there is no secret sauce
ÂŠ Brand Manual Ltd, 2011 All rights reserved.
there is no secret sauce
how are you?
Are you growing this season?
The economic winter is slowly giving way to more proďŹ table weather. Companies that saw the last decade as perpetual summer faced a freezing death. Those with reasonable fat on them survived the winter to be leaner and meaner. The companies that had managed to optimize everything (or worse, nothing) before the winter struck, were probably unable to cope with the recession and are now gone.
The adoption curve
EARLY A D OP T ER
MA JOR P LAYER
Where is your company? You know where the money is coming from today. But what about the new ideas that will bring you money tomorrow? Walkman Post ofďŹ ce Long distance telephone calls Big powerful American auto makers AltaVista The world is full of companies and industries where management knew exactly where the money was coming from. They all failed to innovate and some other technology made their business obsolete or changed the competitive landscape completely.
LAG G A R D
Technology is about “how” we do things. The garden rake is a vast improvement over gathering leaves with your hands. E-mail is much more effective than using the postal service. Innovation means improving “how” we do things. From better service – pay upfront, eat with your hands, clean up after yourself, be happy = McDonald’s – to more comfortable living – piped water in-house = plumbing. Innovation is about technology, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be high-tech. It doesn’t have to be about geeks and computers. It can simply be a better, healthier sandwich from Pret a Manger.
itâ€™s the economy, stupid
Design thinking is not about design. It is future scenario creation based on insight and indirect analogues. Business schools have just recently discovered the value of design thinking, but for designers, whose whole curriculum is about problem solving, design thinking is the normal way to look at the world.
Source: Design Council, 2005
Please draw me a business I’m in a hurry
X I’m polite and swift
I’ve got time
Y I’m polite and knowledgeable
Design thinking has become a hot topic at the same time that â€œnew business model creationâ€? has become an urgent need. When businesses stayed the same, designers were occupied with styling and product semantics. The central part of design was the visual impact of the business. Over the past ten years companies have started to recognize the value of design thinking. The way you can purchase a good, the place, the experience itself (did you stand in line bored or interested) can be done differently, if you initially view it as a problem that can be solved, not as a given to be ignored.
> www.zappos.com 19
The enemy of innovation
Tradition Supersititon Convention People
Superstition. Think GMO crops.
The fuzzy front end
Innovation is difﬁcult because as people we are uncomfortable working with unknowns. We don’t accept things we haven’t experienced because it is not the way things are. Even the automatic sliding doors in shopping malls weren’t popularly received at ﬁrst, because they weren’t ‘doors’. Working with unknowns is called the fuzzy front end. This is where the weird questions are asked and the suprising answers are found.
At the top of your game
For businesses that are successful selling stuff that people want the danger is that the company is optimizing, not innovating. The fact is, that if your company isnâ€™t innovating, then you are sure to be surpassed by a competitor with a better offer in the future. Or a cheaper one, because what once was a luxury is now a commodity.
Established companies have managers whose responsibility can often be summed up by “improve ﬁnancial performance”. This means efﬁciency. Better tools, better logistics, better (and fewer) people. This will lower costs and raise proﬁts.
Fewer, higher educated people doing sophisticated and complicated work. They are rarely motivated by higher corporate proﬁts because they already make good money. They want to be good at what they do, manage themselves and have a good reason for doing what they do. Management is often ill equipped to motivate these people because the “purpose” of the business hasn’t actually been deﬁned beyond “making more money”.
Providing employees with a clear purpose that is bigger than their work; focusing on efďŹ ciency while at the same time providing new and exciting projects to work on turns management into leaders. They in turn can motivate this high value staff to (pause here) make more money for the company.
Wouldnâ€™t you rather work for Apple than Nokia? 33
If you are in the business of making widgets, then you know that over time youâ€™ve gotten better at making them. The cost of a widget has gone down. At ďŹ rst this meant that you made more money. Then competition piled in with cheaper widgets and you had a choice: a) make widgets cheaper b) make widgets better
If you decided to make your widgets cheaper, then to stay in business you had to continually sell more, while selling cheaper, increasing market share and increasing markets. In a price war, only one can win. Once the widget is something everyone has but no one thinks about then there will be widget makers around the world making the same stuff. Itâ€™ll be a commodity and if you go out of business no one will notice.
> Record companies. Airlines. 39
If you decided to make your widgets better, then that means innovating. A better brand, better marketing, a better quality widget. Widget 2.0. Itâ€™s a unique widget bought for quality, not price. Over time it may become something else entirely. Nokia didnâ€™t invest into making better rubber boots. They started making mobile phones instead.
There is no secret sauce
Design thinking and innovation can be learnt. It is a process, not a good guess. Brand Manual can help you develop your internal innovation procedures or be a partner to build new business, service or product concepts. But don't wait too long. The slide down the adoption curve can be surprisingly swift.
Everything that can be invented has been invented.
Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. patent ofďŹ ce 1899 43
Brand Manual is a branding & service design consultancy
We work with companies to create new brands and design the products, services, spaces and interfaces that make the experience real for customers. We help companies build an innovation culture and the supporting internal processes that are necessary to launch new ventures and businesses. Using design thinking as a strategic management tool, we build lasting brands centered around well designed products and services. For companies looking to grow through export, we offer our skill in making solutions internationally competitive, not just locally relevant.
