SME interview with Eric Elliott of VIP Marketing and Advertising.
Below are some outdoor ads and their analysis
• Product/service in focus: McDonald’s Big Mac
• Appeal or technique used: The illusion of this ad appeals to the senses of the viewers. Showing a massive burger in between what seems to be two billboards, enforces the “big” in Big Mac.
• Objectives of the ad campaign: The ad aims to sell more Big Macs. Although the ad is attainable, it’s hard to measure the effectiveness of the ad other than with surveys and test groups.
• Target market: Anyone who eats burgers. Specifically, those wanting a massive burger.
• Action request to the viewer: Even though not directly stated, the action the ad requests the viewer is to observe how big the Big Mac is. This will in hopes, entice the viewer to want to purchase the sandwich.
• Value proposition: The fact that the burger is bigger than other burgers, will drive customers to buy the Big Mac.
• Product/service in focus: Coca Cola products at McDonald’s
• Appeal or technique used: The allusion of getting something expensive for a lower cost is the technique of this McDonald’s ad.
• Objectives of the ad campaign: The ad aims to sell more Coca Cola products at McDonald’s. This ad is attainable and measurable by measuring the amount of Coca Cola Products that sell during before, during, and after this ad is displayed.
• Target market: Anyone who wants a refreshing beverage, with or without a meal, for a lower price.
• Action request to the viewer: The ad encourages its viewers to try Coca Cola products at McDonald’s. If the viewer does this, they will quench their thirst with an expensive tasting drink, and not pay the price of a costly beverage.
• Value proposition: Any sized beverage for just a dollar.
• Product/service in focus: Pharmacy at Target store
• Appeal or technique used: The ad appeals to the customer by displaying the day’s pollen count. This is very effective for people who have allergies to pollen. Usually, those with allergies to pollen take anti-allergy medication.
• Objectives of the ad campaign: The ad aims to make aware to its viewers of the pharmacy in Target. This ad is attainable and measurable by measuring the increase of customers to the pharmacy department in Target stores.
• Target market: Anyone needing a prescription and over the counter medication
• Action request to the viewer: The action the ad calls the viewer too is to be aware of the pollen count of the day in their area. If the viewer is aware, they can plan for the effects of the allergic reactions to pollen. With being prepared for the pollen count means purchasing anti-allergen medication, from Target pharmacy of course.
• Value proposition: Being able to buy medicine at a high- quality superstore, such as Target, drives customers to purchase from Target pharmacy.
• Product/service in focus: Subway
• Appeal or technique used: The appeal of sex is meant to grab the attention of viewers going pass this Subway billboard.
• Objectives of the ad campaign: This ad aims to grab the attention of the viewer to make them aware of Subway, and ultimately sell more products. This ad is attainable and measurable by measuring the increase in Subway sells in the area surrounding the billboard.
• Target market: Adults who are attracted to the thought of sex and who wants subs and sandwiches.
• Action request to the viewer: The ad requests the viewer to “Eat at Subway.”
• Value proposition: Sandwiches appealing enough and made for adults will drive customers to purchase Subway food.
• Product/service in focus: Kit Kat Candy Bar
• Appeal or technique used: The illusion of sitting on a Kit Kat Candy Bar appeals to the visual perception of the viewer.
• Objectives of the ad campaign: The ad aims to grab the attention of the viewer by making a bench look like an opened KitKat bar. This is meant to sell more candy bars. The objective is measurable by measuring the increase in KitKat bar sells in the area where the ad is located.
• Target market: Anyone who likes chocolate-covered wafer candy bars.
• Action request to the viewer: The ad acts as an unspoken continuation of the KitKat slogan, which urges viewers to take a bite of a Kit Kat bar. The motto is usually calling potential customers to take a break and take a taste of the candy bar. It is fitting that the ad is creatively placed on a public bench where people sit and relax.
• Value proposition: Kit Kat candy bar offers customers a chocolate-covered wafer bar that assures its customers that it’s okay to take a break.
Do any of these outdoor ads appeal to you?
Below are some magazine ads I have chosen to analyze.
