By Mark Cameron
Nike is not the only one embracing customer data and social interactions as a core force of business innovation. In fact, digital innovation is no longer being seen as an option. It is necessary for ongoing brand survival. So, what do you need to do to start this process in your organization?
Define the vision
A successful innovation project needs a clear vision. The vision should take into account how the customer will interact with you and how that interaction will be an expression of the brand. The vision needs to be communicated clearly to all involved and built into the DNA of the project team. Nike’s PHOTOiD is an expression of the brand as an efficient way for customers to see the vast variation in colors a Nike sneaker can come in. It instantly provides value to the customer by using their own data, in this case photos, to customize the experience.
Truly innovative ideas do not come from “best practice” examples. They are new and exciting ways of engaging your audience. But that means there can be some elements of risk. The way to manage this risk is to look at the elements of the innovation and develop prototypes to test them. This allows small failures to be part of the process. In fact, they should be embraced. Thomas Edison once famously said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Prototype and test to evolve your thinking rapidly.
Connect with the customer
Successful innovations in the social media space allow brands to connect with their market in really interesting ways. If you can let the user see how your brand interacts with their network or data then you will create something unique and truly innovative. In today’s hyper connected and interactive world, finding ways to get your customers to engage with your brand is not easy. Spend the time to be truly innovative and you will begin a whole new phase in customer relationships.