What sets innovative products and services apart from others? Common sense would suggest they have unique and unusual characteristics that make them very different than all the rest. Furthermore, if you wanted to study innovative products and services to learn the hidden secrets they hold, you would try to identify those different and original attributes. But just the opposite is true. A very high percentage of successful new products launched each year follow the same set of patterns. Innovative products are more similar than different from each other. If you can identify these patterns and overlay them onto your products and services, you should be able to innovate in a predictable, templated way. THAT is the essence of the corporate innovation method, S.I.T..
The Activation Tool is one of the most effective but underused tools in advertising. Commercials based on this tool work well because they make your marketing message stand out in the sea of advertising. They engage the viewer to participate in the advertisement, either mentally or physically. Instead of just reading, watching, or listening to the message, the viewer is required to take an active part. This causes a dynamic sensory experience so memorable that the viewer is more likely to remember the commercial's main message.
The tool is one of eight patterns embedded in most innovative commercials. Jacob Goldenberg and his colleagues describe these simple, well-defined design structures in their book, "Cracking the Ad Code," and provide a step-by-step approach to using them.
The moment I walked into the classroom, I could see that something was different. The students were excited, I could feel the anticipation in the air—and something about their faces made me think that they were planning something mischievous.
This month marks the seven year anniversary of Innovation in Practice. As always, I want to thank my many readers and supporters who follow it.
2014 was an excellent year as our message about systematic creativity continues to be heard. Jacob Goldenberg and I launched our book, Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results last year, and it was nominated for Innovation Book of the Year. We're thrilled that the book is now published in fourteen languages. It is the first detailed description of Systematic Inventive Thinking (the method and the people at SIT LLC that taught it to me.)
One of my favorites is the Absurd Alternative Tool. It works by offering exaggerated alternatives to using the product or service to highlight the benefit. But the key is to make the alternative truly absurd. Otherwise viewers can get confused.