“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin
|The Power Of InnovationInnovation plays a key role in business. It drives change, and change can lead to new revenue opportunities for your business. Innovation can produce sudden and dramatic changes to the way business is done and the way consumers experience the products and services made by companies.
Innovation, as described by innovation expert Jake Nielsen:
A lot of managers think of new markets in terms of geography, such as entering an emerging market like India or China. While that can be highly valuable, new market innovations can also refer to use cases, such as applying a current product in a new way and sometimes even for a different segment of customers. The classic example often cited is Arm & Hammer baking soda. The primary use for baking soda is as a leavening agent for dough when baking bread. However, after baking soda had been in the market for a while, Arm & Hammer discovered a trend among its customers—using baking soda as a deodorizer. People were putting an open container of baking soda in their refrigerator (baking soda does not need to be refrigerated) simply to neutralize any odors from foods. This prompted the company to start marketing baking soda as a multi-purpose product rather than for use only in baking.
There are several things to consider when exploring new markets for your product including:
Adjacent spaces: What industries or uses would you consider as adjacent? Often adjacent spaces are fertile ground for introduction of your existing product(s) or service(s).
Other jobs to be done: Like in the Arm & Hammer example, baking soda was capable of performing multiple jobs for the customer quite well, even though at the beginning Arm & Hammer was only thinking of the job of baking. What other jobs does your product do? Could those be marketed to other customers?
Customer usage studies: For some products, customers may already be using your product in new and different ways that you haven’t considered yet. Market-research methods are best suited to bring those use cases to light.
New market innovations can be extraordinarily successful if executed well. In some cases, all it takes to introduce a product into a new market is educating your customers, both current and new, about the other things your product can do. This can either be a cost-leadership or benefit-leadership strategy. If you have a product that is basically a premium-value product (benefit leadership) in its existing form and you manage to successfully apply that product to a new use case then the value of your product will need to be weighed in light of the alternatives for the new use case. For example, if Arm & Hammer baking soda costs $4 a box while most other baking soda brands cost around $2 a box, then it’s safe to assume that the Arm & Hammer baking soda is viewed as a benefit-leader product.
However, if most refrigerator deodorizers cost an average of $8 a bottle, then the Arm & Hammer baking soda is essentially a cost leader against the alternative deodorizers. This scenario is often what can make some products so successful when applied in a new way.
Ready to learn about one more strategy for innovation? Read PCT tomorrow and get tips on being disruptive.
Source: Jake Nielsen is the founder of TheInnovativeManager.com, which includes the tools and trade secrets great innovators, entrepreneurs and thought leaders have used throughout history to change the world. He is also a contributor to Innovation Excellence, an online home of the global innovation community, building upon a rapidly growing network with thousands of members from over 175 countries.
Compiled by Cassandra Johnson
I had the opportunity of contributing a few best practices regarding trade-shows – knowing that we’re entering the trade show season right now and figuring out how to prepare, which exhibitors to see and who to set up appointments with so we get the most from our investment and the show – this article will be a helpful resource to you throughout the 2017 trade show season.
If you’d like to connect with me directly about any of the information shared in this article, please email me and I’ll respond and schedule some time with you.
The image is showing you how the @mandalaybay uses their #brandedmerchandise – items sourced at a recent trade show and then presented to the #hotel for them to create a memorable experience for their guests!
Have a restful weekend and a prosperous trade show season!
I have to share with you a book (a resource) titled Create Your Space by Said Baaghil – you’ll learn how, as a business owner, to create your own space and most importantly understand how the dynamics of brand and marketing are changing and evolving…break through to the other side of conventional marketing and disrupt your competition. Said provided me an early excerpt of his book and I was fortunate to have my review included in his book. http://tinyurl.com/za7vfw6
A conversation with Daniel Bielek: Many people in our industry worry and complain about the younger generation, most commonly known as millennials or Gen Y. Whether their concerns are based on reality or fiction, suffice it to say that much ink has been spilled on why our industry needs to sit up and pay attention to younger buyers and employees.
As a marketer, it is my job to deliver the right message to the right person, at the right time. While that seems simple enough, in reality there are many factors that go into communicating with your audience and representing your brand. The tone has to be equal parts informative and entertaining, and the content should be catered to what your audience wants to read. That last part is key. And understanding who your audience is, and what motivates them is arguably the most important factor in making a connection (AKA, building Brand Love!).
So let’s talk about personality and why it matters. Think of your brand, your logo, and how you project your brand to your audience. If you were to assign your brand a persona, what would it be? If Crate & Barrel were personified, some of their personality traits would be organized, inviting and friendly. If REI was a living, breathing person surely they would be adventurous, down-to-earth and outdoorsy. Your messaging should reflect the personality traits that your brand represents in order to be effective.
Now, think of your target audience. Who are they? Are they easy-going, or a perfectionist? Do they like to take charge, or work behind the scenes? Everyone is different and some products and brands will appeal to your audience more than others will. Although every single person in your audience is unique, for this exercise, think broadly about their profile. According to psychologist John Holland, there are 6 major personalities in the workplace and each one is unique and is motivated by different factors.
These are the doers! They are independent, stable, active, persistent, practical, and thrifty. They prefer to work with things rather than ideas and people. They are no-nonsense and down-to-earth people and are often the ones that keep the team level-headed in a crisis. They prefer being outdoors and like to “learn by doing” as opposed to learning in a classroom setting.
An example of a brand that appeals to a Realistic audience is:REI
These are the thinkers! They are introspective, inquisitive, analytical, and intellectual. They prefer tasks that involve using logic to solve highly complex, abstract problems. In the workplace they are often the one that insists on doing their research and having hard data to support a plan of action.
