The Big Trap for Brands: A Sea of Sameness!

The Big Trap for Brands: A Sea of Sameness
Normal needs a new normalising!
Since there is so much interest, let me start from the bottom line. It is no coincidence that damn near everything that you and me buy or want to buy, seems to have a label ‘ Made in China ‘. Now, that includes airplane wings …as well as caps!
Instant knock offs-with excellence- have become the norm. From shoes to sweaters to computers to restaurants. The quality of damn near everything is terrific. Things that work well are not unusual. Things that don’t work are unusual.
By design or accident, we are afloat, awash, adrift…in a Sea of Sameness. High-quality sameness, but sameness nonethless.
An idea that has legs ..lasts only a few weeks, a few months at best. Then the sequel. And the sequel that follows the sequel. And so on.
Sure heard this before. Herd mentality. We race around. Follow each other’s tails. From Hollywood to Silicon Valley to Madison Avenue to Jamal Abdul Nasar Street.
As Swedish business professors  Kjell Nordstrom and Jonas Ridderstrale brilliantly articulated in their book ‘ Funky Business ‘, ” The surplus society has a surplus of similar companies, employing similar people, with almost similar educational backgrounds..coming up with similar ideas, producing similar things, with similar prices..and similar qualities “. Ouch, that is painful!
The 10X/10X theory on that is that you could be 10 times better. While being ten times less different.
The basic idea that I am echoing here is that ‘ Good Stuff ‘ is commonplace.”



“. It’s no longer exceptional for stuff (anything, everything ) to work. Which means the bar for ” standing out ” has risen dramatically.

In a winner takes all world, Normal = Nothing. So time to stop being goddamn normal.
Dovetailing seamlessly into this line of thought is the Danish marketing phenomenon Jesper Kunde’s articulation ” Companies have defined so much best practice that they are now more or less identical. ” It’s commoditised. Instead, how about ” It’s yet to be practiced “?
In other words, the only way to make a difference is to, well, “ Make a Difference “.
Standing out in a world where most everything works is stupefying difficult. And yet some companies are making a go of it. How I hate the word ‘ normal ‘.
We are in a ” Don’t just sit there economy ” – so, embrace abnormal. Never mind if you are first mover, last mover, first follower or fast follower. Go for it!
ENDS
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Needed: A Bias for Action!

Needed: A Bias for Action!
A small tweak, with due permission from Issac Newton ” every action has an equal and opposite action “.
We assume that enterprise excellence is something that we can define, analyse, plan for and them maintain in perpetuity. With every turn of the business wheel, we fancy that we now understand the One & True Lasting Thing that will distinguish a good idea from a bad one, a winning strategy from a dud.
Indeed, we labour still under the delusion that the key to winning is….the right strategy. But, what we have to learn is that ‘ excellence ‘ is not something that we can ‘ envision ‘ or  ‘ plan ‘ aheadWe create it as we go along. Then blow it up, and start anew.
Simply put, the search for excellence is…never-ending, ever-shifting. How do we ‘stick to our knitting‘ when one form of ‘knitting‘ after another unravels? You are sprinting, only to be standing in the same place.
The absence of a bias for action remains the biggest problem for large organisations. They simply Think too much. Plan too much. Meet too much. And accomplish too little.
It is an Age of Perpetual and Accelerating Transience. ” Permanence ” is a myth, it is dead. All the basic principles of business are up for grabs. We have got to play as it lays. We’ve got to make it up as we go along.
A little bit of re-emphasizing here: Of course we need Analytics(Desperately). Of course we need some Metrics(Desperately). We need to understand the power of Data(Desperately). But, like All Good Things, ..the ‘ analytics ‘ and ‘ abstractions ‘ have come to subsume the Real World of the living, breathing, emotional, complaining customer.
Companies would be extra keen to re invent their way of doing business. And there is an increasing need for a new breed of intellectual capital to make that happen.
At ISD Global we are getting ready to throw our hat in the ring. Are you biased for action?
ENDS
 
 
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It’s a time to Re-Imagine!

Time to Re Imagine Business! And the time is now. As they say, ” The future is already here, but it is a tad unevenly distributed ‘.

It’s a new world of business. So, isn’t it time to ring out the old and bring in the new? A new mandate has to enter the fray.

Can we shake free of the past? Including(yes definitely) past successes! Can we re imagine an entirely new way of doing business?

Could we stop using these two traditional phrases( I will tell you why):

” Push the envelope “

” Think outside the box “

The problem with both the above(other than their gross overuse) is:

Both suggest that there is an intact envelope or a sturdy box from whose known (and identified borders) we can step out from. But remember:

The envelope is already torn and crumpled..and

The box has been run over by a speeding trailer truck.

So, the task at hand is to:

Think “Weird“, however weird it may sound..be wired for it!

(Re)think ” excellence “

Re-Imagine ” leadership “

Get strange. Did you know that the No 1 source of innovation is ‘ pissed off ‘ people ? People who just cannot tolerate the mundane, the silly, the mediocre that is happening around them. That’s the origin of the best innovation you can ever lay your hands on. So, go ahead and seek pissed off people! HR, are you listening?

Fire the planners. Hire the freaks.

An “excessive cult of the consumer“- ” customer driven” also means being slave to demographics, market research and focus groups. So, ‘listening to customers ‘ might just be the No 1 sin in marketing...

Turn the cliched phrase on its head. ‘The customer is always right‘ to ‘ The customer is always late ‘-

Who wanted Post It Notes? Nobody for a dozen years till 3M ‘ wrote ‘ history and we still keep ‘posting’.

Who wanted Fax Machines? Nobody for the longest time till a ‘ critical mass ‘ of users came along.

Who wanted CDs? Nobody or atleast none of us who had just been through the transformation from phonograph records to tapes. Then the kids started using CDs and the awesome quality of sound made us go Ka-boom!

In the words of Doug Atkin, a partner at Merkley Newman Harty: ” These days you can’t succeed as a company if you’re consumer led-because in a world of constant change, consumers can’t anticipate the next big thing. Companies should be idea-led and consumer-informed”

It’s time to re-imagine. At ISD Global we are constantly trying to be as future ready as possible, driven by the weird, motivated by the untried and fuelled by no fear. To generate ideas that can transform businesses and thereby quality of human life.

Your time starts now. The clock is ticking!

ENDS

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A New Thought for School; a New School of Thought?

A New Thought for School; a New School of Thought?

In a world that demands continuous re imagination for a creative and self reliant age, here could be a clarion call to transform the present day school system. The rant(brilliantly put out by the mercurial Tom Peters) goes thus:-

From Teach-to-Test TO Teach to Quest

From Developing Facts TO Developing Talent

From SAT Prep(Think ‘multiple choice’) TO WOW Project(Think ‘individual choice’)

From Fetishing Generic ‘ standards ‘ TO Honoring Individual Creativity

From Quiet classrooms TO Noisy classrooms

From School as Factory with focus on ‘units ‘ TO School as Studio with focus on Uniqueness

From turning out Docile workers TO Building up Creative ‘ talent ‘

From Obedience as key virtue TO Initiative as key virtue

From Teaching to a Standard ‘norm'(Lowest Common Denominator) TO Teaching to a Standard of ‘excellence'(Highest Possible Achievement)

From a Focus on Similarities TO Focus on Differences

From Testing for ‘Intelligence'(singular) TO Teaching for ‘Intelligences'(multiple)- Mr Howard Gardner, there you have your say!

From Math & English domination TO Art and Music thriving

ENDS

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