Marketers have such a wide array of social media apps to choose from that it can be overwhelming. Tools such as Go2Web20.net can help sort through the maze and narrow down the search to catergories of apps such as mobile, Facebook, gaming, and so on. But to squeeze more out of social apps, the savvy marketer looks for ways to innovate in a way that supports the brand. For this month's LAB, let's apply the innovation method, SIT, to social media apps as a means of brand building.
This is not the first time we've applied innovation techniques to social media. In the October 2009 LAB, we demontrated how to apply social apps to a large field organization such as a sales force or delivery fleet. The key was using the Task Unification Technique, one of five in the SIT method. To use Task Unification, we take a component of a product, service, system, etc, and we assign an additional "job" to it. For this month's LAB, we will apply the same basic approach to brand building. Imagine you are the brand manager for the billion dollar Febreze® franchise, and you are looking for ways to stretch the brand into eliminating pet odor. Here is how it works.
Nissan's latest innovation takes the lowly car horn and elevates it to the status of "smart." The 2013 Altima has a new feature that's likely to surprise buyers. It's called Easy-Fill Tire Alert. The car's tire pressure monitoring system informs drivers when a tire is low on air and then uses the sedan's horn and hazard lights to confirm that the tire has been filled adequately.
This is a classic use of the Task Unification Technique, one of five in the innovation method called SIT. Task Unification works by taking a component and assigning it an additional job. That component can be an internal resource (in this case, something on or in the car) or an external resource, something in the vicinity of the car, but not within the manufacturer's control (a passenger, for example). The additional job can be "stolen" from another component or it can be assigned something new.
The Task Unification Technique is one of five in the innovation method called Systematic Inventive Thinking. It is defined as "assiging an additional task to an existing resource." It is such a powerful technique because it often leads to Closed World solutions, or what we like to call "thinking inside the box." It yields innovations that tend to leverage some resource in the immediate vicinity in a clever way. It also tends to yield innovations that have a characteristic known as Ideality - the solution to a problem only appears when needed. When the problem arises, the solution is also there.
Philips North America announced Fosmo Med, developer of the Maji Intravenous (IV) saline bag, as the grand prize winner of the first-ever Philips Innovation Fellows competition, revealing the technology as the next big, meaningful innovation in health and well-being. The new IV solution technology has the potential to save millions of lives worldwide from dehydration-related diseases, such as cholera.
Maji is a revolutionary field hydration system for IV use that is shipped without water. Once on site, forward osmosis technology converts local water -- even if it's not clean -- to a sterile solution without requiring any electrical power. An estimated 16 Maji bags can be shipped for the same cost as one traditional IV saline bag, saving up to $500 for every 14 units shipped.
Maji is an example of the Task Unification Technique, one of five in the SIT innovation method. Task Unification works by assigning an additional task to an existing resource. In this example, the Maji bag has the additional job of filtering water.
You’ve experienced this dozens, if not hundreds, of times. Before being allowed to enter a website, you must type words written in a bizarre, distorted script inside a box.
Dr. Luis von Ahn, a professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University, estimates that people decipher script like this more than 200 million times a day. He should know. He invented the system. Captcha, as it is called, protects websites by demanding that visitors take a simple test that humans can pass but computers cannot. Captcha, in fact, is an acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart. It requires website visitors to interpret the text correctly and type the right letters before they can enter the site.
John Doyle certainly knows theater. Over his thirty-year career, he’s staged more than two hundred professional productions throughout the United Kingdom and the United States, mostly in small, regional theater companies. In the early 1990s, while working at such a theater in rural England, the Scottish director came up with an innovative way to produce crowd-pleasing musicals on a tiny budget. Musicals are considerably more expensive to stage than traditional plays, due primarily to the cost of hiring musicians. But Doyle eliminated those excess costs by handing responsibility for musical accompaniment to his actors. The actors onstage doubled as instrumentalists.
How do you get your competitor to promote your value proposition?
DHL did just that in the highly competitive package delivery category. Shipping companies compete on the basis of speed, convenience, and reliability. So the race is on to prove to customers which company is the best performing.
In this campaign, DHL spoofed its competitors like UPS to broadcast that it's faster.
“Simply by taking that fifteen-minute step, these citizen scientists make a contribution to saving bees,” LeBuhn said. “It’s remarkable having all these different people willing to participate, willing to help, and interested in making the world a better place.”
The SIT Method is designed to help you generate lots of ideas in a systematic way. But how do you select which ideas to pursue? Filtering ideas is an essential part of the creativity process. You want to make sure you spend your time only on those with the most potential.