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As the market becomes saturated, it becomes difficult for many businesses, especially startup enterprises, to stay on top of their competitions. Technology has paved a way for firms to revolutionize their marketing and management strategies. Another tried and tested way to infiltrate their specific markets successfully is to inspire innovation within their offices, from employees to their brand.
Technological and industry shifts are important drivers of innovation. Look no further than the advent of the mobile broadband Internet and the shift to the era of intelligent, connected devices. Even though shifts are difficult to anticipate, they often lead to fundamental business changes. Staying up to date with these changes is vital.
In 2014, you did all the right things and your business began to take off like a Harrier Jump Jet. However, now that you’ve been cruising at a high altitude for awhile, you can either choose to stay on course or go to a new level of elite performance.
“Open Innovation and technology scouting are vital for us to stay ahead of competition and identify cutting edge technologies that will allow us to propose the best products to our consumers”. In this interview, Steven Vaassen, Open Innovation Leader at Philips Consumer Lifestyle, shares his view on OI and how Philips is organized to decide when and how to use Open Innovation.
Why is business innovation such a mystery? I think too many CEOs sign off on large R&D budgets and then cross their fingers and hope to see some real innovation come out of the black box. Why does innovation stand in such stark contrast from other facets of business that are managed and improved? Why don’t we apply proven management techniques such as lean and six sigma to innovation?
From our talks with innovation management practitioners and business executives it seems that not many organizations have a well-defined and integrated innovation strategy. To find out more about how to go about creating and executing such a strategy, we spoke to Wouter Koetzier and Christopher Schorling at Acceture who encourage a very pragmatic and execution-oriented approach.
As innovative brands acknowledge that content is the currency they trade for consumer attention, the big question is how best to leverage this content. To date out-of-home media to shelf talkers have relied on consumers spending a certain degree of time and effort ‘grabbing’ their content. Near Field Communication (NFC) marketing is about to change that as it introduces a disruptive new way of grabbing and sharing content, with a simple tap of technology.
Parking can be one of life’s frustrating experiences- trying to find a spot, hunting for change or an attendant to pay, or the ever infuriating experience of receiving a ticket. The “internet of things” (IoT), a combination of sensors, analytics, and communications infrastructure is transforming parking and many other everyday tasks.
2013 has been heralded as the year of SoLoMo – Social, Local, Mobile – really takes off. SoLoMo could bring a revolution in retailing, marketing, consumer research, public relations – to name a few, as it becomes the ultimate loyalty card, direct mailshot, secret shopper, and feedback loop. Companies will need to be more agile, able to provide real-time relevance to hyper-connected consumers.
Sensory substitution is a method of replacing the information flow of one sense with that of another sense. The research dates back to the 1960s and has been used in various ways to help people with physical impairments. Biohackers and other researchers have recently adopted these techniques to enhance and extend the sensory experiences of the non-impaired with potentially practical applications, some of which might even enter the mainstream market.
Africa is growing – economically, in terms of population, and more importantly in terms of investment and market opportunities. Investments in internet and mobile technologies are critical to enabling that growth and these are growing too. Some are also suggesting that Africa could leapfrog other markets and jump straight to the cognitive computing era, enabled by the latest technologies and rapid expansion of big data, which would be a real game changer not just in Africa, but world-wide.
Wearable technology – smart watches and smart glasses especially, but others too – are being touted as the next big thing. And the race is well and truly on with giants such as Apple and Google entering the field but also smaller companies such as Pebble and mc10. The challenge will be to overcome the geek image much wearable technology has had until now and make us ‘want’ another device. Specialist applications may indicate the way forward at first, especially in sport and health.
Packaging is already a concentrated form of brand communication, expertly coded by designers using form, materials, colors and symbols to tell a brand story; or to make an innovation approachable and understandable. Now that packaging is becoming part of the digital revolution, how can we best enhance its communication potential?
Once purely a form of entertainment, video games are now being used to explore solutions and educate the public on some of the world most challenging social issues. While many social issues are not new to the public video games offer an excellent tool for getting people engaged and thinking about the future.
As implanted medical devices increase in variety and function and wearable computing draws closer, their energy needs have become paramount. Now, new sources are being found even as the devices scale down their energy requirements.