A Journey of Innovation: How Procreate Reinvented Itself

In our rapidly changing world, driven by technological developments, customer needs today are different from those of tomorrow. Organizations that are unaware of contextual changes risk being left on the sidelines and losing relevance. Therefore, it’s crucial for them to respond to change through innovation and designing new business models. This way, they can proactively create and seize new opportunities.


When we talk about innovation, we don’t mean a one-time adjustment. It is a continuous cycle of reinvention and innovation. A dynamic process in which you as an organization are constantly looking for better, more efficient, and more relevant ways to deliver value to your customers. An organization that does this very well is Savage Interactive; developer and supplier of application software for digital illustration. In 2011 they introduced the app Procreate. A program that is currently a popular alternative to the widely used Photoshop. In this blog we tell you how Savage Interactive has innovated various components of the Procreate business model.


The introduction of Procreate

Let’s go back in time a few years. In 2010, Savage Interactive was inspired by the announcement of the very first iPad. “When we first saw Steve Jobs’ iPad presentation, it blew us away. We saw so much potential for drawing on the iPad. From there, it was a logical step to explore how we could create an app that would provide the best iPad drawing experience,” explains James Cuda, Product Designer, Creative Director and CEO. A year later, the first version of this app, named Procreate, was exclusively released as a one-time purchase on iPads.


Customer segment and customer relationships

The exclusive availability of Procreate on the iPad had a few drawbacks. The number of users of the app was limited, as not everyone owned an iPad. At that time, it was a new device and was often compared to a laptop—a device many people already had. This limited the sales of Procreate, especially as demand for Procreate from people without an iPad increased. Additionally, competing digital art apps offered their services on various devices. Procreate ran a significant risk of losing relevance if they didn’t address this. Therefore, they introduced Procreate Pocket in 2014; the iPhone version of Procreate. With this introduction, they expanded their customer segment, as more people owned an iPhone. Additionally, it provided a new channel through which they could deliver their product and maintain relationships with their customers.


Key partner

Another component of the business model that Procreate innovated is the partners they collaborate with. In the first version of Procreate, users could only illustrate with their fingers. With the introduction of the Apple Pencil, this changed completely. This new technological tool made it possible to mimic stronger lines as you pressed harder with the pen, making it feel like you were drawing with a pencil on paper. From this moment on, Procreate became valuable for artists. Many of them switched from their expensive Wacom screen tablets to the cheaper iPad with Apple Pencil.


Adjacent innovation

Innovating components of the business model, as explained in the previous two paragraphs, are forms of incremental innovations. These are pivots in Procreate’s existing business model to upgrade its products. This year, Procreate is taking a step further and introduces a form of adjacent innovation. This means that through this innovation, they are entering a new market and connecting with a new audience by leveraging something they are already good at.


On November 22, 2023, Procreate Dreams will be introduced. A program that will turn the world of animation upside down. It’s an intuitive animation program that makes manually animating keyframes seem like too much work. This program is easy to understand, making it accessible for both newcomers and seasoned animators to bring their creations to life. For the development of this program, they looked at other animation programs and iterated on the problems they encountered there. Before the arrival of Procreate Dreams, the user needed multiple programs to deliver an animation. Procreate Dreams solves this problem by combining all the necessary elements.


Designing with the end user in mind

In this blog, you’ve been able to read about how Savage Interactive continually innovates its programs over the years. They do this because they are aware of the changing needs of their target audience. Every choice they make is based on the needs of the end user. In addition, they are aware of technological changes and see these changes as opportunities for their own products.


Do you want to follow in the footsteps of Savage Interactive and explore how you can create new value for your customers through business model innovation? Let’s have coffee together. We would love to help you!

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