• Product/service in focus: Pop Chips
• Appeal or technique used: As you can tell by the ad, Pop Chips is bringing awareness to how much healthier and delicious their chips are. “Crunch the Numbers” appeals to the intellect of its viewers.
• Objectives of the ad campaign: The ad campaign aims to sell more Pop Chips. By making a comparison with its competitors, it points out what makes this chip better than theirs: Healthier and tastier. The objective is attainable and measurable by the demand for the chips during the time the ad is in circulation.
• Target market: Anyone who likes potato chips but wants a healthier option without sacrificing taste.
• Action request to the viewer: The ad calls viewers to compare Pop Chips with its competitors by looking at the nutritional facts. If the viewers compare these facts, they will acknowledge that Pop Chips is a better option in that aspect. This comparison will then convince potential customers to purchase their chips.
• Value proposition: Pop Chips offers a healthier potato chips option without giving up the taste.
• Product/service in focus: Infusium hair products
• Appeal or technique used: The ad appeals to its audience with humor by having a woman who would typically be noticed for her dress hike. The caption “It’s a miracle they’ll only notice her hair” makes the ad comical and brings a sense of interest to someone who uses its products.
• Objectives of the ad campaign: The ad campaign aims to catch the attention of its viewers to sell more products. The goal is attainable and measurable by measuring the number of products sold during the time of the ad.
• Target market: Women who want healthier looking hair.
• Action request to the viewer: The ad calls viewers to purchase and use Infusium hair products. If the viewer uses the products, they will get beautiful looking hair that grabs the attention of people around them.
• Value proposition: The product produces excellent looking hair that’s noticeable by everyone.
• Product/service in focus: Starbucks Coffee
• Appeal or technique used: The method used to appeal to the viewers of the ad is the sense of guarantee. Starbucks is essentially guaranteeing its work by saying it will remake coffee until the customer is satisfied. A sense of humor was also used by alluding that if the customer doesn’t get the coffee, they wanted the first or second time, it is more than likely not at a Starbucks.
• Objectives of the ad campaign: The ad campaign aims to sell more coffee at Starbucks. The goal is attainable and measurable by measuring the number of additional patrons during the time of the ad
• Target market: Anyone who drinks coffee.
• Action request to the viewer: The ad calls viewers to go to a Starbucks store to order coffee. If the viewer does this, they are more than likely going to be satisfied with their purchase.
• Value proposition: Starbucks guarantees customer satisfaction with its coffee. It ensures the perfect coffee for its customers.
• Product/service in focus: Palm cellphone
• Appeal or technique used: The ad appeals to the audience by comparing what it’s like to have the Palm cellphone versus without one: Organization versus chaos
• Objectives of the ad campaign: The ad campaign aims to introduce the latest Palm series: Centro, as well as to sell more products. The goals are attainable and measurable by measuring the number of consumers who purchase the new Centro cellphone.
• Target market: Adults who use or need cellphones as well who need to get or maintain organization in their life.
• Action request to the viewer: The ad calls its viewers to use the Palm cellphone. If they observe this request, they will inevitably become more organized.
• Value proposition: The Palm offers more than just a cellphone; it offers easier organization to its users.
• Product/service in focus: Heinz Ketchup
• Appeal or technique used: This ad appeals to the consciousness of sustainability to its viewers.
• Objectives of the ad campaign: The ad campaign aims to inform the viewers of a new bottle that the company uses to house its ketchup in. The goal is attainable and measurable by measuring the number of products sold during the time of the ad.
• Target market: Even though Heinz is a household brand name, the fine print speaks directly to restaurant owners. It states that the owner’s customers would love the fact they are using sustainable products and aware of the future of our planet.
• Action request to the viewer: The ad calls viewers to use this product in their restaurants. If the viewer does this, they will satisfy their customers, thus increasing revenue for the business owner.
• Value proposition: A ketchup brand that is environmentally aware.
Which magazine ad stands out to you the most?
This week I will be dissecting five newspaper ads.
• Product/service in focus: Fine Jewelry
• Appeal or technique used: The method used for this ad is scarcity because it is advertising a limited sale.
• Objectives of the ad campaign: Dominic’s Fine Jewelry ad aims to promote a deal. This, in essence, is to sell more products in a short amount of time. The objective is attainable and measurable by comparing the number of products sold before and during the sale. Also, measuring the number of coupons that are used at the time of the deal could measure how effective the ad was.
