In the literature, many types of product innovation are described. In this article, we analyze the three design-related innovation typologies that seem most discussed and agreed upon: i) aesthetic innovation; ii) innovation of use; iii) meaning innovation. While allowing overlaps and complementarities, each typology focuses on a specific aspect of a product’s innovation. Over time, such specificities prevented the formulation of an integrated theoretical model able to connect them together and express logical and functional relations among them. In this article – through a systematic analysis of the literature of the last 30 years – we aim to identify a theoretical model that underlines the specific drivers of any innovation typology, at the same time composing them in a coherent framework in which some are considered logical and instrumental antecedents with respect to higher level of innovation.
innovation theories, product innovation, aesthetic innovation, innovation of use, meaning innovation