Barriers, irritants can provoke innovations, marketing guru says-A A +A
By Mia A. Aznar
Saturday, September 1, 2012
FOR marketing expert Josiah Go, discovering innovative ideas comes from unmet needs.
Go, who spoke before members of the Philippine Marketing Association (PMA) Cebu Chapter yesterday, said innovating does not come from thin air and that there is a process that happens before an innovative idea becomes successful. These steps include discovery, differentiation and delivery.
He said barriers, irritants, disappointments and annoyances from the business can help entrepreneurs discover how to innovate.
“If you run away from customer complaints, you are losing a lot,” he told PMA members, saying many of those who succeed in coming up with strategies and innovation do so because they learn the bad news.
He warned against sticking to old ideas, saying this is even more risky because competitors can easily do the same thing and improve on what is already being done.
“Many are still in denial. They say, ‘We’re still okay.’ Okay is never okay. It is never good enough.”
New insight, he noted, is needed to change the way things are done. He pointed out that the reason some people are buying things may not be the reason people are selling them.
To see if a new concept works, Go urges experimentation to validate if an idea is viable. By trying out a sample of the market, he said, the risks are not as high.
Aside from being unique, Go said a brand should also be relevant. “Uniqueness without
relevance is stupidity.”
After innovating with a product, Go said it pays to innovate on promoting it. He cited the case of the Westin international chain of hotels, which decided that they wanted to differentiate their brand from other five-star hotels by offering the best sleep to their clients.
The hotel learned from a study that 62 percent of hotel guests take medication to be able to sleep and that 42 percent do not appreciate the chocolates left by housekeeping on the pillow at night. Because they learned those who stay at hotels only wish to sleep well, they decided to invest in quality beds that would offer the best sleep.
Rather than just offering free overnight stays to those who might book with them in the future, they brought out 30 of the “heavenly beds” outside the New York Stock Exchange so executives who worked there might see and try them out. Another 20 beds were also laid out at the Grand Central Station.
Go said this was a new way of promoting their new product without having to offer so many free overnight stays to prove their point. He also said that delivery is crucial and that if one cannot execute, one should just forget about innovating.
Go is the chief marketing strategist of Mansfield and Fielders and author of 13 marketing books.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 01, 2012.