• Target market: Adults who wear or gift fine jewelry who are looking to save money from purchases.
• Action request to the viewer: The ad calls the viewer to go to Dominic’s Fine Jewelry store to purchase jewelry. If the consumer does this, they will save 30%-40% off of everything.
• Value proposition: Offers expensive jewelry at a lower cost.
• Product/service in focus: Laundry Mat
• Appeal or technique used: The sense of scarcity is the technique used to promote the laundry mat. Only on Wednesdays can the customer wash their clothes for ten cents a load.
• Objectives of the ad campaign: To get more sells on Wednesday. The ad is both attainable and measurable by measuring the number of customers before and during the time the announcement was in circulation.
• Target market: Any person that does not have a working washing machine at home and need a place to wash their clothes.
• Action request to the viewer: To go to Coin-O-Matic on Wednesdays to wash clothes. If the consumer goes to this laundry mat on Wednesday, they will save money by only paying ten cents a wash.
• Value proposition: Coin-O-Matic offers an air-conditioned laundry mat that is cheaper to wash clothes on Wednesday.
• Product/service in focus: fresh food, fast
• Appeal or technique used: The method to use the sense of desire for fresh food is used to appeal to viewers.
• Objectives of the ad campaign: The ad campaign aims to sell more food. I have seen more effective ads from Subway, such as the “Jerod” ads. However, this ad campaign is simple and keeps the company visible. I don’t see how this ad can be measurable like some of the other ads in this post.
• Target market: People who are looking for fresher fast food.
• Action request to the viewer: The ad calls viewers to eat fresh food. Something that Subway offers. If consumers eat fresh food at Subway, they will get it fast, as well.
• Value proposition: Customers who purchase food from Subway will get healthier, fresher food, at fast-food speed.
• Product/service in focus: Enclave Grand Valley Student Living apartments
• Appeal or technique used: The call of inclusivity and excellence is the technique that is used in this ad campaign.
• Objectives of the ad campaign: The ad campaign aims to rent more apartments. The ad is attainable and measurable by measuring the number of student applicants apply during the time the ad is circulating.
• Target market: College students looking to stay off campus
• Action request to the viewer: The action the ad wants the viewer to take is to go to the apartment complex to take a tour. If the viewer goes to take a tour, they will see the excellence of the new student living apartments.
• Value proposition: Being the “best,” brand new student living apartment complex is what would drive potential customers to Enclave Grand Valley.
• Product/service in focus: Disneyland amusement park
• Appeal or technique used: The emotions evoked by this campaign ad is joy and happiness.
• Objectives of the ad campaign: This ad campaign aims to sell more tickets to consumers. This ad alone is difficult to measure its effectiveness to its audience. The only way I see measuring the ad’s effect is if this ad is the only ad in circulation, and to measure the increase in customers during that time.
• Target market: People (kids, parents, family, etc.) who desire the nostalgia of happiness and joy in an amusement park.
• Action request to the viewer: The action the ad wants from its viewers is to visit Disneyland. If the viewers follow through with this action, they will be at an enjoyable place.
• Value proposition: The promotion of being “the happiest place on Earth” and being “friendlyable” will drive consumers to Disneyland.
Below are a couple of additional ad campaigns I found interesting. What are your thoughts (emotional response, value proposition, etc.) on the following ads?
From the December 3, 1914 issue of The Mebane Leader (p. 4).
This week in Entrepreneurial Creation we are analyzing television ads. See below for some of my favorites.
In 2014, Chevy released an ad titled “Maddie.” It displays a series of emotional video clips of a girl and her dog, Maddie. The first clip starts with the lady (older) with her aging dog. The following clips are when she and Maddie are getting younger and younger as the video progresses. The ad ends with a clip of the first day the young girl and Maddie met, as a puppy. All the while, the viewer is made aware that the Chevy truck has been with them the whole time with the caption “A best friend for life’s journey.” If anyone is a dog lover like me, the emotions of love, trust, and companionship are ignited while watching the commercial.
