Welcome to The Innovation Advantage - A new blog for mavericks, rebels and anyone else who is ready to think differently about how to drive more customers, more revenue and more growth in their business.
I admit it.
I’m a chest-pounding, card-carrying Contrarian.
And nothing gets my non-conformist heart beating faster than the scent of an innovative idea that thumbs its nose at the saintly status quo.
Let’s face it.
In today’s crazy economy, who isn’t trying to innovate on a budget?
And I’m okay with that.
Being fiscally responsible just makes good business sense.
What I’m less okay with is a mindset that I see running rampant throughout organizations large and small…
A mindset that is fast becoming an excuse for not innovating at all.
A mindset that I like to call…
Look … I get it.
You’d really like your customers to focus more on value and less on price.
But here’s the big question.
Are you really doing what needs to be done?
Are you really doing what needs to be done to shift customer focus away from price and towards value?
Because here’s the bottom line.
Your customers want proof that your products and services are worth the asking price.
And if you don’t provide them with that proof, you leave them no choice but to default and focus on price.
But the good news is that there is a solution.
I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid I was taught that hitchhiking was a bad idea.
But fast forward several decades, and I’m here to tell you that Hitchin’ a Ride could well be one of the easiest and most innovative ways to drive growth in your business.
A pop-up hotel that’s proud of its one-star rating…
A pop-up café that accepts plastic waste as currency…
And a pop- up diving school that only sells their limited-edition T-shirts 6 feet under.
Brands all over the world are using innovative pop up experiences to drive massive customer engagement and compelling competitive advantage.
And although the concept of the pop-up shop has been around for about 20 years now, one thing has become abundantly clear…
Let’s face it.
Between you and me?
The rules of the marketplace haven’t just changed. They’ve disappeared. Poof. Gone.
Business as we know it has left the building and it’s not coming back… ever. The world is innovating around us and yet many businesses are still standing under a doorway waiting for the tremors to pass so that they can go back to life as it was before.
But what if I said that there is no life as it was before?
What if I claimed that the future is here and we’re still living in the past?
And what if I told you that one simple but crucial mindset could be standing between where your business is today and where you have always believed it could be?
Would you want to know what that mindset is?
Amazon has it.
Nike sustains it.
Upworthy socializes it.
Umpqua redefined an industry with it.
Blackberry thought they had it.
Yahoo is still looking for it.
And Apple had it, lost it, found it and may well be losing it all over again.
And if you are discouraged by declining market share…
Struggling with stagnant growth…
Or simply frustrated because revenues aren’t rising as quickly as you would like…
it is essential if you want to drive more customers, more revenue and more growth in your business.
Any thoughts on what it could be?
It could well be any of those things.
However, in this case, it is what we refer to as …
It’s a troubling thought.
A deep, dark secret.
One that you would probably find hard to admit.
It’s certainly not anything that you would say out loud because what would other people think?
After all… you run a business and businesses need customers.
And that means that all customers are good customers, right?
Well… you and I both know that it doesn’t always work out that way.
And our deep dark secret is that most of us can think of at least one customer where all we want is to look that client in the eye and utter the 2 little words made famous by he who shall remain nameless – “You’re Fired!”
But then there’s that little thing called a reality check. The little voice inside of your head that reminds you that firing clients probably isn’t good for business.
And that makes perfect sense, right?
Well, you may need to think again.
Let me explain…
It’s the moment of truth.
You deliver a perfect pitch.
The client is attentive, engaged and downright charming. They even make several extremely positive comments about your proposal and by the time you leave, there is no doubt in your mind that this business is yours to lose.
And lose you do.
Not because you didn’t have a great offering.
Not because you didn’t give a great pitch.
And not because you didn’t create a great connection with the customer.
Bottom line? You were undercut, over-sold and out-maneuvered by your competition.
And there is nothing more heartbreaking than have a high value offering that you know is well worth the asking price (if not more) and still to lose to a competitor whose solution was clearly not as comprehensive as yours, but who just happened to have the lowest bid.
So, if I could offer a proven strategy that could help you stop playing the price game and get paid what you’re worth, would that be of interest to you?
Then let’s get to it …
Have you have ever wondered why some innovative ideas are hugely successful while others are not?
Well… if you haven’t, you should.
Depending upon the source, statistics show that the failure rate for new, innovative ideas
(products, services, business models etc..) is an absolutely staggering 80% to 90%.
And although there are those who would have us believe (which I don’t) that the reports of innovation’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, where does that leave us?
With an innovation mortality rate of 70%?
It’s shocking… even depressing. But think I know what’s going on…
It’s an early Sunday morning at my favourite coffee shop.
I’m here to catch a few quiet moments and organize my thoughts for the week.
There’s something special about the Sunday morning mood here. It’s peaceful, reflective and a good place to be.
An older gentleman is sitting to my right. I walked past him earlier as I picked up my coffee. Caught his eye … smiled… got a small but hesitant smile in return.
Not sure how to describe him. Fragile maybe. Yes, fragile would be the right word.
I sit down at a table not far from him and go about my business. Reading… thinking… planning. And yet, every so often, his energy calls to me and I glance over at him.
He seems somewhat surreal sitting there – alone – as the crowd bustles by him, intent upon their own Sunday morning moment.
He watches them but they don’t see him.
And I begin to wonder…
Does this sound familiar?
You want to be more innovative in your business. You want to create more innovative experiences for your customers. In fact, you know that if you aren’t more innovative, the competition could well walk away with those customers.
But for weeks on end, you struggle to come up with any truly innovative ideas.
No matter what you do, your brain refuses to cooperate. Every creative neuron you have is on an extended vacation. I’m talking the Sahara Desert here. Nothing as far as the metaphorical eye can see and no relief in sight.
Simply put, you have hit the proverbial wall and frustrating doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Well, rest assured, you’re not alone. It happens to the best of us.
And when it does, there’s nothing like innovation inspiration from the outside world to drag those creative juices of yours back to work.
So, on the off chance that this predicament does sound familiar to you, here are 25 of the craziest, most outrageously courageous, innovative customer touchpoint experiences that we have ever seen. And although some of these examples may seem a little too outrageous for you, our hope is that they will inspire you and your team to push yourselves beyond the obvious and dare 2b different.
But before we dive in, it is important to note that all of experiences described here have one important thing in common.
On the first visit, I was stuck in my truth.
On the second visit, my truth wavered.
On the third visit, I discovered the truth.
Several years ago, my stepmother was in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Slowly but surely her mind shut down and then sure enough, her body followed suit.
Although for several reasons I hadn’t seen my step-mother in some time, I did go to Halifax to visit her on three separate occasions over those last few months. Each visit brought me closer to a realization that has changed how I look at both life and business.
Let’s face it. In today’s crazy economy, who isn’t trying to innovate on a budget? And I’m okay with that….
A welcome email with some important information as well as well as your 3 Critical Innovation Imperatives to Drive More Customers, More Revenue and More Growth in Your Business video.
And your first Innovation Advantage Insider Report will be coming your way within the week.
In the meantime, if you aren’t part of any of our Innovation Advantage social communities, here’s where you can find us. We would love to hear more from you.
Until next time, Imagine the Possibilities!
Toni & Gerry