Posted by Giles Lury on August 31, 2011
Steve Jobs has rightly been praised and lauded for his many fantatstic achievement but I would like to nominate him for one more very small award – the most quoatble quote on innovation. For a number of years the award has been held by Henry Ford with his witty and nowadays widely used observation that “If I had asked my customers what they had wanted, they would have told me a faster horse”. However the man linked forever with the Apple Mac, the i-pod, i-tunes, the i-phone and Pixar, who has been compared to Edison, once said, “It’s really hard to design by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them” and I have a feeling that we are going to be seeing those words an awful lots over the next few years.
Other nominations gratefully received.
Posted by Sally Kay on August 15, 2011
“My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. In newspaper photos of missing girls from the seventies, most looked like me: white girls with mousy brown hair. This was before kids of all races and genders started appearing on milk cartons or in the daily mail.”
You’ve just read part of the opening paragraph from the successful Alice Sebold novel ‘The Lovely Bones’. I read this book over 4 years ago yet I could still remember the opening paragraph almost perfectly. This is what Chip and Dan Heath describe as a ‘sticky’ idea in their book ‘Made to stick’.
While reading this book I realised (even more than before) how much this idea of ‘stickiness’ applies to us as brand consultants, Dan and Chip Heath give brilliant and compelling examples of what we can do to make sure our ideas register with our clients and what our clients can do to make sure their brands register with their consumers. The key SUCCES (Simple, Unexpected, Credible, Concrete, Emotional, Stories) criteria outlined in the book can be summarised as follows:
- Unexpected: Get people to pay attention to the message we are delivering
Such as using a ‘surprise’ element like the ‘I was murdered’ in the first paragraph of The Lovely Bones
- Simple and Concrete: Get people to understand what we are saying
Leave out all the unnecessary information and abstract fluff, focus on the core of the story such as; ‘Consumer fed, not consumer led’ and it can be enduringly powerful
- Credible: Get people to believe what we are saying
Brand consultancies can do this through people and project credentials and confident projection, our clients brands can do this through compelling reasons to believe: ‘Dettol, kills 99.9% of germs’
- Emotional: Get people to care about what we are saying
People remember things because they evoke emotion; public speakers are often very good at this, for example Mother Teresa once said: ‘If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.’ Making the story more personable gives it more emotion
- Stories: Get people to act on it appropriately
The right stories make people act, instead of just listing the ‘rules’ or ‘tips’ we should build the story. Taking the ‘Good Samaritan’ as an example; this takes the moral rule ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’ and makes it stick for centuries by turning it into a story
Posted by Jossie Clayton on August 9, 2011
We’re always interested to see new products which come on the market and discuss the thinking behind them. Who is their target? What does their pack communicate which is different from the competition? Do we think this is an innovation destined for delightful sales or delisting gloom?
Asian food has for a long time been popular in the UK and we’ve seen various brands launch their own versions of at-home authenticity or on the go fusion flavour. It’s a trend which we both watch with our consultant eyes and buy into as consumers, frequently buying Asian food for our lunches at work , sending photos of and bringing back examples of the strange and wonderful products we see on our travels overseas and of course enjoying a different restaurant experience with friends.
So to add public reference to our internal interest in Asian cuisine, Will Butterworth, Consultant at The Value Engineers, has been referenced discussing the potential health implications that the name of Symington’s latest new product, ‘Naked Noodles,’ implies. To read the full article click here: http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/articles.aspx?page=articles&ID=220148
For more information on our experience in Asian markets and with Asian brands both overseas and in the UK, please contact us directly.
Posted by Steve Reeves on August 4, 2011
At The Value Engineers we believe that inspiration for new big ideas comes from looking in adjacent categories, different markets and even from the past. We’ve pulled together 40 drink innovations that we believe have been ground breaking and from this we’ve identified nine innovation precepts or principles for innovation.
PRECEPT ONE: NEW PROCESS OR PRODUCT
There are many examples of drinks products that have changed the product features or the manufacturing process to produce something totally new and different.
MOLSON ICE BEER
Ice beer is a marketing term for pale lager beer brands which have undergone some degree of fractional freezing similar to the German Eisbock, which increases the alcohol content. The name originated in Canada. The first ice beer marketed in North America was Molson Ice which was introduced in April 1993, although the process was patented earlier by Labatt, instigating the so-called “Ice Beer Wars” of the 1990s.
How can you talk about the manufacturing process in a new and different way to provide new benefits? It’s time to interrogate your products and processes to identify new consumer benefits.
Posted by The Value Engineers on July 27, 2011
Introducing the last in our blog series of eleven innovation and branding precepts for 2011.
Consumers have long aspired to own premium brands and products, but for most of us, the hefty price tags ensure they remain firmly out of reach. However, recent years have seen the growth of a more ‘accessible premium’ – bringing higher-quality products, with aspirational branding, to mass market consumers.
Priced lower than the truly premium brands, but higher than the category norm, these brands make ‘high end’ products available for the masses through innovative brand architecture, retail delivery, and product usage, combined with premium messaging and visual cues.
This independent London wine merchant lets you try the finest wines for less, by sampling small tasters rather than full bottles. Their aim is to make wine-tasting ‘un-elitist and fun’… and hopefully to convince you to buy a bottle of your favourite taster, of course.
DESIGNERS AT DEBENHAMS, STELLA MCCARTNEY FOR TARGET et al
By now the list of designers with high street store capsule ranges is long, but with the cult of celebrity still going strong, and the rest of us mere mortals still aspiring to own their high-end clothes and labels, this idea is not showing any signs of losing popularity. The latest incarnation comes from designer Narciso Rodriguez, this time with an accessible line retailing at below $350, designed specifically for and sold through eBay. These lines may structure their brand architectures differently, but the magic touch of the designer brand at a high-street price seems universal, and continues to spread into other categories including food (Heston Blumenthal at Waitrose), menswear (Joe Caseley-Hayford for John Lewis) and lingerie (Colette Dinnigan for Target Australia). www.ebay.com/narcisorodriguezforebay
FOOD FOR THOUGHT…
What does premium look like for your brand or category? How could you bring it to the masses and still maintain its cachet?
If you missed the earlier blogs, all eleven precepts can be viewed here.