Yes, you read it right. Innovation is a commodity. Let me explain…
In 2008 I did a Google search of the word “innovation” and got a little over 5.5 million results. If you do it today you’ll get 410 million and guess how many results it produced just some days ago when I recorded this video? Watch it and you will see!
But what does this mean? On one hand it means that innovation is no longer innovative, it’s a must and a commodity. On the other hand, it means that the differentiator moved beyond being capable of innovating; It means the real challenge for companies is marketing innovations. Why? Because with over 30,000 completely new consumer products put to market, how do you make a brand stand out? Getting the message across became more complex than climbing the Everest mountain. Innovation, in fact, is the new nightmare for marketeers.
In this week’s video I present two trends: interactive retail and the Spider strategy (the most competitive business model based on taking total client control). Both trends revolve around engaging -or trapping- clients.
Maybe you are asking yourself, what is interactive retail? Simply put, it’s applying interactivity to retail, mainly as a means of generating client engagement, self service and self education. And it’s definitively a way of applying the Sexy concept to retail experiences.
Everybody knows that now it’s all about engaging clients and brands are doing an unlimited number of efforts to accomplish this competitive task. As consumers are looking for more informative, convenient and independent in-store experiences, interactive retail responds to brands’ need to engage customers by creating personalized and memorable shopping experiences by using digital signage displays, gesture control screens, multi touch screens or even iPads in retail. Whilst this is being mainly used in retail spaces, companies like Abbott are already providing their medical devices sales teams iPads to visit clients.
Incredible as it may sound, Microsoft (yes, Microsoft!)is doing a very good job in this respect and I believe it all started with their Kinect technology. If you have time and don’t fear about feeling a bit “overwhelmed” by the future, I suggest you watch Microsoft’s Future Technology on Youtube.
Interactive retail is one very effective way of getting the message across, while creating a highly attractive and Sexy shopping experience.
Spider Strategy or Total Client Control
As you may have realized, every large company from Google to Amazon is trying to take full control of the client. I remember some years ago when client centricity for many executives meant servicing the client, focusing on the client, reducing churn rates, etc. Today, it’s not only about client centricity, but I should say it’s also about Total Client Control. Total Client Control is achieved by having a Spider strategy.
The spider strategy is a trending business model which really consists on launching a product, becoming the best in that category and once the client is completely engaged with the product, the company develops another one that crosses industry boundaries but which is tide to the first product. Companies are knitting spider webs in which client loyalty is achieved by trapping the client through building lines of products which are connected. Apple is a good example with the iTunes, iPod, iPhone, iCloud and now they are slowly building on it’s social network Ping, which of course is starting around sharing music. Facebook is launching the social phone, Amazon just released the new Kindle and Google tries to get into absolutely everything and anything that “moves” (failing in many of its intents).
In this spider strategy, many industries get trapped and they struggle to survive. Think of publishing, music, computers, entertainment. When they realized that a completely new player in their industry came to destroy their empires, it was way too late.
Taking the total control of the client is proving to be the most effective business model strategy to generate sustainable growth.