Market Research | The Brainzooming Group - Part 4 – page 4
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The June 2012 issue of Fast Company highlights the magazine’s list of The 100 Most Creative People in Business 2012. I will admit to not reading all of previous Fast Company 100 Most Creative People in Business lists. This year, however, having Ceelo Green on the cover (along with Purrfect) compelled me to take a shot at reviewing the entire list in-depth for the first time.

And of course, taking the time to read the whole list necessitated coming up with a way to turn the effort into a Brainzooming blog post. My starting idea was to pick one creative inspiration from each of the 100 people and turn the creative lessons into a massive 100-item list post.

After going through and identifying the 100 creative lessons that stood out for me, however, I realized the post was about 3000 words! That is typically a week’s worth of blog posts!

To not overtax you, the list of creative lessons I captured from the Fast Company Most Creative list is going to be spread out over several days in this shortened week. Each lesson references the person whose profile inspired it, along with the number they had on the list.

Today’s list includes thirty-one creative strategy lessons from this year’s list. Other days will include lessons from the list on creative perspectives, storytelling, and disruptive thinking. The hope is the lessons get you thinking even more creatively and provide ideas for enhancing your own creative efforts.

Creative Strategy Lessons from Fast Company – The 100 Most Creative People in Business 2012 List

Surround yourself with people who have contrasting thinking styles . . . then hold on.  Flavio Pripas & Renato Steinberg – Cofounders, Fashion.me (#54)

Success and determining which of your efforts will be successful are for your audience to decide. It’s a numbers game, so launch and see which things will hit.  Julie Klausner – Comedy Writer (#59)

If people aren’t buying you based on your talents, maybe it’s because they don’t how your values and goals fit with their aspirations.  Shara Senderoff – Cofounder, CEO, Intern Sushi (#63)

Start with your life problems and think through how to solve one of them if you want to make better apps (or maybe anything else).  Lee Linden – Cofounder and CEO, Karma (#67)

Really hone what you do strategically by only addressing the most important part of your customer base and quit focusing on everyone else.  Sarah Robb O’Hagan – President, Gatorade (#23)

What opportunities exist for your organization to be a creative magnet to your audiences?  – Marci Harris – Founder, Popvox (#13)

To build connections online, start with asking questions and offering your knowledge to aid others.  Claire Diaz-Ortiz – Manager of Social Innovation, Twitter (#21)

Try presenting an all-or-nothing creative vision and strategy. No room for compromise. Take it or leave it, but don’t tweak it.  Celestine Maddy – Founder, Wilder (#99)

To make your creative pitch, play out the negative things that would happen to the potential client if they don’t follow your recommendation and embrace your creativity.  Laura Mather – Cofounder /  Chief Strategy Officer, Silver Tail Systems (#16)

Even though it’s easier to sponsor another organization’s event, create a sponsorship property specifically for your organizationAbanti Sankaranarayanan – Deputy Manager Director for India, Diageo (#37)

“I don’t ever want to represent anybody. It’s my duty to enlighten people.”  Neil Degrasse Tyson – Host, PBS’s Cosmos and Radio Show StarTalk (#49)

When volunteers are able to use their natural talents and expertise (as opposed to donating time for something they’re not good at doing), you’re more likely to retain them.  Rachel Chong – Founder, CEO, Catchafire (#56)

Have a review board comprised entirely of your target market – even if that’s a group of grade school kids – to see if what you’re planning resonates with them.  Olajide Williams –  Founder, President, Hip Hop Public Health (#65)

When you’re getting started, be prepared to chase after possibilities and test cases you hadn’t imagined.  Glenn Rink – Founder, AbTech Industries (#71)

If you had one thousand “followers, friends, and fans that meant something,” that’s better than 10 million unengaged people. (Really? In pure numbers, to get the same amount of participation from 100% of one thousand people, you’d only need 1/100 of 1% participation from 10 million people.) Jared Leto – Entrepreneur, Musician (#72)