The following pages introduce a few of our cases from 2010. 47
GENIUS LOCI: SCOPE AND MOTIVATORS OPPORTUNITY TO FOLLOW THE DISCUSSION
G FOR LE ISLATION UT INP
US SIO N DISC
NT / ACT
ER VIC /S LP
“I can offer construction machinery”
C P AL L E A N N D S A
N EXPLAI LEM I WILL E PROB TH HOW SOLVED BE CAN
“There is a pot hole in street”
“I want to clean up the local park”
I WILL FIND OUT MY PRO HOW BLEM CAN BE
EC CES SA
“I want to get something fixed”
“Street repairs on Oak street”
“There should be more flowers in the city”
Agree / disagree
“I can come to help near Park street”
“I like that idea” Resource
TIVITIES LE AC SIB VI
“Park street cleaning and street party”
UT / TP OU
ED IL LE A U ET ED D H S SC F IR O EPA R
E G IS
O SUPPORT IES T CIV NIT IC RU O P P O EVENTS ES / ITI IV T CO C NT A EN T U R O C S E S RE
“Is the postman allowed to bite an attacking dog?”
OPPORTUNITY TO FIND HELP OR SERVICE PROVIDERS
/ DISCUSSI ON UES S ISS
A T IO N
GOV’T COMMEN T/ WORK SCHEDU LE
PERSONALLY RELEVANT INFORMATION
GET/RECEIVE ADVICE ON COMMON ISSUES
MY TIMEFRAME MY INTERESTS MY LOCATION
NEWSFEED UNKNOWN USER
IC USS PETS M NT I RA
TAU TEL RES ILAS PHTAXE
CO B UN ORO S TY CIT UG TR HO Y H EE US T E
PL AC E
CHANCE TO SEE EVERYTHING AROUND YOU IN THE NEAR FUTURE
03 YE MO AR 25 NT W H DA EEK Y
newspapers, news portals etc.
LOCATION BASED TOURIST INFORMATION
SERVICES (subscription fee)
Can a government be different? Our web tool for EMSL, the Estonian non-proﬁt organizations association envisions a forum of individuals and government ofﬁcials taking part in public discourse. Receiving information according to their stated location, interest and time frame while at the same time feeding relevant information into the system that is then received by others according to their similarly deﬁned preferences. The result is reduced FAQ for ofﬁcials as answers to individual queries become searchable while citizens gain the ability to inﬂuence decision making by raising a collective voice. Government 2.0. 49
How can utilities add value to their service? Moreover, can they help to reduce peak trafďŹ c and cost? Synerall is a utility company energy management service. The program allows users to plan their energy use for the lowest cost periods, monitor their use and understand anomalies. One of our innovations includes how consumers can pay directly for electricity on rental space, without requiring new contracts with the energy company. An especially attractive option for rental space operators. Synerall is developed with the liberalisation of the European energy market in mind. 51
If taxis didnâ€™t have a taxi sign, would you know which oneâ€™s a taxi? Innove promotes initiatives of lifelong learning, primarily targeting young people ages 7â€“26. The actual service is provided through local government programs coordinated and supported by Innove, but so far not subordinated to one single brand and structure. We helped unify the various organisations willingly under a single brand and identity for career counseling. It will roll out over the next couple of years and provide both youth as well as employers with a clear and understandable partner in planning for the future. 53
PRODUCT DESIGN PACKAGE DESIGN QUALITY MANAGEMENT PATENTS VISUAL COMMUNICATION MARKETING PR
RETAIL CONCEPT EXPERIENCE
Business idea USP LEGAL PROTECTION . BRAND PLATFORM BRAND ARCHITECTURE
PARTNERS SUB-CONTRACTORS LOGISTICS PERSONNEL CULTURE COMPETENCE ATTITUDE
Branding ABC Branding is not about the logo. During the past year and a half we’ve had the privelege to deliver our Branding ABC course to numerous companies and institutions, including the government sector, throughout Estonia. The summary of Branding ABC is that the whole company, not only marketing,
must be involved in building the brand. The brand, moreover, is not deďŹ ned as image, but rather as what the company is and does that should appeal to its customers. There is little value in stressing service and special offers in communication, if the ďŹ‚oor staff doesnâ€™t know where the product is kept or why it is out of stock. The conclusion of Branding ABC is that brands today are increasingly dependent on delivering a service, rather than just a product. As such, designing the whole value chain of the service, keeping in mind both employee motivation and customer disintrest, must become the focus of management over the next decade. Things, after all, are basically the same. How you get them, and how much you pay, however, differs wildly. 55
Innovation ABC What is the next thing? How can we come up with a product or service that can earn us more money? What is innovation? What is technology? How can our company become a hotbed of ideas, with enthusiastic employees, earning proďŹ t along the way? The problem with innovation, is that everyone talks about it. Innovate or die. But how? We analysed what it is that we have been doing as company, and as individuals in our previous ďŹ elds.
Developing new ideas has always been the common denominator. However, not only that, but we’ve solved problems: design problems, marketing problems, distribution problems, execution problems. Using design thinking as methodology, we have been able to clear the fog and deﬁne a course of action that brings results. Innovation ABC is a training course that introduces management and senior employees to the processes and mechanics of design thinking, the necessity of innovation in relation to business success, the fundamentals of motivating highly skilled individuals (it’s not only about money) and how to build a company culture where new, useful ideas don’t happen by accident. 57
For more comprehensive case studies please go to:
is a member of the International Service Design Network and Design Excellence Estonia
Innovation is about improving or changing how we do things. This book is about innovation and what happens, when companies don't innovate.
Our previous book, which talks about branding, is available online at www.issuu.com/thebrandmanual