"Same, But Better" Is Designed for Your Inevitable Demise
The business of the 20th century was about 'fitting in' — being a 'cog' in the production value chain. Keep your head down, don't ask questions, do as you are asked and you will be set for your life. Passive complacency was the name of the game.
The business of the 21st century is about mind expanding creativity, imaging a sustainable world by fusing form, function and profit. The 21st century is about competing in a 'flat world'. Technology has flattened the barrier of entry, allowing a new era of competition, where the winning is all about 'imaginative fusion'. Even long-standing brand leaders are exposed to this inevitable risk from new competition that is cropping up everywhere and anywhere.
The game has changed. The game changers who wishes to survive the business landscape of the 21st century will actively create and re-create their business mind for relevance, purpose and profit.
To exist in this 'flat world', commerce is now demanding new mindset, new thinking, and new doing. For this, entrepreneurs and CEOs ought to inculcate a strong, observing mind — a mind that will never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by fear or distrust, and never give way to regretting.
In this new century, the age old competitive dictum — 'same, but better' is the destiny that is bound to lead you to your demise. In this new century, creativity is the mind of your business and relevancy is the beating heart of your brand. "Never feel comfortable where you're now, get stuck, complacent, and stagnate in one spot; be always relevant, dynamic, and multi gifted. This is one of the rules of the 21st C."
Fusion of Commerce and Creativity
Why the product selling companies are no longer selling products?
These brands are in the business of creating and expanding eco-system for the survival of their business and growing their market share. Of course, these are just few of the many examples that are defining trade and commerce in the 21st century.
Here are few examples.
Philips is no longer in the home-lighting business. It has creatively transformed into a “connected business” to improve sustainability, cost of ownership, and creative control by integrating smart applications such as scene personalization, home automation, security services, and sleep quality into its core product." Moreover, this brand is continuously using it's status to leverage generosity and gain relevance in the 21st century market place.
Rolls-Royce, some time ago moved beyond merely selling jet engines to selling engine hours and locking customers in a lifetime service relationship. Now, they are laying down the blueprint for the the next hundred years.
Elevator operators, such as KONE, emphasize the number of floors their products will serve over time, not just their physical products They are well on their way to transform themselves into sustainable city builders.
Thanks to COVID-19, they are now expanding in health and safety brand. No missed opportunities here.
The ride sharing company, Uber partnered with Bell to showed off a second-stage concept of its flying car that both companies swear they will begin testing in 2020. A full-scale model on the CES 2019 floor promised to fly five people at speeds reaching 150 mph. Of course, Bell is an established aircraft developer that makes the propulsion technology behind the V-22 Osprey (the crazy-expensive military helicopter plane thing).
Again, thanks to COVID-19 Uber is now well positioned to highlight another aspect of it's brand — UberEats. The brand was proactive and had mapped out various aspects of it's offering under different scene settings when the going was good.
Why the digital service companies are going beyond 'Freeium' and 'Premium' modes of conducting business? How, they are branching out into selling products and making 'sustainability' relevant in their business model?
These brands are being driven by the urge to try something new and stay relevant in the minds of their clients. They are charting out unexplored routes, having no reason to hope for success, but merely being willing to risk the experiment of finding whether the expansion they seek lies there.
Creative Mindset — Revitalize Rural Economy — The Business of Sustainability
San Francisco based company, Airbnb, an online rental platform, originally partnered with the Italian city of Civita in 2016, and now is partnering with Grottole (via nonprofit Wonder Grottole) to help revitalize the city.
“We will find every way possible to support sustainable tourism, and give visibility to these rural areas,” says Federica Calcaterra, PR Manager at Airbnb Italy. Thanks to COVID-19, they are now how hosting online experiences as people are locked down in their individual residences.
Creative Mindset — Reduce Cost — The Business of Saving the Planet
Embr Wave is the thermostat for your body. Warm up or cool down, as you need it when you when you need it most. Founded at MIT, backed by Bose Ventures & Intel Capital, Embr is also exploring the application of its patented technology in a number of other areas, such as virtual reality, entertainment and non-verbal communication.