Borrow (complete) strong design contexts from outside your industry and apply them to what you do to look different. (Example: Applying Heathrow airport signage to mobile phone interfaces.)  Jeff Fong – Design Lead for Windows Phone, Microsoft (#81)

Unlikely customers will stretch your organization’s creativity in finding new ways to solve their problems.  Hannah Choi Granade – President, Advantix Systems U.S.A. (#73)

Give your team an assignment from a demanding fictional client to stretch its creativity beyond the marketplace’s expectations and extract your “creative aspirations from (y)our finances.”  – Mike Simonian, Maaike Evers – Designers, Mike and Maaike (#76)

“Seventy percent of an experience should be what consumers know and thirty percent should be surprise and delight.”  Rachel Shechtman – Founder, Story (#80)

What are you doing to make “eye contact” with potential customers virtually? And what are you doing to engage them (with their interests in mind) when they get really close?  Sam Mogannam – Owner, Bi-Rite Market (#86)

Find ways for your best customers to share their expertise and hacks with your new customers.  – Cindy Au – Community Director, Kickstarter (#82)

Head directly to where your audience is. Do not wait around at your online site. Share your content where they are and get something started.  Vivi Zigler – President, Digital Entertainment, NBC Universal (#89)

Manufacture greater scarcity in the experience you create over time to push more robust intensity, deeper interaction, and the possibility of greater participant leadership in shaping the experience.  Jerri Chou – Founder, The Feast Social Innovation Conference (#94)

What would your design process look like if the client specified every detail they wanted? Do you think that’s a level of involvement your clients are really seeking?  Edwin Neo – Founding Partner, Ed Et Al Shoemakers (#98)

Celebrate customers using your product in incredible ways. Make them the creative heroes of your brand.  Sally Grimes – Global Vice President, Sharpie (#100)

Whether in traditional or new media, people spend time with and pass-on content they expect friends will enjoy.  Ben Smith – Editor, Buzzfeed (#29)

Great advice from Magic Johnson: “It’s okay to be famous and be well liked, but you got to start owning things.”  Shaq – C’mon. It’s Shaq. He doesn’t need a title. (#74)

When trying to signal your commitment to the market, there’s no short cut to the time advantage of starting now and sticking with it.  Lourenço Bustani – Founder, Brazil CEO, Mandalah (#48)

Celebrity still counts for something so find a way to borrow the authority of celebrities to gain attention and action.  Yael Cohen, Founder – F*ck Cancer (#38)

Look and create five years ahead. What creative inputs will be important then?  Carla Schmitzberger – President, Havalanas (#97)

Look for games as the high impact form of artistic expression for decades to come.  Chelsea Howe – Director of Design, SuperBetter Labs (#41)  – Mike Brown

 

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Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic new ideas! For an organizational creativity boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these innovation benefits for you.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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8

To follow-up a recent post on business branding, we wanted to offer another brand compilation featuring articles from The Brainzooming Group related to customer experience. Examining your brand through a customer experience perspective is vital when considering brand strategy modifications you hope will solidify relationships with current and future customers.

These twenty-two articles on multiple aspects of brand strategy and customer experience can help you strengthen how you’re considering and evaluating your branding approach. This is especially important if you’re losing customers unexpectedly, being attacked by competitors disrupting the marketplace, or considering expanding into new markets. If you have efforts such as these under consideration or underway, call or email The Brainzooming Group for a free check-in consultation to make sure you’ve framed up your brand strategy efforts to maximize success.

