Understanding Innovation and Trends to become Consumer Centric

December 25, 2006

According to Trendwatching.com, we live in a world of absolute INNOVATION OVERLOAD: clever entrepreneurs, inventors, and marketers from all over are coming up with so many innovative ideas, that even innovation blogs have a hard time keeping track. Which implies that:




1. Innovation isn’t rocket science. It’s an obsession with understanding or creating what makes consumers happy, what delights them, which problems they face, and then creating something that delivers to those needs.

2. Innovation is not necessarily about serious people in white coats puttering about in R&D labs. In an experience economy, marketing innovations rule.

3. Wherever you live, you have absolutely NO excuse to be unaware of innovations popping up in Austria, in The Netherlands, in Japan, in Brazil, in the US, in Turkey, in South Africa, and everywhere else all over the world.

But the most important piece of understanding innovations and leveraging them for your business, or even coming up with innovations yourself, is understanding the consumer. In order to understand the consumer, we need to be aware of the trends the impact our lifes. Let’s face it: never before has knowing about emerging consumer trends been as important as it is now. Why consumer trends? Well… Why not? In a nutshell, tracking consumer trends is a crucial way to understand what consumers are doing now and may be doing next. Which ideally should inspire you to dream up new goods, services and experiences for and with your customers to meet and anticipate their needs. And the latter should lead to more revenues, more profits. So consumer trends are as much about making money as anything else in the business world.

So, what is a trend?

How about: “A statistically significant change in performance of measured data which is unlikely to be due to a random variation in the process.” That won’t get the creative juices going, though. So consider what we came up with a few years ago, and which is still holding up well: “A manifestation of something that has ‘unlocked’ or newly serviced an existing (and hardly ever changing) consumer need, desire, want, or value.” Example? One of the core human needs is to be in control, or at least to have the illusion of being in control. No wonder then, that the online world (a new technology), which firmly puts the individual in the driver’s seat, is so addictive. The Net continues to put even more control in the hands of ordinary consumers, we’re spotting sub-trends every day. This is why I believe that online marketers are the best trend-watchers of today’s time, and the web is a big virtual focus group. Once we fully understand what’s driving trends, why it is that some things take off and others sink, it’s time to figure out which of them will affect your business, and determining the impact of

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the ones who do. But it is not that easy – in the end it all comes down to execution, and the following three main challenges will almost always emerge:

The 3 main challenges

  1. Management and corporate culture (Are they into trends and innovation or not?)
  2. Resources (Information overload or starvation, lack of time and/or lack of funds)
  3. Understanding and applying trends (How to
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The Nuts and Bolts of becoming Consumer Centric

December 24, 2006

Marketing responsibilities imply the identification of goals, objectives and measurable results. Traditionally, the range of tactics employed was relatively standardized. Essentially, this involved making advertising, promotion, and media buys in target markets using newspaper, magazine, radio or TV ads.
Read more

Understanding Innovation and Trends to become Consumer Centric

December 20, 2006

According to Trendwatching.com, we live in a world of absolute INNOVATION OVERLOAD: clever entrepreneurs, inventors, and marketers from all over are coming up with so many innovative ideas, that even innovation blogs have a hard time keeping track.
Read more

Hilton Journeys

December 6, 2006

I came across a very interesting and neat hotel microsite – Hilton Journeys. Always nice to see online innovation in the hotel space. You can even virtually

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