Modern corporations that want to grow and prosper must innovate to survive and differentiate themselves from the competition. Simple statement, not so simple to do.
Does your firm innovate? Are you a leader, first or second in market share in your vertical or industry? If so, you are likely an innovator in your arena. If not, you are likely a follower, and destined as such to toil away to maintain the status quo, fighting to find and keep customers, build sales, create and use buzz and maintain your brand.
Innovation comes in a variety of forms, some in internal structure, some in product, some in technique or offering. And it doesn’t have to be something complicated. Sometimes the simplest thing is innovative. Just because it hasn’t been done that way, doesn’t mean it can’t be, its just that it seems so obvious, you think someone else must have thought of it before. Not always true!
Like most things, especially marketing, it all starts with research. Figure out what others are doing, and improve upon it. Find out what the audience wants, and give it to them. Find out what causes your customer’s pain, and alleviate it.
Sometimes the research can be done within your own company. Talk to customer service, talk to reception, watch how customers react to things, listen to their grievances, hear their stories, see how they behave wit respect to your product, or organization. They can tell you things about your company you might not know . . .
Innovation can create challenges. That’s the point. You need an internal champion to shepherd the change created by the innovative approach throughout the company, to nurture it, to answer questions, to guide it’s development, to protect it from the nay-sayers. It can start at the top with a visionary leader, it needs buy-in from the top, and must have universal buy-in up and down the chain to succeed quickly and completely. Once that universal acceptance and understanding is firmly rooted, you’ll notice that champions appear, and the organization as a whole starts to embrace and live the story of the new offering – transparency becomes apparent.
Once you’ve gone through this learning curve so you know the steps to innovation, you can apply them over and over again, creating an environment of innovation, keeping your company ahead of the competition, permanently!
Innovate, differentiate, dominate! Sounds like a plan to me . . .
If you found this interesting or inspiring, you can read more like this just by subscribing to this blog – and it’s free!
Don’t forget to pick up your copy of “The Marketing Doctor’s Survival Notes”