In the coming decades, machine learning will transform work as we know it. And unlike previous revolutions, which primarily affected blue-collar workers, the smart machine revolution has white-collar workers in its sights.
Most new product launches are “small” or “sustaining” innovations, which include the many, many brand extensions that large companies launch year after year. These launches are absolutely essential for growing existing brands and defending shelf space.
Most of the customer data companies gather about innovation is structured to show correlations rather than causations. Yet after decades of watching great companies do poorly at innovation, we’ve come to the conclusion that the focus on correlation is taking firms in the wrong direction.
We’ve become so accustomed to our fast-paced lifestyles that it’s even crept its way into how we consume food. This is especially the case when you look at breakfast. So what does the future of the most important meal of the day look like?
Brands armed with new products have always rushed to be first to market, as first movers often establish a stronghold that can be difficult for later entrants to break into. But being “first mover” at the expense of being “best mover” can often lead brands to competitive disadvantage.
Growing a brand isn’t easy, especially for those in in crowded categories. But even the most established categories change over time, and even categories that appear stable may be one critical innovation away from awarding one brand a significant long-term advantage.
For many companies, cost reduction efforts become an endless downward spiral. As soon as one cost reduction program is completed, it’s followed by another. It’s a dangerous cycle, but it’s one we know how to break.
Marketers often think of “earned” media as asymmetric marketing opportunities—they’re cheap and fast, which make them quite easy for smaller brands to exploit. But the power of earned media as an asymmetric strategy is more appearance than reality.
Mature brands will find themselves in a broader range of situations than new ones. When it becomes clear that your established brand needs investment to grow your circle of buyers, how do you know which path will work best for you?
Typically, small teams build concepts, get qualitative or quantitative feedback, refine concepts, collect another round of feedback, and so on, until they arrive at a “winning” concept. This technique works well, but it suffers from one major drawback: It often produces ideas that are good enough but not the best.
Multinationals should not turn their backs on emerging market consumers. Some rebalancing toward developed markets makes sense in the near term as their relative strength improves, but it must not come entirely at the expense of investment in emerging markets.
CPG companies are looking for growth. But high growth in developing markets is no longer making up for slow growth in developed markets. In such an environment, it’s tempting to consider raising prices. But should you?