At last week’s bootcamp, we were lucky enough to meet Ben Slater, CEO and Founder of creative growth consultancy Bow & Arrow. His talk centred on strategies for achieving failproof innovation. Ben outlined 6 common pitfalls: no sponsorship from the top, no investment, no strategic/creative/commercial process, no internal alignment, unfeasible (not commercially sound), and poor execution.
His talk got me thinking about innovation (as overused as this word has become), and how 98% of innovation projects fail. I don’t believe innovation is enough anymore – that is, if you’re simply looking within your own category and market.
Consider this: Companies like Uber are making us more demanding and less patient than we’ve ever been. Londoners have become 29% less patient in the space of a year. In 2013 we were happy to wait 7 minutes for a taxi, according to the latest research from Uber; but in 2014, we refused to wait over 5 minutes. Uber repeated this study in 9 other cities throughout the world and saw the same results. The longer Uber has been in a city, the more impatient the population becomes.
The reality is that you’re now forced to compete not only with players that sit within your market, but those who operate outside of it as well. Uber, Facebook, Airbnb have changed the rules of the game. The power of expectations is creating a mind shift. They might not operate directly in your sector or industry, but they are setting an ever-improving benchmark for what “good” and “innovation” really mean.
Disruptive brands are driving new habits and human behaviours. To compete, you need to understand who your customer is and what they truly want, in order to craft an enjoyable and memorable experience; irrespective of industry or product.
Drill down into your own data and hear what your customers have to say. Once you get to know who they really are, you can start to shape the experience around their needs and wants, increasing your chances of success. It requires big data matched with big insights and big ideas.
In this expectation economy, businesses must embrace change as constant and always be looking for the asymmetric threat that’s coming down the track. They must constantly be reframing their business and be bold enough to ask those heresy questions that might ruffle feathers, as Scott Morrison, founder of the Boom and another excellent speaker at our bootcamp, would urge you to do. This is how to stay relevant and innovative in the expectation economy.