An example of a brand that appeals to an Investigative audience is: IBM
These are the creators! They are intuitive, creative, expressive, original, and innovative. They place an emphasis on feelings, imagination, and are spontaneous and open-minded. In the workplace they are often the ones coming up with creative solutions and ideas.
An example of a brand that appeals to an Artistic audience is:Apple
This type of audience is helpful! They are friendly, generous, idealistic, responsible, helpful, empathetic and tactful. In their workplace they are always willing to step up to any challenge asked of them. They care a lot about workplace relationships and enjoy working in group settings.
An example of a brand that appeals to a Social audience is:TOMS
These types of people are persuaders! They are adventurous, ambitious, self-confident, enthusiastic, and motivational. In the workplace they are a natural leader and their co-workers look to them for direction. They prefer work that involves public speaking, taking risks, debating, and competing. They are good at seeing the big picture and are highly motivated by promotions.
An example of a brand that appeals to an Enterprising audience is: Tesla Motors
People with this personality type are organizers! They are conscientious, conservative, logical, efficient, organized, and detail-oriented. They value precision and accuracy in the work they do. In the office they are the one keeping everyone organized and on schedule. They excel in practical tasks, quantitative measurements, and structured environments. They like clearly defined rules and expectations.
An example of a brand that appeals to a Conventional audience is: Crate & Barrel
Is there a certain personality that you felt aligned with your brand? Often times, people are a combination of these types and are susceptible to a broader message. By learning more about personalities and brand personas you will be able to reach and communicate better with your audience and open doors to new opportunities. This exercise is not only useful in learning more on your target audience, it is also a great way to improve synergy and team dynamics within your own office!
Curious about which one fits YOUR personality? Take the quiz to find out.
Promotional Products are effective in reaching and influencing people – An experiment conducted by Georgia Southern University show that recipients of promotional products have a significantly more positive image of a company than consumers who do not receive promotional products.
Promotional products can be used alone or integrated with other media, there are virtually limitless ways to use them. Popular programs cited most often by promotional consultants are business gifts, employee relations, orientation programs, corporate communications, and at tradeshows to generate booth traffic.
Tradeshows for example – including a promotional product with a pre-show mailing or an offer of a promotional product increases the likelihood of an attendee stopping by a tradeshow booth.
Did you know?
- Promotional Products are the only form of advertising that your customer can see, touch, hear, taste and smell
- Promotional Products are among the only forms of advertising that allow an audience to interact with your brand on a physical level and emotional level
- Adding a promotional product to the media mix (print and television) increased brand interest (69 percent) and a good impression of the brand (84 percent).*
- Integrating a promotional product with television and print also increased referral value by 52 percent and message credibility by 60 percent.*
Promotional Products are a Sensory Medium: Adding your message to a tangible product turns an ordinary message into a marketing experience your audience can smell, taste,see, hear, and touch.
Today, i’d like to introduce PromoKitchen –
PromoKitchen is an all-volunteer, 501c3 non-profit organization led by professionals in the $20 billion dollar promotional products industry. Our story began in January 2011: a group of young promotional products professionals banded together to create a new voice for the industry. PK (as industry reps like to call it – so now, you’re in the know) represents a cross section of the industry: suppliers, distributors and service providers, Americans and Canadians, men and women, salespeople and business owners, young and the young at heart. They believe that best practice sharing is a good thing for an industry that is going through rapid change. We also believe in the power of community and how this industry can improve by establishing stronger connections between us all.
Here’s a podcast of my friend and industry peer Dan Pigott who shares with us the vantage point of the multi-line rep. Multi-lines have helped establish the sales foundation for this industry – The Promotional Products Industry!
Listen, Learn, and Elevate your knowledge. When done please let me know what you think and I’ll be glad to pass along your comments to the PK Chefs.
So by now, you know I work in the promotional products industry and our clients look to us to find the most effective way to increase their brand’s loyalty with their current and prospective clients as well as help build their employees loyalty to their brand via providing them company branded products.
We like to ask our clients, if you had complete control of your brand where would you say it? I am lucky because most of the clients I’ve worked with have very colorful logos so why wouldn’t you want them on products that are used on a daily basis? I ask this because there is evidence that suggests a strong relationship between my client’s logo’s color and how it’s emotionally perceived.
So, whatever your logo’s feeling you’ll be able to say it bold or calm with the most advanced imprinting method the promotional products industry provides via your preferred promotional products consultant and be able to choose the right products. Doing this will insure a good return on your investment but most importantly increase your brand’s visibility and attract new clients and retain your current clients.
If you were to start out using promotional products to communicate your brand and support the other advertising mediums your company uses to market with; I’d recommend is placement on wearables. Why? Well, where a logo appears can determine whether it’s displayed daily or destined for the trash.
Like so many things, location, location, location is crucial in determining the likelihood of a logo getting a high degree of exposure.
Fact: Apparel/Wearables and bags account for more than 38% of all promotional product sales.
So, WHERE do you want to say it??
- T-shirts, Caps, Or an Umbrella?
- Coolers, Backpacks, Leather bags
- Technology accessories – like laptop sleeves or tablet cover
A majority of us are shifting into finding the right mobile devise – especially as we enter into the holidays and realize we can upgrade to a new turbo action packed “my phone is bigger than your phone” world! Just within 2014, I’ve seen a variety of clever and creative ways for business to brand themselves on mobile accessories – If you’re a marketing manager or owner of a small, medium, large or behemoth business i am sure you’ve considered or , in this day and age, putting promotional products in your 2015 and beyond marketing, recruitment, employee recognition budgets because more business dollars are being spent in the advertising medium Promotional Products.
It’s just a matter of fact: (*Study courtesy of PPAI http://www.ppai.org)
– Retention: 75.4% of those who received a promotional product stated that the item was useful and 22% kept the promotional product that they had received for at least 6 months.