8 Antidote’s to overcome innovation failure

At The Economist’s annual Innovation Forum this year, they said “…large-scale innovation is the key ingredient for CEOs to survive the next wave of mega-change. This wave will wipe out many incumbents, but the dinosaurs that learn to dance will propel their industries forward. This requires more than just a Silicon Valley startup state of mind. It requires keen foresight, the ability to disrupt from within your organisation…”

Essentially, innovate or die.

However, if you are part of large scale and successful multi national company it can be very difficult to truly innovate as processes are based on looking backwards for success and prevent experimentation.

What to do? We at Kitchen8 Brand Innovations, believe that through reverse engineering traditional thoughts and processes you can drive innovation within traditional organisations. Sharing here our 8 Anitdotes, or remedies, to overcome the much quoted odds of 80% failure, by Nielsen.

In the below we share a selection of examples, however, our 8 Antidotes to Innovation Failure presentation on Slideshare features all 24 examples. http://www.slideshare.net/kitchen-8-brandinnovation

Antidote 1: Proactively pursue an opportunity Often our dominant behaviour is to be reactive to a competitor activity. Often resulting in a battlefield of parity and price.

However, through identifying unique opportunities, anticipating market and consumer trends, we can grow the market through creating new demand.

Two demand led growth examples come from Lego and Quicksilver. Through Lego Ideas, a platform where enthusiasts can submit ideas for new products, many new and sold out products have been created, including the female scientist kit which was also reflective of consumer trends.

For Quicksilver to grow the market, they need more people to surf more often — a common usage challenge. They understood that as life became more demanding, ie careers and children, people had less time to surf, so they considered how could they give precious time back to people to enable them to surf more? They invented the range to True Wetsuits — a high quality stylish range of wetsuits which you can also wear as a suit. Genius talkabiltiy to re-stimulate the market.

Antidote 2: Outside-In Innovation Our dominant thought process is often to start with what is available/feasible, vs starting with what is truly needed and desired, and perhaps what you can’t currently see.

Interestingly, it was notNikon or Cannon who invented the selfie stick, or the Quickpod, the original selfie stick, as they were too busy focusing on the self timer. And in the instance of the Chotukool, a $69 fridge for rural India, when co-designing it with village women, they discovered a critical design feature was actually portability. This was for 2 reasons. Firstly, so it could be moved for family occasions and secondly so that women could sell door to door with a micro finance group . It weighs only 7.8kg, basically the equivalent of your airline hand baggage.

Antidote 3: Acknowledge 95% of decision making is implicit People are notoriously bad at predicting whether they would actually want, like or use something they have never experienced. An idea is an abstraction. Hence 95% of decision making is implicit — made by our subconscious.

For example, we think we are rational in our financial decision making, but emotions influence our decisions more than we realize. Hence bnz have developed EmotionScan, a powerful facial recognition technology tool to help people understand how they feel about money to enable them to be better with it.

Antidote 4: Repurpose and reinvent overlooked resources Our dominant behaviour is often missing the elephant in the room ie. overlooking what may be at your nose! The Antidote is to repurpose and re-invent. And key here is find fresh partners to connect the dots with you.

AAMI, car insurance, connected the dots on how they could get their customers to willingly give them more data about themselves…. quite unheard of in insurance… by giving them a service and also benefits connected to their insurance premium. They created the Safe Driver App which tracks your journey’s and feeds back on how to be a better driver based on speed, braking etc, and of course you can compare with your family and friends. And AAMI now has a wealth of information.

Antidote 5: Bespoke testing and learning Start with the idea vs the test and tailor the methodology. Formulaic testing can lead to a false negative.

For example, Pinterest: may never have been if it was subjected to PASS/FAIL testing. Launched in ’09 as TOTE, a mobile commerce product. Enabling people to window shop on their phone, it did price tracking, was location savvy, and added a feature to save your favourite items. But back in 2009, M commerce was still too small, and Tote died. However, they learnt that consumers were really interested in the small feature to save your favourite items. They pivoted and Pinterest was born, and now valued at USD$5B.

And the absolute most accurate method of purchase intent is crowdfunding. Pebble have launched both 1st and 2nd generation smartwatches via Kickstarter, with the latest raising over $20M from 78K people. They did not need to crowdfund, but this platform allowed them to learn so much about demand (and also minimize distribution costs), which exceeded their forecast.

Antidote 6: Upfront co-creation and ownership We need to break down the silo’s we work within, internally and externally.

Xiaomi is a truly extraordinary case of co-creation and loyalty. Xiaomi started off as a android based handset in China, and what made them unique was the fact that they produced in small batches, so every Tuesday at noon, they would release another 100,000 handsets with incremental changes, and built a phenomenal fan base called MI FANS as they would consider their feedback through an online forum. These fans are as fanatical and loyal as Apple’s, and they regularly reward them with events, which in turn drives more revenue.

Antidote 7: Commercial Innovation, not just NPD NPD if often considered to be the answer, however, in reality, real innovation can only be launched every 2 to 5 years. Hence, Commercial Innovation is critical, and also effective in driving local relevance in a increasingly globalized world.

It is interesting to observe brand giants such a Coca Cola and McDonalds being bold and playful with their own branding and ‘real estate’. Coca Cola’s highly successful Share a Coke campaign has gone global. And to celebrate Australia Day, McDonald’s changed it’s restaurant signage to Macca’s, reflecting the affectionate nick name that Australian’s call McDonalds.

Antidote 8: Launch and Perfect Our traditional mindset and process is to perfect and launch, however in today’s super competitive world, it is critical to reverse engineer this mindset and to launch AND then perfect in market. With the IoT, consumers are now trained to expect continuous improvement and they are also quite forgiving along the way.

For this case in point, if you have not yet already read The Lean Start Up by Eric Ries, I strongly recommend you do. It brings out the Entrepreneur or INTRApreneur in all of us. This book is full of wonderful and often surprising source of inspiration on how to launch and perfect through MVP’s (Minimum Viable Products) and a process of build, measure, learn and iterate.

And finally, and most importantly, be honest with yourself. Doing things the same way but expecting a different result is insanity.

Embrace change, and change agents within the organisation, and partner up through open source collaboration and partners who offer fresh thinking and methods.

With this new wave of mega change, do not become extinct! And have some fun!

Sue Mulhall

Senior Consultant, Kitchen8 Brand Innovations