It is my intention to share with you during this month of December what I consider are important trends which will drive innovation in 2012. Today… it’s time to go back to move forward!
It’s well known that human beings have a hard time adapting to change. In fact, we dislike change that happens without us needing it or wanting it, and we embrace that change we perceive is going to make our lives better.
Consumers are suffering stress from the speed change has taken. The fact is that in this innovation frenzy era, some companies are showing true symptoms from – what I call – Corporate ADD (attention deficit disorder, term currently applied to anyone who meets diagnostic criteria for impulsivity, hyperactivity and/or inattention).
What is Corporate ADD? A compulsory need to keep pumping new or slightly modified products into the market, just in case some other company does it before. The best example is Google. While the company is a great search engine with a great email client, they became so ‘new rich’ they think they can own the world and therefore they want to participate in everything. The result is that they keep launching new products and buying everything they possibly can (apparently without a clear strategy) and then they close them down, not because they had been bad ideas, but because Excellence takes time and consumers – overwhelmed with so many changes – are only willing to uptake Simplicity and Excellence, not whatever is new.
On November 22, just a couple days ago, they announced they were discontinuing Google Wave, Google Bookmarks List, Google Friends, Google Gears, Google Search Timeline, Knol and Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal. Do they ring a bell to you? Most probably not.
So while this is an Corporate ADD behavior, on the other side of the road we have companies that have been doing a great job for many years, which have understood consumers’ change stress and while they keep searching for excellent innovations, they make clients feel safe by taking them back to the world they once loved and understood, launching retro style limited editions of their greatest models or products from the past.
P&G for example, launched a retro-package Tide limited edition. Fiat, the Italian car manufacturer re-launched their 500 1950’s city car series, or Givenchy launching retro inspired sunglasses. Besides these big names, “farmer’s markets” and vintage packaging are also trending.
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if companies focus their efforts on putting out to market excellent innovations, not just repackaged products with new claims? Excellence takes time, and to be competitive today there’s no need to be the first, but yes to be the best.
Have a super week!