They make some provocative and suggestive assertions; here is my take on several of them.
Everyone has creative potential – everyone.
Creativity is not reserved for those few with the right genes. The key is to attain creative confidence, a belief that you are indeed creative and an optimistic way of looking at what is possible. That confidence comes in part from trying, doing, accepting failure and creating small successes. …Continue reading
Businesses in healthcare are facing a problem. In such a diverse, complicated and innovative field, determining how to pursue growth can be overwhelming. From political influences and new technologies to cultural changes and economic shifts, where to spend your resources is a challenging question. The problem lies in considering all aspects of the industry simultaneously. Businesses are attempting to react to all the changes, opportunities and competitors in the industry. But taking too wide a view is leading to muddled solutions and slow progress.
The solution lies in narrowing our focus on just a few aspects of healthcare to understand where the tide of change is turning. In this three-part series, we hope to explore new perspectives on existing structures and innovative approaches that are redefining the system. By focusing our attention on singular aspects of the market we will discover that opportunities for growth are highly achievable.
To start let’s look at an oft under-considered player in the field: blood. …Continue reading
Most marketing and branding teams look to spend their budget on promoting the offering, brand, and/or firm. The problem is that no one cares about their offering, brand or firm. And as a result, the payoff is disappointing and the social amplifying potential is non-existent.
An alternative is, instead, to look to what the target customers are interested in – what they talk about, how they spend their time, and what represents their values and lifestyle. I call that the customer sweet spot. Think of Pampers Village or Sephora’s BeautyTalk. And Citi Bike! …Continue reading
We often draw thick lines between verticals of expertise. Someone is an analyst or an insights generator, a marketing expert or a brand specialist, a designer or an innovative thinker. It’s useful to have these titles and silos of talent. When a particular job needs to get done, with all of the constraints of time and money, it’s best to go with the experts. However, in this habit of specification, we might be missing the opportunity to blend our practices and re-imagine the potential within them.
Consider innovation and design. These areas have been the 21st century’s ascending stars. In the last decade, innovation has become the businessman’s core motto and it’s still the golden ring of nearly every industry. The tenets of innovation have pushed us to envision a process of regularly producing newness in the world. This has led to experimental approaches in workspaces, novel management styles and an increased focus on collaboration. The creation of innovation as a staple business practice has moved companies in some amazing directions.
Likewise, design has seen an explosion of popularity, both graphically and industrially. Thanks to companies such as Apple and Google, which have applied long-revered design principles to consumer electronics and digital interfaces, our eyes have been opened to the power of design and its ability to drive growth and profitability. While both innovation and design attract very different practitioners, it is when we consider the underlying tenets of both disciplines that we realize the need to blend them more thoroughly. There are three foundational similarities between design and innovation. These foundations can serve to inspire our thinking for what could be a powerful partnership. …Continue reading
How does an emerging market brand break into the US and other major markets? Try diaspora marketing, advise Nirmalya Kumar and Jan-Benedict E. M. Steenkamp in an October Harvard Business Review article. Diasporas are groups living away from their birth countries such as first-generation immigrants. The idea is to market your brand to a group that is familiar with and has an affinity for offerings that come from their home country. When that group provides a sales base, it gradually expands to people connected to the diaspora and finally to a broader market. This strategy avoids the often unfeasible attempt to build a brand on foreign shores from zero.
The diaspora strategy not only provides a solution to a tough problem for many brands. Firms attempting to engage in brand extensions can learn from these ideas. Look first to customers who are already using your brand in another context and let them provide a base business and build from there. Furthermore, diaspora marketing may signal another form of Clayton Christensen’s market disruption whereby a new competitor gets a foothold that goes unnoticed until its brand builds a wider following. In any case, it’s a strategy worth understanding.
