I happened on this blog earlier today and I was amazed by some of the innovative thinking. How about fighting lobsters, dog sweaters and wigs for cats.¬†Most recent post was for a smell cell – that’s right a cell phone that emits odour; I wonder what the consumer insight was for that one? Anyway,¬†Innovation Gone Wrong certainly amused me somewhat and I’ll be back for a look before long. OK, it’s not serious, it might even be described as a bit flippant, but¬†then sometimes¬†innovation can and should be fun (he said earnestly). Anyway I think it will go on the blogroll too.No comments
I’ve just received the latest from Trendwatching.com, my favourite trend site and this month it’s a doozie. The article, entitled “Innovation Avalanche” lists 41 innovative products, business models¬†and services, a number of which are enabled by new technology. What I love about Trendwatching is that they pick out some really interesting innovations and trend directions and they mix it with an insightful commentary. They have a network of upwards of 8000 spotters around who notify Trendwatching when the see something interesting. Incidentally, I had the privilage of¬†attending a day long seminar some time ago when Reiner Evers, the Trendwatching founder shared some upcoming trends and insights. It was a deep, inspiring¬†and powerful experience which I would recommend to other innovators. The article urges us to be less earnest about innovation, to have some fun with it. There are highs and lows in the featured innovations as you might expect, so, in the spirit of fun, here is my pick from the list with a “sweet spot” spin:
Ever fancied running your own brewery? Now you can with beerbankroll.com. For $50 you can buy a slice of the action in terms of voting rights on the¬†company name, logo, product design, product mix, marketing plan, advertising and sponsorship. They are looking for a minimum of 50,000 members. Assuming the concept goes well, profits will be divided three ways: one part to members in the form of reward points redeemable for products from the Beer Bankroll store; one part back to the company; and one part to charity. Interesting business model with a potentially captive audience (I own the company so I’ve got to drink the beer). Not sure that 50,000 people voting on what the product tastes like would work for me. It’s a different business model, but I’m not sure that 50,000 people can create a better beer than one talented brewer. Verdict: doesn’t work for me, I’d rather drink Leffe.
I reckon catwalkgenius might stand a better chance. Catwalkgenius has joined the crowdfunded fashion fray with its new Adopt a Designer program, featuring fashion and accessories from independent designers. Through Adopt a Designer, supporters of a participating designer can buy shares (or “elements”, as it calls them) in their work for EUR 14-plus a EUR 1 processing fee-in the hope of sharing in future profits. Once 5,000 such elements have been sold, the designer is given the resulting EUR 70,000 to create a new collection within 6 months. In the meantime, supporters receive a limited edition piece created exclusively for them by the designer. So far, the company has signed up 160 users, half of which are designers. Clearly this business is just starting out but the numbers look more achievable. There could be a niche.¬†
Blyk is a free mobile phone service aimed at 16-24 year olds. In exchange for¬†217 texts and 43 minutes free every month they get advertising-up to 6 messages sent to their phones each day. Britain’s youth don’t seem to mind-Blyk reached that 100,000-member target six months ahead of schedule. Blyk will launch in the Netherlands in the second half of 2008, followed by Germany, Spain and Belgium in 2009. This will definitely have some appeal for 16-24 year old without an excessive text habit.¬†
¬†Here is a definite example of the Premiumisation trend, meaning take something mainstream, find ways to make it very special and charge for it. Monavie is an ultra premium line of alcohol-free juices that could easily be confused with wine. Utah-based MonaVie offers both juices and concentrated gels made from 19 different fruits, all chosen for their healthful properties. First among them is the Brazilian acai berry-widely considered a health-promoting superfood-accompanied by apricot, aronia, acerola, lychee, wolfberry, bilberry and of course grape, to name just a few. Pricing is very high-end, indeed, at about USD 40 per 750 ml bottle of juice.
Here’s a winner right on line with the Individualisation trend.¬†Exploiting specialised printing technology allows personalisation of your M&Ms to an unprecedented degree. The new innovation takes the existing service which allows customers to pick colors and have texts and logos printed on M&M’s, a step further by enabling customers to have their own likeness printed on the candy. M&M’s Faces lets customers upload one or two photos, pick their colors and add up to two different texts to be printed on separate M&M’s. Using a simple interface, they can zoom in or out to select which part of a photo they want to use. The photo file is turned into a sketch-like rendition that looks good on small pieces of candy.
Finally an innovation on the Convenience trend direction. US based colorOn and Australian Eye Majic have both introduced press-on eyeshadow kits. The kits allow consumers to instantly apply professionally created eyeshadow designs without applicators or mess. Each single-use kit is applied to the eyelid using a pre-prepared strip that contains a variety of matched and blended colors. Pressing the strip to the eyelid transfers the colors onto the eyelid in just the right shades, creating a look much like one a professional make-up artist might have created. I’ve checked out the website, purely in the interest of research and the process of applying the make-up looks rather more complex than initially advertised. ÔŅĹNo comments