Behaviors

Customer Buying Cycle

Customer Involvement

Consumer Goods

Service Businesses

  • Delivering on the Brand Promise – Just Try Harder – A brand promise isn’t just a few words. If you aren’t going to carry out your brand promise, you should come up with a different one your brand can perform.
  • Branding Lessons with the Newlyweds at Elitch Gardens – A great brand lesson demonstrating that a brand isn’t a name. A brand is all about the customer experience, and you have to make sure the brand name IS aligned with all parts of the customer experience.
  • Helping People Help Themselves – Too often, brands go the self-service route purely out of cost savings with little regard for the impact on the customer experience. With just a little forethought, you can devise a self-service strategy that might even add value for your customers. Here are 26 potential self-service benefits to consider.
  • How Can You Reinforce Your Smelly Brand? – Just because you’re in a service business doesn’t mean you can’t use experience cues taken from physical attributes of your brand and integrate them more directly into your brand experience. Here’s proof it’s possible!
  • Strategic Thinking from the Customer’s Seat – Front line employees can generate great ideas to improve the customer experience, especially for niche customer groups who wouldn’t typically show up in the data. Are you listening to your front line employees to see what customer experience ideas they have?
  • Customize a Customer Brand Experience Very Simply – You don’t necessarily need loads of technology to provide customized customer experiences. A little forethought and some helpful suggestions (call it experience curation, if you must) can provide customized customer experiences as well.

Crisis Moments

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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3

For many companies – even those with elaborate data mining initiatives, years of tracker research, and extensive market research budgets – the market research data generated doesn’t always yield the comprehensive business  insights needed to proactively identify opportunities, drive business decisions, or address emerging customer needs and market situations.

At the AMA Applied Market Research Conference in Las Vegas this week, I am leading a session to help Market Researchers evolve into Business Insight Strategists.  Balancing Data & Dialogue: Cultivating Insights that Matter was designed for market research professionals who find themselves in the never-ending stream of projects to manage in mind.  It’s easy for market research professionals to overlook the opportunity to add the value that will turn market research results into comprehensive decision support tools.

But taking the key steps is what creates a business insights strategist.

Four “How Do” Questions

Stepping back and seeking the answer to these four “How Do” questions can begin the culture transformation:

1. How do I maximize the data/information I already have to more effectively support new insight needs or research initiatives?

2. How do I identify the most important information and let go of what isn’t really relevant to the decisions that need to be made?

3. How do I get internal alignment on the scope as well as implications of the research?

4. How do I show the value of a holistic – rather than ad hoc – approach and develop a plan to continually cultivate insights that matter over time?

Four “How To” Steps

In Balancing Data & Dialogue, we work through a 4-step “How To” process for identifying and assessing the information needed to get actionable results to facilitate:

1. How to move beyond the research or information objective to clearly define the business opportunity or challenge the organization is facing.

2. How to define and align critical information needs to comprehensively address the challenge

3. How to identify, evaluate and integrate the benefits of various data sources to fulfill the critical information needs.

4. How to apply the Brainzooming action planning process to successfully activate the insights.

The Insight Integration Matrix

A core tool in the process for a business insights strategist is our Insight Integration Matrix that serves as a guide for aligning data sources against critical information needs. If you would like a copy, you can request it at info@brainzooming.comand start cultivating insights that matter! – Barb Murphy

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

 

Guest Author

The Brainzooming blog has a wonderful group of guest authors who regularly contribute their perspectives on strategy, creativity, and innovation. You can view guest author posts by clicking on the link below.

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7

Whoever is going to disrupt your market isn’t like you, which makes them really hard to identify right now. Number 1?

They may not even be in business yet.

That’s a big difference, but it’s not the only one. Here are fourteen other ways whoever is going to disrupt your market isn’t like you, since they:

Photo by: spacejunkie | Source: photocase dot com

2. Don’t care about preserving anything about what’s made your brand successful.

3. Are happy to get a small share of the market at a premium price with a dramatically different offering.

4. Are happy to get a bigger share of your market (since it’s related to their market) at a really low price.

5. Don’t have any qualms about introducing a product/service and price point combination that’s really tough to compare to anything else your market has been doing.

6. Make decisions and move really quickly because the stakes are so much lower for them.

7. Can get away with using some, but not all, of the marketing mix to beat you at your own game.

8. Compete really effectively by looking at a couple of things (or maybe even only one thing) in a radically different way.

9. Don’t have to fund their new venture out of the dollars coming from your market.

10. Have figured out a different entry point into the customer model in your industry.

11. Don’t (or aren’t) going to look like you in very fundamental ways – size, structure, scope, etc.

12. Don’t have to have a complete offering since they’re appealing to a different market segment.

13. May have glaring weaknesses compared to traditional competitors (i.e., “you”) in areas traditional competitors think are really important but customers are willing to overlook.