The Mexican beer brand, Tecate, built US sales by reaching out to first-generation Mexican-Americans and now has 20% of that segment. India’s Reliance MediaWorks has tapped into the US Indian population that watches Bollywood films by setting up quality theaters aimed at this market. Dabur, a manufacturer of herbal medicines, also from India, secured a foothold in the United Arab Emirates by focusing on the Indian segment—some 5 million Indians who live in the Gulf Region. Bangladesh’s food brand, PRAN RFL, set up distribution channels where the Bangladeshi diaspora exists, such as East London. …Continue reading
As I explained earlier this week, I recently attended a New York conference for “contagion thinkers” headlined by Jonah Berger (author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On). He shared his six, no-fail “STEPPs” that a brand, product or cause can take to become contagious.
The trick, he says, is to find the right triggers and know when to engage your audience. And by just keeping these six principles in mind as you execute your strategy, you will be ahead of those still following the “build it and they will come” model. They include: …Continue reading
A noble experiment is being conducted in downtown San Francisco. It’s a project that may have an incredible impact on the city. It could change the way people think about civic involvement. It could change the way people think about getting things done. It could change the way a community comes together. Or, it might not do any of these things. After all, it’s an experiment; failure is always a possibility.
Born from San Francisco’s National Day of Civic Hacking, the [ freespace ] project is incubating civic ideas to positively impact the Bay Area. Last month the organizers partnered with a variety of city organizations to rent a 14,000 square foot warehouse for just $1. Using the building as a creative hub for artists, hackers, mechanics and more, [ freespace ] is producing projects they hope will serve as solutions to some of San Francisco’s civic ills.
Thanks to a successful indiegogo campaign, [ freespace ] is now entering its second month. With its $1 rent no longer available, the project raised over $25,000 to occupy the space through July. And with this new lease on life, the project has the potential to further brew ideas to improve the city that’s shown them so much support.
One year ago today, we launched The Inspiratory as a place to provide commentary on trends and hot topics around the spaces of brand, marketing, innovation, digital, design, and analytics. We built a space for the interested and interesting to visit and be inspired – and you’ve done just that!
Allow us to get nostalgic and look back at the top 10 posts you’ve read over the last year.
As members of The Inspiratory community, please tell us: What would you like to read more about? What topics are fascinating you these days, or are there any topics that aren’t being covered enough? Feedback is always appreciated, but now is the perfect time to let us know what you’d like to see more of. Sound off in the comments, below!
In my book, Brand Relevance I argue that the only path to real growth, with rare exceptions, is to engage in transformational or substantial innovation that creates “must haves” that define new subcategories (or categories). In virtually any product arena that you examine over a long period of time, from water to banking to computers, any growth spurt, (again, with rare exceptions) can be associated with such an innovation. For example, in the Japanese beer market the market share trajectories changed only four times in over 40 years. In three of those instances new subcategories were formed, and in the fourth two subcategories were repositioned.
In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, Eddie Yoon and Linda Deeken provide more evidence of this phenomenon. They observed that if you analyze Fortune’s lists of the 100 fastest-growing U.S. companies from 2009 to 2011, 13 of those companies were instrumental in creating a new category or subcategory. These 13 firms accounted for 53% of the incremental revenue growth and 74% of the incremental market capitalization growth over those three years. Such innovators benefit from higher growth in part because they can expand the marketplace. Chobani, for example, created a new subcategory of thick, creamy, high-protein yogurt that is now in excess of $1 billion in part by attracting new customers into the yogurt world. …Continue reading
Diving into the unknown, embracing the risk of the unexpected, and…laughing out loud? That’s what happens when Prophet teams up with the Richmond Comedy Coalition in “Battle Decks,” a competition that pits contestants against each other to present PowerPoint decks they have never seen before. This open-mic night of improvisation and humor is just one example of how Prophet’s Curator/Provocateur team pursues insights outside our industry to bring inspired and actionable ideas to our clients every day. Spontaneity, agility, creativity and fun are vital traits for improv comedians – and for brands looking to win in today’s fast-paced participatory marketplace. Take a peek; how would your organization do?