaissance Innovator? Why call it Renaissance?