Innovating in a Culture of Convergence

Innovation Product Design by Michelle Greenwald –
How exactly do we define innovation? While it’s probably the most overused term in business today, innovation is not a fad. It’s not even new. What differentiates a smart innovation—and makes it worth writing about—is that it has the capability of moving a business forward in ways that can result in more customers, more sales, more brand loyalty, more good will, or some combination of those effects. Smart innovation is capable of providing a company with competitive advantage. Innovations are smart when they are not just inventions for innovation’s sake, just to be new and different; rather they provide a strategic benefit.

Innovation has always been relevant because it aims to satisfy unmet consumer and business needs; as the new-product development time-to-market continues to shrink and product life cycles get shorter and shorter, the term will become even more relevant. What qualifies as an innovation, in my mind, is a product, service, aspect, or feature that is new, different, surprising, clever, fresh, attention-getting, challenging of conventional ways things are done, and is an obvious improvement on “what’s out there” in that particular product category and geographical area. [Read more…]

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What Good Does Design Do For Business?

Good Design business lamp futuristic designby Thomas Lockwood –
Have you noticed how similar some products are becoming? A Tesla and a Lotus, that’s an easy one. But I’m talking about the similarities between seemingly disparate objects, like an Audi car and Oakley sunglasses, a 3M stapler and an Alessi teapot, or a Starbucks café and your bank lobby. Consumers love cool design, and, in case you haven’t heard, companies are catching on. Investing in the design process can be a sustainable business advantage, because it tends to lead to five things: creative collaboration, innovation, differentiation, simplification, and customer experience.

For starters, designers tend to collaborate with each other, other disciplines, and users to generate new ideas, explore alternatives, and create new stuff (products, websites, brands, stores, etc.). The process of design thinking, co-creation, and design as creative collaboration can help companies move beyond their norms and create new markets. [Read more…]

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How To Brand Yourself Like A Celebrity

Brand Yourself Successby Nick Nanton & JW Dicks –
As I tell my clients over and over, your personal branding campaign should be primarily centered on the goal of branding yourself as a celebrity within your market. The key phrase here is “within your market.” You don’t need to become the next Hollywood superstar, you just need to become the go-to guy in your field, within your market. And as you know if you’ve been paying attention, that involves branding yourself both as an expert and as an interesting individual. Why interesting? Because it’s not good enough simply to be considered good at what you do; you also need to be memorable. You need to stick in the minds of potential clients, so that when they need your services, you are the first person they think of. For some clients I’ve spoken to, this seems to present a problem. “There’s simply nothing memorable about me,” they say. If you identify with that notion, pay attention, because today I’m going to show you that anyone can brand themselves as an expert and a celebrity if they are willing to commit 100% to that goal. [Read more…]

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Building Online Trust: 7 Tips for Being Authentic Online

Being Authentic Onlineby Alice Hansen –
How can you make sure your brand inspires trust online? These tips will help your company feel more real—and build real relationships—through transparency and honesty.

A client working on her social media strategy asked me a couple of days ago for guidance on gauging the credibility of industry bloggers. She wants to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships with opinion-leading peers in her market space. Without actually meeting these people, how can one tell a legitimate, trusted expert source from a self-proclaimed one?

That question of whom to trust is the same for all of us when evaluating a business online. We look for basic data points to validate legitimacy. [Read more…]

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It Isn’t the Economy, Stupid

Wendistry | by Wendi McGowan | May 2009

“Many companies that have gone bust didn’t die because of the recession. They failed for one reason: They treated customers poorly.” – Joel Spolsky

It’s your brand culture…. the fact that you treat your customers poorly and you blame it on the “economic recession.”

Take Circuit City, for example. Out of business in January. Most people didn’t even bother with their going-out-of-business sale. Why? Because you’d have to actually deal with CC unknowledgeable employees, and overpriced merchandise, and unbearable garage-sale-like experience. [Read more…]

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