The objective of the “Maddie” ad was to sell more Chevy vehicles by convincing its viewers that their cars are reliable. This objective was attainable and measurable by the number of sales after the commercial aired.
The target market Chevy seems to be after are adults who are looking for dependable vehicles. Chevy wants its viewers to purchase a Chevy for its next car choice. In return, the viewer will have a long-lasting car that stands the test of time.
The Value proposition Chevy is making its viewers aware of is the longevity of its vehicles.
Lays Potato Chips “Maddie”
Lays released a television commercial advertising its different variety of potato chip flavors. It opens up with a man at the grocery store deciding which flavor he wants. The narrator sings a jingle that ends in a comedic twist.
The objectives of the ad campaign were to inform customers of its different flavor options and to sell more of them. The goals were measurable by an increase in sells to its various flavors.
The target market for this ad are adults who like potato chips with a variety of flavors.
The commercial seems to call viewers to purchase Lays potato chips over any other brand, one because it has variety, and, because everyone else likes them (including the security guard). If the viewer purchases Lays, they will get their cravings satisfied.
The value proposition to the Lays products in the ad is that the customer gets exactly what it wants in a chip from one brand.
Old Spice: “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”
Old Spice has had an abundance of ads with quirky humor previously with Terry Cruise advertising its shaving gel for men. “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” showcase a slightly different quirky-dry humor with Isaiah Mustafa showcasing its body wash.
The objective of this ad campaign was to inform viewers of its body wash and to catch the attention of a different target market: women who want their significant other to smell good. Even though the body wash is for men, women typically either purchase body washes for their significant other or influence them to buy it for themselves. The objective is attainable but difficult to measure the effectiveness of the ad. Even if sells increase after the commercial airs, it would be difficult to gauge if women influenced purchases. The only way I could think to measure the effectiveness of the ad is via survey.
The ad campaign wants women to influence the men in their lives to purchase or use body wash. In return, women could have a good looking, desirable man like the one in the ad.
The value proposition Old Spice has with its body was is desire and temptation. A lot of women would desire the things that Isiah Mustafa describes as an attractive man. He concludes that a woman could have an attractive man by using Old Spice body wash.
National Dairy Board: Real Cheese
A compilation of delicious meals eaten by people is how the National Dairy Board decided to promote eating real cheese. Even though I don’t eat much dairy, this commercial made me intensely hungry watching it. I’m assuming other viewers would get a craving for the foods showcased, just as I did.
The objective of the ad was to increase sells in diary via cheese. This objective can be attainable and measured by the increase in sells of cheese products after the commercial aired.
The target market of the commercial is anyone who cooks and eats cheese.
The ad wants to encourage people to start and continue to purchase real cheese made out of real diary. In return, the consumer will get delicious looking and tasty food, unlike with artificial cheese.
The value proposition of real cheese is the taste, ability to melt, and the variety of foods it can be paired with.
Expensify: Expensify This
Expensify is a new app that made its commercial debut during the 2019 Superbowl. The commercial uses comedy and entertainment with a music video to lure in viewers.
The objective of the commercial was to make consumers aware of the new app. The goal is attainable and measurable by the number of downloads obtained after the ad aired.
The target market for this ad is anyone who needs an easier and better way to keep track of expenses — people such as business owners, employees, homeowners, etc.
Not only does the ad encourage viewers to download the app for personal use, but it encourages the viewers to download the app to be entered into a competition to win money. If the viewer takes pictures of the receipts in the commercial, download the app, and submit the receipts via the app, they will have a chance to win the amount on the receipts.
The value proposition for Expensify is a quicker, more straightforward way to keep track and calculate expenses.
Which commercials did you enjoy?
As I start a new semester, in Entrepreneurial Creation, I will be discussing and analyzing different media campaigns for the next six weeks. This week we will begin with radio ads.
Frank’s Red Hot
Frank’s Red Hot is a hot sauce that was acquired to strengthen the McCormick & Co. brand. It launched its new campaign back in 2017. “Frank’s Red-Hot sauce, I put that s*** on everything” was echoed by little, innocent voice, Ethel. Ethel comes off as an older woman who would not necessarily be thought of to use such language. Thus, giving the ads a comedic spin and drawing in a younger audience.
