In the small kitchen appliance category, there has only been one winner of late: Single cup coffee makers.

You all know what I’m talking about as a third of adult Americans have one either at home or work, according to a report from Packaged Facts.

Sales are skyrocketing. They increased a whopping 82% last year and the single cup coffee makers have developed into a multi-billion dollar industry.

single cup coffee makerThe boom is the result of an innovation that plays on convenience and quality as the pods themselves have produced more sophisticated coffee that tastes like what you’d get at your nearest Starbucks. (In fact, Starbucks has its own line of coffee single-cup pods.)

But for the small kitchen appliance category as a whole, the single-cup coffee maker is really on the only winner out there. The rest of those appliances, such as mixers, toaster ovens and microwaves, have hit a wall.

Innovation is needed, but innovation doesn’t come from tweaking or figuring out what the engineers can do. It comes from having a brand that means something more to the target audience than just product features. If, just to use an example, your brand is about simplicity, then your innovation should always be pointed to achieving that goal. Pretty soon, you’ve come up with the equivalent of a single cup coffee maker.

It’s that simple. Innovation for the rest of the small kitchen appliance category can keep up with the cup of Joe’s.