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