Innovate or Die, Hard – How to Stay on Top!

Innovate or Die, Hard – How to Stay on Top!

Have a break, have a Kit Kat, 19 different types in fact.

Taking a local approach to candy bars, Nestlé recently launched 19 new Kit Kat flavours in Japan that reflect food specialities of specific districts. Each flavour is sold exclusively in the region for which it was created, making the limited edition Kit Kats popular souvenirs for travellers. Developing an intimate understanding of the local market and targeting it creatively has earned Kit Kat the position of number one confectionery brand in Japan. How else could your brand zero in on local specialties and traditions to drive deeper brand loyalty? (Taken from

Need to get your meat in the middle of the night?

With three stores in Northern Spain, butcher Izarzugaza has installed a vending machine outside its Mundaka shop that sells a variety of meats, sausages, sandwiches and other goods around the clock. Products sold within the machine vary with the season, so summer offerings might include pasta salads while the emphasis is more on meatballs and sausages in the wintertime. (Taken from
These two, out of loads of examples demonstrate companies in traditional settings who innovated, I mean really innovated to stay ahead of their competition, invigorate their customers and become a talking point across the globe. Nice touch you might think, but no, innovation today is the difference between going down like the titanic and flying like that Twitter tweety bird character thingy.

So to get those creative juices flowing here are some ideas! (Thank me later)
  1. Update your product or service for no apparent reason: Apple is a good example of this. We didn’t ask for the iPhone 4 or the iPad, but its here, and with clever advertising we’re all clamouring to get our hands on both. (My iPhone 4 was delivered today – yippee)
  2. Do something silly: For the recent F1 Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button arrived at Silverstone together in a VW camper van! After driving up from McLaren HQ in Surrey at a top speed of 55mph it was a great publicity stunt, silly, but keeps the media focused on the team.
  3. Whilst visiting a client in Berkeley Square in London I saw what looked like a milk float giving away that new Vitamin Water brand. But it wasn’t the free drink that got people queuing, they had a huge spinning arrow that you gave a whirl and where it landed told you which flavour you’d get! When the promo girl presented you with the bottle she explained the physical or mental benefits of that flavour…Very inexpensive with an original (ahem) spin on things.
  4. Get bigger: One of the great things about the internet is that it allows you to “look” as big as your competition even if you’re still working off the kitchen table. Simply ensure that you do as much as you can to get your website looking as professional as possible. Get honest feedback, preferably from strangers, definitely not your mum.
  5. Be really useful: What do your customers really like, or really want? What would be really useful to them? It doesn’t have to be anything to do with your product or service, but if you know they feel some pain in their day to day lives that you can fix with little outlay to yourself then you look great and remembered over your competition. For example if you’re a travel agent why not send each customer who books a holiday one of those inflatable pillows or a travel guide to their destination? You could buy them in bulk and have them branded; something different but related to your audience.
  6. Be a Good Samaritan: Are you an online retailer? Tonnes of competition right? Why not offer a small percentage of your sales / profits to a charity of your customer’s choice?! You might even be able to encourage those charities to reciprocate by including your logo in some of their promotional materials.
  7. Inform: The majority of Google searches are for information, not purchases. Before a purchase is made consumers’ research, read and get as much information about that product or service. So, become that resource that they can go to, that expert opinion they can rely on before they buy. So that means, blogging, making videos, writing articles, tweeting, getting active on LinkedIn or Facebook and before you know it you’ll be that “go to” guy or gal for your industry.

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