idea generator chapter 3: ten tools to create new growth

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  • 1. Ten tools to create new growth opportunitiesChapter 3 ofThe Idea Generator : Tools for Business GrowthbyKen Hudson

2. Tool 3/1: Study unrelated industries

  • LEARN ADAPT BORROW
  • Can help to eliminate me too thinking
  • Explore opportunities in other industries
    • i.e. Some airlines testing of buy 10 get one free promotions
  • Some of these ideas may need some modifications to fit with your industry or situation
  • Sets up pipeline for more innovative solutions
  • Application :pick an industry from a magazine or newspaper; scan for interesting products or ideas from that industry and then try to apply it to your industry; focus on core of idea not execution; repeat this process every month
    • i.e. retail -> core -> work closely with suppliers -> facilitate business building meeting next month

retail airlines Compare 3. Tool 3/2: Design the perfect customer experience

  • Leap in performance
  • Imagine what the perfect experience would be
    • i.e. post office that would be a joy to visit; friendly, helpful and full of surprises
  • compare and contrast between current and perfect state; identify gaps and the address the gaps
  • Application :describe the current state; imagine the perfect customer experience (HINT: use emotional language); compare and contrast; What do you need to do to build the perfect solution

4. Tool 3/3: Place two unrelated things together

  • Disrupt view and gives us a new lens
  • Bringing two genuinely unrelated things together and forcing a connection
  • Use two intersecting axes as primer
  • Application :customers (x) = teenagers distribution channels (y) = university; change education policy to have juniors in high school attend college for a month to determine whether college is right for them

Teenagers University X 5. Tool 3/4: Become one of your competitors

  • Think of yourself as one of your competitors; what actions would I take in the next twelve months?; what new products would I develop in the next twelve months?; what new distribution channels?
  • Prime exercise for a larger group
  • Application :outline or chart current & future; direct and indirect competitors; current/direct other airlines; future/direct private jet services; future/indirect bus companies

Bus companies Other airlines GE Private jet services Direct Indirect Future Current 6. Tool 3/5: Imagine your future landscape

  • Imagine your operating landscape in 3-5 years
  • Broader range of possibilities
  • Where would you like your business or brand positioned?Who will be your competitors be? What will consumers want?
    • i.e. think of printers -> young people buy products that are cool or hip -> might lead to a merger with Billabong
  • Application: capture your current landscape under each of the following categories:customers, competition, channels, margins suppliers;now imagines a different landscape for each of these categories in 3 years;consider the impact on your brand or business; consider abrupt changes (i.e. in laws or competition)

7. Tool 3/6: Become a fashion brand

  • Think of a mindset change; think of your brand as a fashion statement
    • i.e. mobile cell phones have become fashionable; mobile music players have become fashion accessories
  • are you ahead of curve, up-to-date or just following trends?
  • Application:think of as many fashion brands as you can in a few minutes (consider both female and male brands)
    • i.e. Nokia, Apple, Chanel, Armani
  • Select brand from the list; what can you learn; how does it stay relevant; how does it change between different national markets
  • Answer:who is the fashion brand in your industry?How to become fashionable?

8. Tool 3/7: Make your product beautiful

  • Make your products brands functional but beautiful in appearance
    • i.e. items at consumer electronics show: toasters refrigerators
  • Pleasing to the eye + good quality = real advantage
  • Design is the new expectation
  • Application:hire an interior decorator or architectural designer; hold a design competition for employees; ask consumers for ways to improve the design; visit art gallery or museum for ideas; talk to award winning designers

9. Tool 3/8: Get a win-win

  • Work with your suppliers and partners
  • Break cost mindset by asking: How can we both win?
  • Change ground rules; get to solution that both parties can accept and or that benefit both parties
  • Application:conduct a quarterly business building session with each of your key clients, suppliers and partners.Strive for new propositions that benefit both; be clear upfront what constitutes a win for both partners.

10. Tool 3/9: Consider the never-evers

  • By focusing on attracting defined customers, we limit growth potential
  • To expand this base, ask: who are the people who never or rarely buy our product and what could we offer them?
  • i.e. mobile phones are designed to be small and stylish; how might we make these phones appeal to the aging market; built-in safety devices, larger face, better speakers
  • Application:List, at least, six groups of people who never/rarely use your products; try to make these groups as interesting as possible (i.e. unemployed, single parents, visually impaired, English as second language); if in a large group setting, give each of these groups to a smaller group; they come with propositions, and present to large group; decide on best offerings and test in 3-6 months.

11. Tool 3/10: Expand your usage occasions

  • Builds on Tool 9
  • How-to maximize consumption of product?
    • i.e. cereal @ breakfast
  • create new problem definition, think of when else you might use cereals
  • i.e. McDonalds = Drive-thru, McMenus
  • Application:List five to seven occasions that you havent considered in the past (i.e. brunch, taking dog for a walk; Saturday night dinner party; watching your kids play sports on Saturday); use small teams to generate new propositions for specific usage occasions; ask team with best approach to develop action plans to test concept in 90 days

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