What the SCAMPER Model?

The SCAMPER Model is a Tool that helps professionals Redefine existing Products by Rethinking How they are Perceived, Used or Designed.

 

It is a Lateral-Thinking method for Product Innovation.

 

Its name is an acronym for the 7 Actions it proposes to Redefine Products:

  • Substitute.
  • Combine.
  • Adapt.
  • Modify.
  • Put to Another Use.
  • Eliminate.
  • Reverse.

7 Actions of the SCAMPER Model

1. Substitute: Replace a certain part of a Product with a New one.

  • A new Component that works better or is more interesting.

 

2. Combine: Implement different Concepts together in a same Product.

  • By using components that are not necessarily intended to work together.

 

3. Adapt: Introduce changes to satisfy the new Preferences of the Clients.

  • Over the years, Customer preferences vary.

 

4. Modify: Change the Appearance of a Product.

  • How it looks and/or How Customers perceive it.

 

5. Put to another Use: Use a Product for something it was not Designed for.

  • Look for other uses for a certain Product.

 

6. Eliminate: Dispense with the non-vital parts of a Product.

  • Parts that may not add any Value.

 

7. Reverse: Deconstruct a Product and its main Pillars.

  • What is taken for granted in a Product and/or How it is manufactured.

 

 

The best way to understand the SCAMPER Model and how you can use it, is by sharing some examples with you:

SCAMPER Model examples

We have chosen 7 examples of companies that used one of SCAMPER’s approaches…

… And created some of the most successful products of our day.

 

Let’s begin:

Touch Screen - Substitute - SCAMPER example

Not many years ago, all cellphones had little Keyboards.

  • Some of us still miss them.

 

As soon as the technology improved, mobile phone companies started to Substitute them with Touch Screens.

 

And, when Apple introduced their iPhone… They set the new Benchmark in the Market.

Mouse - Combine - SCAMPER example

 

In case you don’t know, the first Computers didn’t have a Mouse.

  • Everything worked with the Keyboard.

 

Douglas Engelbart had already invented the Mouse.

  • But it was being used in a limited way.

 

One day, somebody decided that they could Combine the Mouse with mass-produced Computers.

Porsche Cayenne - Adapt - SCAMPER example

Not so long ago, SUVs were not very popular.

  • They began to become popular in the 90s.

 

Seeing this new trend, Porsche decided to Adapt one of its models to it.

  • And they were highly criticized for it.

 

Nobody could have imagined that one of the most prestigious Sports-Car Company in the world decided to develop a SUV.

  • Their enormous success would later be imitated by all.

iMac - Modify - SCAMPER example

Apple has not always been the Giant Corporation it is nowadays.

  • There was a time when they struggled to sell their products.

 

One of the best Strategy they used (and use today) is to Modify their products.

 

When they introduced their iMac, they used a groundbreaking Design.

  • It didn’t look like a Computer, but a designer piece of furniture.

Salmon - Put to another Use - SCAMPER example

 

Believe or not, Salmon sushi-sashimi is a very recent thing.

 

4 decades ago, in Japan, people only ate Salmon, cooked.

  • Sashimi and sushi were prepared with tuna and other fishes… But not Salmon.

 

It was Norway who promoted their Salmon in Japan to be used in sushi dishes.

  • Their Salmon is much more suitable to be eaten raw.

NOKIA - Eliminate - SCAMPER example

 

In 1999 NOKIA made a wonderful move:

  • They Removed the antenna from their new Phone.

 

They simply develop a flat interior antenna.

 

The Success of their NOKIA 3210 was unprecedented.

Millions of people went crazy for this new Phone, which seemed much moreattractive“.

IKEA - Reverse - SCAMPER example

 

How did IKEA become the great successful company that it is today?

 

By Reversing the concept of Furniture.

  • Affordable Furniture.

 

They thought what was unthinkable:

  • Customers will save money by assembling the furniture themselves.

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