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What Retailers Can Learn From Guy Kawasaki’s Wisdom on Innovation

3 min read

Guy Kawasaki had an incredible talk at TedxBerkely a while back, which remains a classic in the world of innovation. Here are some points that retailers can learn from his wisdom as one of the thought leaders in tech.

Make Meaning

Make meaning on what your company pushes forward so that you can create a strong foundation out of every venture. Making meaning changes the world. As you happen to change the world, you would most probably make money out of it as well. If you focus on how to make money as opposed to making meaning, you’ll be lost along the way. Meaning comes first and money follows, not the other way around.

Make a Mantra

It’s not about making mission statements anymore that no one understands or follows. Try defining your meaning in 2 – 4 words which encapsulates what drives your company forward. These few words should explain why your meaning should exist in the world. So make a mantra for your company, and let it motivate your team into living out that meaning into the world.

Jump to the Next Curve

To continually innovate and gain an edge in the competition, you have to jump to the next curve in the industry. This was seen in the evolution from ice farmers, then ice-making factories, to ice fridge makers. We have also experienced an evolution when we jumped from landline phones to the internet. It’s no longer about settling down on what your company has been doing all along. You have to persistently create ingenious solutions based on the benefits that your company offers to everyone.

Roll the Dice

Guy Kawasaki teaches us that innovative products are (1) Deep, (2) Intelligent, (3) Complete, (4) Empowering and (5) Elegant. These comprise a full package that greatly improves people’s lives. It also drives growth in the market and helps expand the boundaries of what we can do. People will keep coming back to you when they see that you understand what they truly want.

Don’t Worry, Be Crappy

When you jump to the next curve, it’s okay to go through some bumpiness on the road. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, or make crappy decisions. The more you get yourself out there and tweak all aspects, the more you’ll be able to refine your product or service.

Let 100 Flowers Bloom

At every start of innovation, positioning and branding are keys to success. When you establish the product, platform or service you provide, allow things to take its turn. Opening up to these changes will bring forth a plethora of new opportunities you’ve never imagined before.

Polarise People

People will either love or hate your product. However, great products polarise people. Some will be loyal to you, while others go elsewhere. But whatever the case maybe, you have to extend your reach to people who are (or will) be obsessed with your product. For this matter, the magnitude of how much your product influences other people’s lives will translate to the changing tides in the game of retail.

Churn Baby Churn

You cannot just settle down for what works and stop there. You need to keep on improving your product in every little detail. Every update should refine the customer experience and help evolve the market.

Niche Thyself

You’ve got to find a perfect balance between offering a unique product and making it truly valuable to the public. People will keep coming back for more if the product truly excites them. A win-win solution in originality and value will make your product the go-to solution in the market.

Perfect Your Pitch

Customise your pitch according to your type of audience. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to pitching your product to different groups of people. Everyone will be somewhat different, and you have to get into their shoes in order to gain their support.

Don’t Let the Bozos Grind You Down

And lastly, the more innovative your product is, the more people will try to grind you down for it. Remember all those naysayers in the past who didn’t believe in the importance of telephones and personal computers? The future of the industry relies on your ingenious ideas and solutions. Push forward with the meaning you want to pursue, and the significance of every solution you provide. You never know that it might be the next big thing.

Watch Guy Kawasaki’s talk below on the Art of Innovation.

Ready start your journey towards innovating in the retail industry? Join us in the upcoming New Retail ’19 at MCEC Melbourne for an enriching immersion into the future of retail.