Creative Mindset — Reduce Cost — The Business of Using Behaviorial Data
Progressive Insurance’s connected-car devices allow the company to charge drivers according to their driving behavior. Started in 1937, it was the first drive-in claims office, became the first to introduce reduced rates for low-risk drivers, and then transformed the insurance shopping experience by offering comparison rates on the Web.
Creative Mindset — Indulge in Innovative Spaces — The Business of Sub-Conscious Selling
Amazon chose to create Spheres. Not, yet another soaring skyscraper.
The office space that the environment supports a is a sub-concious call to action on doing, thinking and acting in ways that are diiferent from the competition.
"The Spheres are a place where employees can think and work differently surrounded by plants. The Spheres are a result of innovative thinking about the character of a workplace and an extended conversation about what is typically missing from urban offices– a direct link to nature. The Spheres are home to more than 40,000 plants from the cloud forest regions of over 30 countries.
Image source: Wikipedia
Have you wondered why car manufacturers like Tesla open fancy showrooms in shopping malls and prime locations, with a completely transformed customer experience and lifestyle companies, like Apple, builds on the customer experience with open-space concepts, a sprawling Genius Bar, and diverse sales staffs who are not selling. It is all about priming your sub-conscious with their products and services. Read more on how to hack the sub-conscious.
Tracking back in time, yet timeless is the Chrysler Building.
Built in May 1930, after the stock market crash of 1929, it was a beacon of hope for a forward marching towering future. After, almost 90 years, the Chrysler Building is a creative testament on the flow of capital and a creative convergence of mathematical allure and human grit. It is designed to pause your brain and look — really look and visualize the flow of money and markets from the depths of dismay and disillusionment.
Creative Mindset — Pro-active Healthcare — The Business of 'Caring' with Smart Clothing
Nanowear has developed a medical-grade textile, SimpleSense, capable of capturing millions of signals on the skin and giving it the potential to unlock biometric insights to help wide-ranging medical conditions — monitoring patients through the likes of ECG, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, actigraphy, impedance cardiography, thoracic impedance and cardio-phonography to help keep them out of hospital.
Creative Mindset — Fusing Commodity with High Finance — "Opportunity Favors the Most Prepared"
The Swedish startup Konabay, partnered with Barclays' bPay to bring contactless payments to its hybrid watch band — now, that is a clever idea of upgrading the band that goes with the watch. Again, thanks to COVID-19, this brand has now have a market ready product because, they had dared to imagine that the band of the wrist watch should do more than wrapping around your wrist.
Creative Mindset — When the Market is Not Ready
Have you ever wondered why a product, inspite of a massive 'cool' factor fails miserably in the market place?
Simple answer: people do not buy product that they do not understand.
"In 1973, auto executive John DeLorean left General Motors to form the DeLorean Motor Company. After years of production delays, the DeLorean DMC-12 was released in January 1981. The car’s unique design was poorly received, however, and by 1982 less than half of the 7,000 DeLorean units produced had been sold. The DeLorean is widely recognized due to its use as a converted time machine in the “Back to the Future” series. However, the first of these films was released in 1985, far too late to save the ill-fated brand. DeLorean filed for bankruptcy in 1982."
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Signing off with these ending thoughts.
Creativity is about letting go of the certainties and be comfortable with the chaos around you. Creativity is observing what is already there and fusing it with doses of worthy value. Creativity is about unfolding the rhythms of our planet and derive contextual earth technology that drive sustainable local economy. Creativity is about identifying the evolving hard trends and taking note of the creeping soft trends, only to merge them with evolving customer expectations and design accordingly.
Above all, creativity is about caring. Research by Cone Communications, a PR agency for consumer brands, found that 87% of Americans said they would purchase a product because of a company’s alignment on an issue they cared about. It also attracts would-be workers: nearly two-thirds of millennials – the generation that will make up half of all US employees by 2020 – said they take a company’s social and environmental commitments into account when weighing a job offer.
You are competing in a flat world. Just having superior products or services does not cut it any more. A shocking study from the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University estimates that 40 percent of today’s F500 companies on the S&P 500 will no longer exist in 10 years.
Today’s consumers simply 'do not buy just products or services'—they want more — their purchase decisions revolve around buying into an idea, an experience, something more that taps into their own creativity, curiosity, and their fullest use of their potentialities.
Talk to us about creative implemetation of socio-economic changes.
Creative Solutions Strategist