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Posts Tagged ‘Innovation’

The Startup Culture Secret

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Startup culture seems exhilarating; the concept of wearing vintage tees to work and being part of something new and cutting edge. Why does this environment seem so attractive and something that organizations try to maintain even after they’ve grown beyond their initial garage-based business stage?

Here’s there secret: There’s No Directional Compromise.

At least not for a while, that is. In most organizations, there’s a directional compromise that takes place and it often boils down to the question of tradition vs. progression. Without a traditional precedent for people to fight for, there is less directional compromise (in startup culture).

It’s natural for industry veterans to hold onto the way they’ve always done things, so often times the “progressive bunch” with new ideas and French press coffee will compromise their cutting edge (maybe too cutting edge) ideas for something that will please those who have been around longer.  This type of generational change happens in all organizations, but one reason startups seem so revolutionary, is because they haven’t had to encounter that situation quite yet.

Innovation and progression are vital to any successful organization with the respect of history and expertise gained along the way. There are many businesses, non-profits, and clubs that fail due to the inability to stay innovative. But, just because a startup seems innovative when it begins, doesn’t mean it will maintain that culture by default.

Somewhere along the line every startup company that “makes it” will become an aging company and the way they navigate that transition will determine whether they’re really a startup at heart. A true startup company will navigate all decisions with innovation and progression regardless of the traditional precedents.

Innovation isn’t a new idea.

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Not long ago, a person could make a decent living by simply having a strong work ethic, good skills and the willingness to put in the time. People who showed up and completed their regular daily tasks were valued; strength and a willingness to get dirty didn’t hurt either. But today, everyone is expected to be a creative thinker; an innovator. And why shouldn’t they be?

Technology has overtaken many of the jobs centered on labor and basic production, and almost anything we could ever possibly need is at our fingertips – information, ideas, home-delivered groceries and products (soon to be delivered by drones). According to Brown University’s Mark Blyth, we live in a world where everything we need could be easily supplied by 10% of the world’s population. Those odds aren’t great for average-Joes who are just looking to get by.

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella recently wrote, “our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation.” Although Satya is specifically referring to the technology industry, this statement applies to almost any category of business today. Consumer packaged goods companies are constantly looking for innovative new products to meet consumer desires; health professionals are working on innovative new cures and technologies; gas and oil companies are looking for new innovative fuel sources; and on it goes.

Innovation is simply a different way of looking at things. Anyone can be innovative. It’s a mindset. It also helps if you know how to use data to your advantage. It doesn’t matter if you are just trying to get ahead at work or if your aim is to develop the latest “bright and shiny thing”. Never be satisfied with the status quo and always engage your brain in the world around you. You’ll be amazed at what you see.

A Slice of Convenience

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Emojis have been steadily changing the texting game over the past ten years, allowing users to more appropriately relay their message and mood with the aid of balloons, hearts, smileys, etc. And quite frankly, emojis are all around awesome! Who doesn’t love that little red-gowned salsa dancer? Right?! Now, thanks to Dominos, emojis are not only delivering a side of sass, but your pizza, too.

Domino’s along with the help of Crispin Porter & Bogusky, a global advertising agency, announced earlier this year that they would be bringing innovation to ordering with the assistance of the pizza emoji. Part of Domino’s AnyWare technology campaign, customers can text the pizza emoji to DPIZZA and receive a real life edible pizza at their doorstep. Of course there are a few preliminary steps… customers must first create a Pizza Profile on with their “Easy Order” information, but then, you’re on your way.

This recent Domino’s and Crispin Porter & Bogusky partnership follows their 2010 “Oh Yes We Did” cooperative campaign. The “Oh Yes We Did” campaign aimed to change Domino’s less than stellar reputation by poking fun at the quality of their crust and asking customers to give them feedback in an effort to build a better pizza. CP&B asked Domino’s to refocus “in a way that would bring a sense of humanity back to the experience and make customers believe that every pizza was made by a human being with care, love and passion.” The campaign was successful and boosted Domino’s sales.

Fast forward to 2015 – nothing says care, love and passion more than a pizza emoji, right? The AnyWare campaign is undoubtedly convenient in our fast-paced world, but seems to be lacking the caring and quality experience Domino’s fought to achieve with their prior campaign.