After the acquisition of Frank’s Red Hot, McCormick sought out to inform its customers of its addition, while also increasing its presence amongst millennials. McCormick’s efforts are measured by its increase in millennials purchasing its product, making the objectives both attainable to measurable (Watrous 2017).
Not only does the ad make aware of its acquisition, but it also urges its customers to buy more of its product. The ad eludes that the product can be placed on any food dish. Thus, allowing cooking to be easier and tastier. The value proposition is that only one product is needed to season food, thus making it attractive for more busier millennials who may, or may not know how to cook.
Jimmy John’s is a national gourmet sandwich shop who sets out to differentiate itself from its competitors such as Subway and Quiznos. Jimmy John’s decided to advertise its services rather than its sandwiches. They pulled this off with slight humor in a conversation between the manager and an applicant, in how great the applicant would be at the job.
The objective of the ad campaign was to inform Jimmy John’s customers of its excellent customer services. Not only do they make fast sandwiches, but they also deliver the meals fast, and most importantly, they are polite. These objectives are attainable by disclosing the business model to its customers.
I would foresee that the target market for Jimmy John’s ads are busy adults who would like a good meal prepared and delivered as fast as possible. The ad seems to dare the customer to test out how fast Jimmy John’s services are. Thus, the value proposition is that the consumer will benefit from a delicious meal, with excellent customer service, and fast delivery.
Geico is an insurance company who sets out to save its consumers money. This ad starts with a family discussing a trip to an amusement park. With humor, it leads to the father turning on a shower to makeshift a water ride, at home. Thus, saving money for the family.
The objectives of the ad were attainable and measurable that informs consumers of how inexpensive Geico policies are, thus selling more products. In my opinion, the ad campaigns aggressively and successfully show Geico’s intent to position itself in the insurance market as affordable. Thus, appealing to its target market: low to medium income families who are looking to save money.
The ad solicits the listener to contact Geico for a free rate quote, which also entices customers by saving money. Thus, the value proposition Geico offers is affordable insurance that allows “an easier way to save.”
Budweiser is a beer company that released an ad campaign for its new product line, Bud Silver. The ad hinted at being inspirational to “hard-working men.” The announcer goes into a monologue of a long laboring day that a man may have and suggests ending the day with a cold, relaxing beer.
The attainable objective of the ad was to make aware of a new “fuller tasting, thirst quenching” beer to Budweiser’s consumers. Its target market is the blue-collar man who wants to relax after a long day of hard work.
The ad suggests that these men drink this beer after a long day. Drinking beer will help blue-collar men relax and feel better at the end of the day. The value proposition is that this beer offers fuller taste while being thirst quenching.
Staples created a radio ad to showcase its low prices. The commercial plays on the emotions of scarcity. The announcer has a sense of urgency in his voice. However, he is saying that the costs will be the same now and later. In other words, the prices at Staples will always be lower and competitive, so no need to rush.
The objective of the ad campaign is to make consumers aware of Staples everyday low prices, thus enticing consumers to shop with them. The ad seems to target bargain shoppers who are always looking for lower rates.
The ad urges the listener to hurry, or not, to Staples to shop. If the consumers buy at Staples, they will pay “sale” prices every day. With that said, Staples’ value proposition would be everyday low prices. Which means, it takes the guesswork out of bargain hunting.
Watrous, Monica (Sept. 2017). Frank’s Red Hot helps McCormick connect with millennial consumers. Retrieved from https://www.meatpoultry.com/articles/17044-frank-s-redhot-helps-mccormick-connect-with-millennial-consumers
As this semester is coming to an end, I hope that you have grasped the importance of innovation in any aspect of a business, from my weekly blogs. Great innovations can be the breakthrough that a start-up needs or can take a major brand to the next level. The common denominator for any advancements in a business is the ability to take risks. However, risk-taking should be calculated and looked at as a means to an end, just like playing a game of chess. With that in mind, Thomas Kelley in The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm suggests a few ways to take risks more carefully.
The planning stage of any project is the most important. It prepares those involved for what is needed to accomplish the goal. Most of the time groups put more emphasis on how to get a desired outcome in the planning stage while neglecting to analyze things that could go wrong. Kelley suggests to never ignore worst-case scenarios (Kelley, pg. 237). Being aware of such scenarios could make or break an innovative idea being successful in the market. It is easier to maneuver to plan B than it is to start all over.
