I’m a huge Michael Jordan fan and have written about how the Jordan brand has driven culture and stayed relevant; even though MJ has been retired for almost 20 years. Air Jordan’s are highly coveted, specifically the older ones. Last week saw the re-release of the Air Jordan 4 Bred; one of the most iconic sneakers thanks to a very famous shot.
According to Nike Inc.’s fourth-quarter 2018 earnings release on June 28, the company reported that Jordan brand revenue was down 8% to $2.86 billion this year versus $3.1 billion in the same period last year. Some argue that Jordan Brand’s popularity is waning. But that’s still a lot of money from just one brand. And the main revenue driver are Air Jordan sneakers. But AJ’s are more than sneakers, they’re cultural objects that are worn just as much outside a basketball court as inside of it.
Five or so years ago I met an innovation agency head, ex Senior VP of Marketing of a very well known worldwide consumer brand, for lunch to talk about collaboration opportunities; we initially met through Twitter. The first thing she said to me when we finally met in person was “Congratulations on your Game-Changer brand, I’m very impressed with what you’ve done.”
Peter Drucker famously remarked, “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said”. The same could be said of innovation techniques such as direct observation and journalistic interviews. You might ask people questions and have them tell you stories about themselves, but they can’t tell you how to matter. Finding the WHY is similar to uncovering market insights, you’re piecing together a puzzle and then suddenly the missing piece to the puzzle pops into your head. But that missing piece was founds as the result of perspective shifting and synthesis.
Last week I spent some time with a client who wants to develop his own brand. I literally shadowed him for 4 days in an effort to help him find his truth. In industry parlance this is called ethnography. For me it’s simply Finding The Truth.…
It was an ‘innovation packed’ week that had everything starting from making excuses, ideating around small ideas, how to get it done, popular tools to use to tackle challenges and how to test your ideas. Pretty good eh!
Rethinking Branding through Radical Innovation – (Servant of Chaos)
Innovation: Excuses, Excuses, Excuses – (Think for a Change)
Innovation: Getting It and Getting It Done – (Innovating to Win)
Behavioural Innovation (Innovation Leadership Network)
The most powerful innovation tools (Innovate on Purpose)
The worlds most recognizable brands where born out of some innovative product or service that created new value for consumers. But what lead them to that specific innovation?
The Branding Strategy Insider came up with a short list of factors that lead to innovation:
• A penchant for experimentation and action over analysis
• The realization that in many industries, approximately 70% of innovations are developed by users, not the firm bringing the product to market (from research done by Professor Eric von Hippel at MIT)
• The importance of connectivity. An enterprise has a much higher success rate if it is interconnected with the widest variety of potential idea sources, suppliers, business partners, customers, universities, governmental agencies, etc.
• Build on your strengths, don’t waste your efforts on hiding or compensating for your weaknesses. Identify your assets and amplify them.
• Envision the positive outcome that you seek.
• Be optimistic and constantly work until your optimism is justified.
This is by no means a complete list but in my opinion it’s quite simple. If we were to trace these factors back and look for patterns these would show up in one way or the other.
What other factors lead to innovation?