The Types of Innovators
The three types of innovators are the minimalist, the imitator and the industry innovator.
Minimalists are Holiday park operators who pay more importance on lifestyle, independence and family enterprises than on traditional business goals. These operators are survivors who target traditional markets with conventional products and services. They adopt improvements out of necessity rather than as a show of entrepreneurship.
Most Australian holiday park operators are Imitators. That is, they prefer to copy products and services which industry leaders and/or competitors have introduced, once those concepts have proved effective and offered a good return on investment. Imitators focus on their individual business or franchise, measuring up their overall performance against industry norms. Imitators respect the industry traditions while remaining observant of changes in the market.
Unfortunately there are several barriers for Imitators, which stem from education, financial resources and self-confidence. These factors can cross over, given the correlation between a person’s desire to learn and their attitude to risk taking.
Industry innovators are a minority of people who get the ball rolling first by being the first to introduce a product, service, process or marketing strategy that is new to Australian businesses, but exists elsewhere. The Innovator has just changed the concept to fit the Australian market. This method eliminates many of the risks an entrepreneur assumes when introducing visionary products or services. Like the Imitator, the Innovator still respects the industry’s traditions and thus introduces changes which don’t extend beyond industry boundaries.
While all innovations are different, each type of innovation adds value to the holiday park sector. What’s more, the ones responsible for each innovation collectively share the desire to contribute not only to their individual success, but also to the growth in Australia’s holiday markets.
What’s Similar about All Innovators?
Each of these categories of innovators is based on the traditional belief that innovation ranges from improving existing products and services through to pioneering brand new products and/or services. This kind of thinking comes from a focus on manufacturing and services at a corporate level than at a small business level. Small business owners, including holiday park owners, are not in a position to spend resources like time, money and manpower on research and development (like the Tourism Research Australia can) and they must rely on imitating existing concepts and adapting them to fit as necessary within their business.