As technology continues to evolve, advertisers and marketers will harness this technology in an effort to keep their brands ahead of the competition. But are they abandoning care and quality business-to-customer relations for the sake of convenience and speed? Before long various other pizza palaces and burger joints will assuredly adopt emoji ordering and the need to communicate via phone will be obsolete. Let’s just hope that they send a thumbs-up emoji to confirm our order is correct (insert smirky emoji here).


Ann Keeling says:

Domino’s over the years has not been a standout, however with their ‘Oh yes we did’ campaign, they put it all on the line in favor of transparency. That helped them improve product quality along with a serious level of consumer engagement. The Pizza Emoji program keeps the earlier momentum going and adds innovation that the pizza industry hasn’t seen before. Perfectly positioned, now, Domino’s, in addition to being associated with great tasting pizza, will be associated with innovation. Pretty brilliant and fun – what an amazing way to build a brand.

Hipsters in Porkpie Hats: Is this the future of PR?

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

The lines in media have blurred and the public relations umbrella has grown to incorporate more communication platforms. Last week Forbes published “The Future of Public Relations; Three Forks In The Road,” written by Robert Wynne. Wynne categorizes public relations into three different arenas: traditional, advocacy, and social media.

As public relations becomes a “whole package deal,” companies are creating their own standards and reshaping how the industry should best work for their business. The focus of PR is increasingly relying on advocacy and social media strategies. With this change in direction, public relations professionals are seeing more demand from clients who are paying less. Certain businesses are even suggesting a la carte contracts, paying PR firms a set amount per placement, rather than a monthly retainer. This is a very real concern for the industry.

Companies are embracing “young hipsters in porkpie hats sipping vanilla spice low-fat lattes at coffees shops in Brooklyn, Austin, or West Hollywood [who] spend all day blogging on their iPhones about their thoughts on politics, the economy, and culture,” but these new-age PR gurus won’t be successful in the long-term for setting the media agenda.

Advocacy and social media strategies are best implemented alongside traditional public relations principals. As many companies opt for the “cool” firms that can sell the flashiness of new PR, they’ll find the foundational messaging strategies are missing. Traditional firms have always relied on innovation and resourcefulness, and as they grow with the changing media environment, not only do they have new ideas and tactics, but have built off of the traditional practice to provide their clients a holistic package for strong, sustainable PR that really differentiates..

Ann Keeling says:

PR is like other businesses in that new things come and they go, but the tenants of the business remains the same. Some clients feel like they have to chase the latest trend to be seen as ‘innovative’. We’re probably never going to curtail that behavior, so there’s something to be said for staying the course while mixing in new ideas to keep the outcome fresh.

Mind Reading: There’s an App for That

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

The technology wizards in Silicon Valley have developed another mind-blowing electronic tool. Apps are a necessity in this day and age. Need to know the weather? Find a recipe for dinner? Check the status of incoming flights? Find the wines you love? Assess the social scene in your city for the weekend? With just a swipe of the screen and a touch of an icon, voila! But, what about an app that answers questions before they’ve been asked…one that can literally read your mind?

A collection of companies, both start-ups and global organizations including Google, are working to create a device that functions as a personal assistant, anticipating what you need before you even ask. The New York Times featured this budding technology and its potential to make a smart phone, even smarter. For example, when you look at your phone in the morning it might suggest leaving earlier for your next meeting because of traffic snarls. How does your phone know if you didn’t tell it you had a meeting, much less where the meeting was going to be held? The app scanned your calendar, read your email, and analyzed the traffic route deciding it would be necessary for you to leave early.

This is just one feature in the umbrella of “Google Now”, a revolutionary technology tailored for mobile devices. Rather than needing to enter a search query, the results will be based on location, time of day, and digital activity. Google Now differs from Siri as it is unable to listen to commands, such as directing calls or emails; however it is even more of a time saver. This technology will not just search for news, but will be able to stay connected and provide updates on items that affect your day. This can include the latest news on personal or business, notices regarding upcoming travel plans, and recommendations on how to manage your specific schedule.

Google Now’s access to one’s profile and personal data is what makes the app like no other. With a click of a button the P.A. can set appointments, alarms, and access information time and location specific factors like traffic, restaurants, hotels, and more. In addition to mobile devices, this service will probably be incorporated in refrigerators, alarm clocks, and even bathroom mirrors.