Although planning for worst-case scenarios is essential, not all outcomes can be foreseen. That is why it’s important to practice the art of taking risks. Kelley suggests learning to juggle with “beanbags” first, instead of bowling balls (Kelley, pg. 239). In other words, make risks smaller earlier on. To do this, taking the time to create prototypes and research and development efforts, can reduce the number of innovative risks, tremendously.
Lastly, understanding what risks are earlier on, can help. Risks aren’t a guarantee that an outcome will be admirable. With risks comes success and failure. Most would prefer to escape failures. However, some sort of failure is inevitable when reaching for success. It is crucial to not give up at first sight of disappointment. Kelley suggests using failures as inspiration to better innovative pursuits (Kelley, pg. 247). As Asad Meah states, “failure is the stepping stone to success, as long as you learn from it” (Meah, 2019).
All in all, being at the forefront of innovation is essential to a growing business. However, innovation comes with some sort of risk taking. Increasing the chances of success with innovation comes with planning for worst case scenarios, starting by taking smaller risks, and using failures as inspiration for better innovative ideas.
Have you considered how you will maneuver through the risk-taking process of innovation with your business? If so, share any insight you make have, below.
Kelley, Thomas and Littman, Johnathon (2016). The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm. Published by Doubleday Broadway Publishing
Meah, Asad (n.d). 35 Inspirational Quotes On Failure. Retreived on Feb. 2019 from https://awakenthegreatnesswithin.com/35-inspirational-quotes-on-failure/
Chapter ten of The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm by Kelley Thomas goes into great details about how innovation shouldn’t revolve around just the physical aspect of an end product or service. The best innovations create experiences for consumers. Kelley says it best by stating,
“As you step through the innovation process, try thinking verbs not nouns. What does that mean? It means not focusing too much on the object or artifact: the new product, the big report, the latest ad campaign, the remodeled store. Everybody’s in the business of creating experiences, so focus on the verbs, the actions. The goal is not a more beautiful store. It’s a better shopping experience. And creating more value for your brand” (Kelley, pg. 200).
With that said, I’d like to translate some examples throughout history that shows how brands have successfully innovated with creating experiences for their consumers.
One of the most popular brands that stand out to me when thinking about experiences is McDonald’s. Not only did McDonald’s create a chain of restaurants that, unlike its competitors at the time, provided fast food services, but the most captivating aspect was also the experience consumers received. After researching the story of McDonald’s, brothers Dick and Mac sought out and succeeded to create an experience of family fun and American values. That is why even if you go to another country, McDonald’s is still representative of family fun and American values. They have created an experience for even non-Americans to relish.
Another brand that has succeeded in captivating the experience in innovation is Dicks Sporting Goods. Of Course, Dicks is a sporting goods store, which sells everything from running shoes to fishing gear. But the experience one receives when visiting a brick and mortar store would be as if the customer is in the outdoors itself. With kayaks hanging, to a short track for runners to test out running shoes.
Lastly, a brand that shows a unique experience is Disney. At any location, the feeling of being a kid, no matter what age you are, engulfs you. Surrounded by Disney characters, staff known as cast members, and buildings and rides that reinforce Disney themes, places visitors into a whimsical experience.
All in all, an innovative experience can be seen in brick-and-mortars, online, or even represented via stationary or telephone communications. To quote Tom Kelley, “Innovation sometimes starts with a small improvement. But a better-designed experience often comes about when you can transform a niche product to something broader that resonates with your customers” (Kelley, pg. 205).
How can you bring a unique experience to your customer base?
Kelley, Thomas and Littman, Johnathon (2016). The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm. Published by Doubleday Broadway Publishing
In chapters eight and nine of The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm, Tom Kelley goes into great detail of some struggles and downsides of the innovation process. So much so, Kelley titles these chapters “Expect the Unexpected, and “Barrier Jumping.” Many warnings and guidance were given, but one stuck out of the crowd the most to me.