14. Will not be focused on delivering the same benefit package you are.

15. Are fine with putting together parts and pieces tried and thrown out by others to compete in new ways.

And for everyone who points to Apple as the great disruptor, this story from Forbes points out that just as yesterday’s category owners can be disrupted, so can today’s seemingly invincible players.

Start looking for your disruptors. And start looking for who you are going to disrupt, because you’ll be just as hard to identify for them.  – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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4

The Brainzooming Group is a big proponent of soliciting diverse input from as big a group as possible. Maybe that’s how you define crowdsourcing or maybe not, but we consistently find diverse input – smartly managed – creates much stronger strategic thinking, creativity, and performance.

What “smartly managed” is can be challenging, however, when crowdsourcing diverse input. It is common to see an online campaign or contest where crowdsourced input is solicited without much, if any, direction or guidance about what’s requested.

Challenges in Crowdsourcing Diverse Input

Here are three challenges in corwdsourcing diverse input we have come across where “smartly managed” is an issue:

  • Inside a global, action-oriented movement where crowdsourced input is an important element in the credibility and robustness of the program, an internal planning team was pushing to ask the crowd to share essay-based answers to a very open-ended, speculative question. Since answers can take any form, before too much input is received, processing the content could become a nightmare.
  • A nonprofit held an online contest involving self-nomination and voting from the crowd with essentially no restrictions. The prize was for the winner to perform a very public function for the nonprofit. The ultimate winner, however, performed the function in a way the organization was not expecting, causing issues that, at that point, were challenging to manage.
  • A client did not pursue a great idea for identifying new social media content creators from their crowd because they could not get over the perceived risk of not knowing what type of persons the crowd would choose as the winning content creators.

It could be my market research background, but to me, there is no reason to ask for questions or participation in a way that does not allow you to be effective with the crowdsourced input. Far better to introduce some guidelines or other provisions to allow both the crowd and their input to perform very well.

3 Ways to Make Crowdsourcing Work Harder

In these crowdsourced cases, and ones you might be considering, here are three ways to make crowdsourcing work harder:

1. Be specific when being specific helps everyone (including the crowd) perform better

It is difficult for people to speculate about things in ways they don’t ever consider. When we created the online survey for the Google Fiber in Kansas City effort, we included an open-ended, “tell us anything you want in the future” question. But most of the survey consisted of targeted questions on current challenges and needs. People think about these, even if they have no idea what Google Fiber in Kansas City and gigabit Internet speeds will be like. We received diverse input that was easier for the crowd to offer and much more manageable to process and use.

2. Crowdsourced does not have to mean there no parameters for participating

In the nonprofit’s case, the challenge came from the nomination, voting, and ultimate winner performing the winning role all without having very reasonable protections in place. Instead of the nominating process visible in real-time, nominations could have been subject to an approval step from the nonprofit before being displayed for voting. Instead of letting the winner perform a function the organization typically would have staff do, they could have let the winner make decisions about pre-selected choices. Either step would have helped deliver a better result with fewer issues to manage after it was too late.

3. Vet first then let the crowd vote

For the client who passed on the crowdsourced content creator idea, we recommended creating a “job” description against which the company would vet nominees for competence. By reviewing the initial nominations and narrowing the field to a short list of candidates, the crowd would only vote on potential content creators who were crowdsourced but also screened to make sure they could create strong social media content. For our client, limited time killed the idea. They needed to hit a seasonal window and the two-step approach, while meeting their concerns, would take too long for them.

