Forward Thinking

The future's already out there...

Predicting 2013: 9 Mega-Trends that will shape the next 12 months
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Innovation helps to create the future, but the context in which a new idea exists is key to its success. So we combined thinking from ‘Blink’ and the ‘Wisdom of Crowds’ and asked colleagues from a wide range of different industries and markets to give us their top of mind predictions for 2013. Based on…

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Predicting 2013: The 5 Most Influential ‘Events’ of the Next Year
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Context is crucial to the success of any innovation, so to whet your appetite for our 2013 mega-trends (which we will share on Monday), here are the predictions from our expert ‘crowd’ on what will be the key events that will shape political, economic & cultural agendas over the coming year: 1. Syrian Endgame –…

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Why Innovators must be Pigs
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There is an old riddle: In a bacon-and-egg sandwich, what’s the difference between the Chicken and the Pig? Answer: The Chicken is involved, but the Pig is committed! This leads us to one of the key, but often unspoken, ingredients of successful innovation: commitment. How committed you or your organisation are to solving a problem or delivering…

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It’s not big, but it is clever
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Watching BBC Sports Personality of the Year left us pondering the great sporting achievements of 2012; not least how Bradley Wiggins – a mod from Kilburn – managed to lift the Tour de France and then win Olympic gold just a week or so later. Can these successes teach us anything we can apply to…

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Over 60’s Women: The Innovation Opportunity [Insight Video]
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They are female, wealthy and active. And they are an expanding demographic with disposable income to burn. Already making up over 10% of the population, the cohort of Boomer women over 60 is set to grow by 50% in the next couple of decades. And yet the consumer packaged goods industry continues largely to ignore this rich…

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Less Creativity, More “Recreativity” Please…
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You know what creativity is – producing something different that has impact – but what about recreativity? Today’s post from WordSpy gives you the lowdown on recreativity: recreativity n. Repurposing or remixing existing artistic works to create, in whole or in part, a new work. Of course, as an innovation agency and proponent of the everything-is-a-remix school…

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Natural Inspiration for Innovation: Richard Hammond’s Miracles of Nature
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At Brand Genetics, we believe in the awesome creative power of evolution; nature has spent 3.5 billion years producing ingenious answers to many of the innovation problems that our clients face today. And now Richard Hammond is presenting a BBC show on just this subject; Miracles of Nature is a popular science series about how nature is teeming with…

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A Co-Creation Primer from The Harvard Business Review
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What is co-creation anyway? Depends who you ask.  For us it most often means adding the voice of the user into the innovation process, not as passive respondents, but as active participants.  Of course, CK Prahalad author of the co-creation manifesto “The Future of Competition: Co-creating Unique Value with Customers,  got first dibs at defining…

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Cool Co-Creation Examples: Heineken
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Heineken Open Design Explorations Edition 1: The Club What does the future of clubbing look like?  Co-creation can give you an answer. Global brewer Heineken recruited a virtual team of 19 young emerging designers from four different continents to develop a concept club of the future, which was brought to life as a pop-up club in Via…

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20 Examples of Cool Innovative Packaging in FMCG
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We do a lot of innovation work in the fmcg/cpg groceries category, and so we’re big fans of the P&G-inspired “Moments of Truth” approach to innovation which puts a big premium on packaging and pack design in innovation. Why? Because according to this approach to brand innovation, having identified an unsatisfactorily met need, you need…

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Don’t Innovate, Imitate!
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We’re re-reading one of our latest favourite business books in order to prepare a speed summary for clients, Obed Shenkar’s; Copycats: How Smart Companies Use Imitation to Gain a Strategic Edge. We’re fans of the book, as you’d guess from an agency that believes the secret to successful innovation is to apply the elegantly simple formula…

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Do Focus Group Kill Innovation?
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It’s the familiar plaintive cry of the innovator. Focus groups kill innovation. Gianfranco Zaccai, designer of the Swiffer mop, and co-founder and president of the global design and innovation consultancy Continuum has attacked the meal ticket of market research agencies. No innovation, in Zaccai’s considerable 40 years experience, has ever come out of a focus…

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Why Brainstorming Sucks [Infographic]
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Here’s a great infographic from Column Five on why group brainstorming is not the way to do innovation. Creativity by committee doesn’t work because it hinders rather than facilitates productive thought and encourages lame groupthink;  group brainstorming leads to; Social Loafing (relying on others for input) Social Matching (conformity) Production Blocking (only one person at…

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Why Innovation Needs Critical Thinking
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The ever-insightful Farnam Street blog has posted a useful article on critical thinking, with interesting implications on why we need it in innovation. Too often, we use so called “insights” to drive innovation, when these “insights” are in reality nothing more than half-baked ideas plucked from focus groups, surveys or the prejudices of researchers.  Critical…

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Innovation is a Remix
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If you haven’t checked out the TED talk Everything is a Remix above, then do yourself a favour and watch the 9 minute show; it’ll change the way you think about brand innovation. Bottom line – successful innovation is about imitation not imagination.   The secret to successful innovation is creative imitation; copy, mutate and remix.…

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