Mauro Porcini, chief design officer of PepsiCo, once said “People don’t just buy a pair of designer shoes because they like the way they look, they buy them because they like the way wearing them makes them feel about themselves.”
Similarly, innovation isn’t so prized and rewarded simply for being different. Innovative is desirable for the way it makes people feel.
Let me indulge in bit of industry nerdery here. Pimm’s are currently running a campaign to persuade people to visit a nearby bar or pub on sunny days when the mercury hits 16 degrees. What’s more, they are fitting out those pubs with beacon technology so that people can see how much outside seating space is available by counting the number of smartphones. Now, this gets my OOH juices flowing. Temperature-controlled ad campaigns are now nothing new, but the combination with the beacon-tech is a genuinely impressive innovation. It makes me (as a self-confessed OOH nerd) excited about the prospect of what will be possible in the future.
I’m writing this from a meeting room at the CitizenM hotel in Southbank. It is a curiously ‘cool’ place to spend a day working. The coffee shop downstairs buzzes with a concoction of entrepreneurs and suited businessmen. The meeting room itself feels almost like you have taken the ingenuity of the famed Google offices, but removed the try-hard, “look at me” aspect. It is cool, but without over-exerting itself to become so.
It is innovation, but it remembers that it is not trying to be different for different’s sake. The whiteboard walls, trendy Nespresso coffee machine, and oddly fashionable decor offer a fresh approach to meeting rooms – generating an energetic atmosphere complicit to creativity.
So next time you have the chance to innovate in your business, don’t just do it because innovation is cool and different. Do it because it is going to give your customer a great emotional reaction that will inspire them to action.