Help your crowd be successful and satisfied with providing input

The crowd may well be smarter than the organization in coming up with new ideas and imagining previously unconsidered possibilities. If that is the case, it is in an organization’s best interests to reach out and crowdsource thinking. But the organization should be smarter than the crowd in how to internally manage, shape, and use the input. If that’s not the case, maybe there are a whole bunch of jobs the organization should consider crowdsourcing! – Mike Brown


How can ultra high-speed Internet speeds drive innovation? “Building the Gigabit City: Brainzooming a Google Fiber Roadmap,” a free 120-page report, shares 60 business opportunities for driving innovation and hundreds of ideas for education, healthcare, jobs, community activities, and more.  Download this exclusive Google Fiber report sponsored by Social Media Club of Kansas City and The Brainzooming Group addressing how ultra high-speed Internet can spur economic development, growth, and improved lifestyles globally. 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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9

Too often organizations think innovation is simply about generating a lot of creative or “out-of-the-box” ideas.  But in organizations where innovation has truly become central to their culture, ideation is simply one step – and not necessarily the first – in an innovation process.  Don’t confuse innovation with ideation.  Ideation is a tool, but innovation is a process. Don’t let the word “process” intimidate you. Instead, focus on these five guidelines to jump start your innovation process.

1.    Inclusion

Innovation isn’t an independent exercise. It takes the collective knowledge and, just as importantly buy-in, of the organization to be successful. Create an innovation team and get key stakeholders involved early and often. First, inform them of the process you want to use to jump start innovation, and then consistently include them in the steps and key outputs of that process. In other words, keep key stakeholders informed and involved.   If you’re thinking that there are a million stakeholders in the organization, focus initially on those that have the power to impact whether the concepts defined as a result of the process will live or die on the vine. You can and should expand/modify the team as appropriate for different phases of the process.

2.    Insights

Mine the knowledge that already exists within the organization and the market to inform the innovation process. Don’t let yourself get hung up on having every possible question answered before moving into Ideation. While you may find a need to fill some knowledge gaps to successfully implement the products, services or processes you are innovating, more than likely you already have access to what you need to create a solid frame of reference for the Ideation step.

3.    Ideation

Consider bringing in a bipartisan facilitator experienced in navigating the nuances of building innovation teams and outcomes. Not only will they neutralize the emotions or power plays that can sometimes derail the process when led internally, but good facilitators go beyond the tools they use to help generate lots and lots of ideas to the synthesis and prioritization of those ideas with an objective eye on the outcome needed to succeed.

Photo by: Saimen. | Source: photocase.com

4.    Initiation

Don’t stop at ideation. It’s at this point when your core innovation team is likely to require some additive players.  Initiation is about creating an action plan that will ultimately allow you to test or roll out the new concept – whether it’s a product, service, channel, brand, or customer experience. The action plan should clearly define goals, strategies, tactics, roles, resources and responsibilities to ensure that innovation moves beyond an idea into measurable benefits for the organization.

5.    Integration

An innovative culture isn’t built by witnessing a lot of new ideas come to life. In fact, a constant state of change without context can easily turn into frustration.  Instead, when impactful innovation occurs, tell your organization the story – don’t just show them the result. Answer the questions on their minds. Why do we need this? How will it impact the company? How will it impact me and my day-to-day world? How can I make it more successful? Integration is about engaging the organization and turning each employee into a stakeholder.

Let’s face it, “innovation” can be a daunting word, but building your own custom approach around these five steps will make it much less intimidating for you and your organization. – Barb Murphy

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

How can ultra high-speed internet speeds drive innovation? “Building the Gigabit City: Brainzooming a Google Fiber Roadmap,” a free 120-page report, shares 60 business opportunities for driving innovation and hundreds of ideas for education, healthcare, jobs, community activities, and more.  Download this exclusive Google Fiber report sponsored by Social Media Club of Kansas City and The Brainzooming Group addressing how ultra high-speed internet can spur economic development, growth, and improved lifestyles globally. 

Guest Author

The Brainzooming blog has a wonderful group of guest authors who regularly contribute their perspectives on strategy, creativity, and innovation. You can view guest author posts by clicking on the link below.

More Posts

Continue Reading

2

Okay, that’s the second misleading headline this week, but I wanted to get the attention of all my market research friends in case you all didn’t see this Dilbert comic strip from this past Sunday!

Dilbert.com

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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