All you need is innovation + marketing

February 24, 2017

Peter Drucker said in The Practice of Management, “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.”

However, surveys of business leaders today shows that their priorities are finance, sales, production, management, legal and people. And while the need for innovation is universally recognised, there is no plan on how to be innovative.

So, how then, in a world where quality is universal (all cars drive, all computers work, all airlines fly), how to differentiate yourself? There is, after all, an easy alternative to whatever you are selling for most of your customers.

92% of purchases are made based on recommendations from friends
It’s not what you do, but how you do it, that creates the customer experience. Consequently, marketing is (or at least should be) about what you do, not how you talk about it. Marketing, after all, does not equal communication.

And innovation is about improving the customer experience to the point, where your customers talk about you to their friends. 
 Before you buy a TV you google it to find out what other’s say about it. But they don’t mention the ads they’ve seen. Instead they describe the experience of choosing it, buying it, using it and getting help with it.

Imagine a method that can help you innovate your product or service to better meet your customers’ needs and wants while at the same time improving the marketing of your brand? This is design thinking, or working and developing products and services like a designer.

It is also how start ups work, by default. This is how successful design driven companies work. And most importantly, this method works. Design and customer centric organisations outperform the market by 45%. Furthermore, they are able to consistently innovate and improve services and products that customers love, without sacrificing the core of their brand to every market trend.

Service design = innovation + marketing. Learn it before your competitors do.

Lead article from Brand Manual Bulletin #14, February 24, 2017