Kelley speaks about the dilemma of straying too far from tradition. Too often innovators and inventors think that the next big thing has to be so far different from the past. This way of thinking allows for the innovator to create products and services that are unique. But, are they what the people want? There have been many times when what was thought of as the newest, biggest product, turned out to be a flop in sales. Kelley suggests that these products strayed too far away from what consumers were used to. Myths, aesthetics, and habits are all factors that present barriers to change (Kelley, pg. 192).
Kelly gives examples of when the product sales were undesirable due to people’s lack of appeal to change. One example he uses is when Bayer considered taking out the cotton in its bottles (Kelley, pg. 191). Cotton had represented a form of safety to its consumers, even though cotton in the bottles added little to no extra value. I began to think of circumstances where I was reluctant to try something because of my unwillingness for change. I came across many scenarios. But one, in particular, stuck out to me the most: ginger beer. In my mind, cold beverages should not be spicy. They should range in sweetness and quench one’s thirst. Not feel like my mouth is on fire. However, after trying one particular brand, I’ve grown to like ginger beer. I’m assuming many other people have my same hesitancy, henceforth, why ginger beer isn’t sold everywhere.
So, the question arises: when to push the limits and when not to? When looking to revamp a product or service, Kelley suggests considering the pros and cons of pre-existing products or services (Kelley, pg. 189). To keep it simple, its best to offer what consumers traditionally like about the product, and try to improve the disadvantages.
All in all, innovations should add value to existing markets, not take away from them. Due to human nature, it can be difficult to convince consumers to stray away from something they are used to and what works for them. Kelley says that “good products or services are like generous hosts. They greet you at the door, offer you refreshments, and make you feel at home” (Kelley, pg. 190).
Can you recall ever feeling reluctant to try a new product or service because of your unwillingness to change?
Kelley, Thomas and Littman, Johnathon (2016). The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm. Published by Doubleday Broadway Publishing
The process of innovation has many stages. Many will say that the first steps consist of recognizing a need for change and brainstorming on new ways to make those changes happen. Followed by continuous observation and prototyping. Prototyping is essential to testing out ideas after brainstorming. It allows the group to visualize the idea more concretely before constructing the invention. This is the stage where changes can be made that include more physical and rational reasoning. There are many ways a prototype can be executed. More commonly is through drawings, computer software, or physical 3-d form.
The key to these first couple of stages are the people involved in the process and the environment that houses such ideas. As discussed last week, teamwork is essential to the brainstorming process. However, in order to maximize the innovation efforts, the environment has to be right. Thomas Kelley, in The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm,calls this the “Greenhouse” effect (Kelley, page 129). He states that a greenhouse for innovation is “a place where the elements are just right to foster the growth of good ideas. Where there’s heat, light, moisture, and plenty of nurturing. The greenhouse we’re talking about, of course, is the workplace, the way spaces take shape in offices and teams work together” (Kelley, page 129). He gives many examples of how different companies can foster a working area that gives way to great innovation, but there are a few aspects that is most common in any industry.
One aspect of creating a work area that is conducive to producing innovative ideas is considering the layout of the workspace. Keeping in mind, that teamwork is essential to the innovation process, having a space that will allow teams to gather is important. Some examples of team friendly workspaces are layouts that have a central location that makes it easy for team members to congregate. Also, position offices and cubicles in a matter that will allow team members to easily join one another while maintaining personal space in situations where focus and concentration is needed. Lastly, remember that diversity is needed as many different perspectives are necessary, allowing different departments to easily access one another is just as important.
Finally, providing work spaces that fosters creativity and functionality can help with the prototyping stage of innovation. Kelley suggests that the workspace should be simple, movable, and buildable (Kelley, 2016). He gives examples of where he used blocks, that were used for sitting and partitions, as pieces in a prototype for elevators for the company Otis (Kelley page 135). Using things that are easily accessible is common in the prototyping stage. Furnishing the workspace with things that can be used multi-functionally can drastically help in the innovation process.
All in all, many steps are needed to facilitate a great practical idea. In order to generate the best ideas, the environment has to be one that is effective for team building, creativity and functionality. Kelley states that “being innovative and successful is more than hiring the right people and buying the best technology. You’ve got to create a culture where space matters (Kelley, page 153).