In order for companies to deliver lifestyle enrichment to consumers, being relevant is much more important than being best in any traditional measure.
As my example today shows, you can be the most well-known brand in the world and the undisputed market leader, but it won’t matter if your market segment itself becomes irrelevant and no longer enriching people’s evolving lifestyles. At most, you can prolong your inevitable demise and have the dubious honor of being the last in your market to fold — in this case carbonated beverages.
“For Coke to regain brand relevance, it has to try and meet changing consumer goals,” Professor Dhar said. “Innovation is one way. A different way may be to try to identify relevant goals that can be tied to moments which are made for carbonated beverages. This requires deep consumer insights and being on the offense rather than defense about the category.”
As we grew older, our imagination was gradually reigned in, and our thinking eventually settled within the accepted boundaries of conventionality.
Last week when I spoke at the Icelandic Marketing Association (IMARK)’s big, annual gathering, and was invited to meet with one of Iceland’s biggest celebrities. No, not Bjork, but the mayor of Reykjavik. And like I advocate in my book, Slingshot, Jon Gnarr lives a life full of continuously overstepping perceived boundaries. After all, he is actually a comedian, not a politician, which is why news outlets oftentimes refer to him as the world’s most “fun,” “interesting,” and “creative” mayor.
Jon Gnarr (born January 2, 1967) is the current mayor of Iceland’s biggest city, Reykjavik. It’s the northernmost capital in the world and the heart of Iceland’s economic and governmental activity. Here are 12 reasons why Gnarr is the most interesting mayor in the world:
There is an exciting shortcut to becoming market driving: you don’t necessarily have to invent something completely new; instead you can repackage already existing components in a meaningful, new way.
It is the common theme among many of the world’s top innovators, from Apple (blending technology with art), Cirque du Soleil (circus with theatre, ballet and opera), to Starbucks (centuries-old café culture with a quick-service model), and NetJets (airplane ownership with airline business travel). Today I share a comical example that represents an offshoot of this kind of thinking.
Noshing on letters and numbers is nothing new. We've been eating alphabet soup and cereal for years. But updating kids' food with tech-savvy symbols seems inevitable.
"Social media is all about conversation and we're confident Mashtags will resonate across various groups of people," Birds Eye brand manager Pete Johnson said in a statement. "We're constantly looking for ways to innovate and inspire consumers and hope that Mashtags will get people talking around the table and help to make mealtimes more enjoyable."
This week I am in Iceland as a featured presenter on 'Re-Imagine Boundaries' at the Icelandic Marketing Association (IMARK)’s big, annual gathering. IMARK is the professional association for individuals and organizations who are leading the practice, teaching, and development of marketing in Iceland.
Other featured speakers include Ruth Balbach, Creative Director at Target Corporation, and Martin Ringqvist, Creative Director and Senior Partner at the independent agency Forsman & Bodenfors.
What if we could reignite our childhood creativity and deconstruct our realm of acquired assumptions in the process?
It would not only be disarmingly fun but deeply meaningful in guiding our strategic thinking. Here is the connection: the basis of the most successful strategies is not outcompeting rivals, but rather creating your own game, your own market space. As the the role of creativity is given greater priority, see how select universities in the US are taking a refreshing new approach to the curriculum.
Once considered the product of genius or divine inspiration, creativity — the ability to spot problems and devise smart solutions — is being recast as a prized and teachable skill. Pin it on pushback against standardized tests and standardized thinking, or on the need for ingenuity in a fluid landscape.
“The reality is that to survive in a fast-changing world you need to be creative,” says Gerard J. Puccio, chairman of the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College, which has the nation’s oldest creative studies program, having offered courses in it since 1967.
“That is why you are seeing more attention to creativity at universities,” he says. “The marketplace is demanding it.”
How do you define the business you are in right now, and how should you define it to be market-driving?
To help you answer these critical questions, you can use the Accordion Chart. As detailed in my book, Slingshot: Re-Imagine Your Business, Re-Imagine Your Life, the Accordion Chart is an illustrative process that enables the flexible exploration of market spaces that an organization currently resides in and should look to occupy. It illuminates the full spectrum of an offering’s positioning from its core utility to its most general application. It is called an Accordion Chart because as the musical instrument, it is collapsible, so that it can be used to flexibly look across, combine and integrate various gradations of market detail.
Here’s a recent example of a kind of discovery Accordion Chart application results in. It illustrates how battery maker Duracell is shaping its future by finding connections with seemingly totally unrelated businesses: powering, protecting and serving up data.
Andy Vuong at the Denver Post reports that Duracell plans to entice customers by following the cell phone model: offering the physical drive for free in stores by having users commit to the paid service upfront.
Why would a battery company want to get into the crowded cloud storage market at all? Vuong spoke to Shep Gerrish, director of new-business development for Duracell, says its a way to expand on the company's well-known brand name.
The basis of the most successful strategies is not outcompeting rivals, but rather creating your own game, your own market space.
It may be hard to believe, but all of us were children once. As children, we all experienced the sense of elation and accomplishment from inventing our own games and making use of random props and terrain to choreograph a customized pastime that was a blast to play. There was virtually no limit to what we could play and where. What if we could reignite our childhood creativity and deconstruct our realm of acquired assumptions in the process? It would not only be disarmingly fun but deeply meaningful in guiding our strategic thinking.
See how Randa Grob-Zakhary, CEO of the LEGO Foundation, is spearheading a global effort to raise the transformative power of play and its link to creativity.
We believe in a simple yet critical message: Play unlocks learning and development benefits that last a lifetime, and childhood presents a critical window of opportunity. Building on growing evidence supporting play’s transformational power in learning, we aim to become a catalyst for a global movement centred on the value of play, making children’s lives better and communities stronger.
As children our imagination knew no boundaries, but as we grew older our imagination was gradually reigned in and our thinking eventually settled within the accepted boundaries of conventionality.
It seems that our intellectual comfort zone has shifted from that of continuous exploration and inquisitiveness to that of conformity with accepted norms of adult perception. So in order to re-engage our childhood creativity not only do we need the right framework, but we must let go of self-limiting beliefs. A recent article summarizes four of the top misbeliefs affecting creativity today.
Think creativity is all blue walls and blue skies? Nope. It's more about sitting on an airplane and coming up with a lot of bad ideas.
“Creativity” may not be the first word that comes to mind when you hear the word “conglomerate.” But Christian Stadil, CEO and co-owner of Denmark-based Thornico, a sprawling enterprise with holdings in food, technology, shipping, and others, will likely change your mind about that.
What happens when we begin to identify consumer ‘pain points’ that everyone takes for granted?
How many memorable experiences and interactions did you have on your last commercial flight? Chances are most of them were negative rather than positive. So why not use that to your advantage, by identifying customer pain points and turning them points of infatuation? At times, your customers themselves will tell you just how to do that.
See how one airline passenger uses the typical airline boarding pass as an example of a pain point, and what he proposes to do in order to turn it into a point of infatuation for fliers.
... The solution isn't the most important part of this project. It is the thinking: it is the willingness to question what is otherwise accepted in order to strive for better, more useable and useful. This applies to paper passes, e-tickets, check-in and every part of airline experience. The solution is only a small part of the story. It is the ability to question the status quo—the notion that we can strive to create better experiences for people—that has caught the attention of hundreds of thousands of people around the world.