There is one absolute gem of advice for any business looking to make it big when it comes to innovation, according to Forrester vice president, research director, Michael Barnes.
Speaking at the Forrester CX Marketing Summit this morning, Barnes asked the audience who was sick of the word ‘disruption’, and to all those who raised their hands offered ‘innovation’ as a different buzzword to cling to.
Taking a leaf out of notable American businessman Jack Welch, Barnes said, “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near”.
To this end, Barnes’ first pearl of innovation wisdom was “the need to stay true to core values as a brand and understand what that core value is from your customer’s perspective”.
Using Kodak as an example, Barnes explained how, when faced with disruptions of technology and a flailing business, the company thought about what it’s core value was to consumers.
Thinking about what was integral to their product, film, they concluded they were a chemical company, and thus spent a massive amount of money buying a chemical business to grow again.
Barnes said this was clearly a miscommunication, because the core value had been there all along in its tagline ‘Kodak Moments’.
“Chemicals was never their core value – it was in creating memories, that was how they were perceived by their customers,” Barnes said.
“It was doomed to fail because they didn’t understand their core value for their customers.
“The key to innovation is the only way to really understand your core value from a customer perspective is to internalise an outside view. Think outside in as opposed to thinking inside out.
Barnes explained that for most companies, an ‘outside in’ perspective translated into a customer journey mapping, but that this was “not nearly enough”.
“We tend to focus on how and where we can intersect and engage with customers in their own lives but that’s not enough,” Barnes said.
“We need to engage them emotionally as well. Emotion is the key to fuelling culture and driving it forward.”