Last week, Simone Jacelon and Jason Stedman our Creative Directors at The Buzz, attended the Worldwide Partners Network global meeting in Jamaica. We are one of 65+ privately-owned marketing communications agencies that make up the Worldwide Partners Network that spans over 50 countries.
The meeting’s theme was ‘Disruptive Inspiration.’ It is widely accepted that the advertising industry as well as the business environment, is changing at an exponential rate. New technologies, specialized services and other developments are disrupting the way we all do business. This meeting brought together agency heads, marketing specialists and experts in fields such as trend forecasting and innovation coaching for two days of presentations and discussions. The goal being to help our agency network, and by extension our clients, to thrive in this disruptive environment. Here are 3 messages from the various presentations and a Buzz interpretation that will hopefully help you find inspiration within disruption:
Message 1: “Disruption is NOT destruction. It’s creation”
John Harris, President/CEO, Worldwide Partners
When we think of disruption, what often comes to mind is the destruction of a business. e.g. Apple/Samsung smartphones ‘destroying’ Blackberry; digital cameras ‘destroying’ film photography; or movie downloads/streaming destroying the DVD movie market. However when faced with disruption it is those who see this as an opportunity, will be those who succeed. An ‘uncomfortable’ situation in your business environment is often the situation you can learn the most from. And when you learn, you can modify, shift, and of course grow. Learn from disruption, don’t fear it. Better yet – be the one who creates the disruption!
Message 2: “Innovation = the ability to perceive alternative realities and the courage to move towards those visions”
Michael Perman, Imaginative Innovation Leader, C’est What?
Ok. So we’re not talking about time travel or some sort of brain-bending excursion here. Essentially this means thinking of your business in a way that’s never been thought of before – then acting on it. On the international scale, think how AirBnB transformed the hotel business – and then essentially became the world’s largest hotel chain with a fraction of the assets of its competitors. Or on a smaller scale – think about how some restaurants allow you to buy food based on weight – allowing customers to determine their own menu and price point. Challenge your assumptions and the status quo. Change the ‘things have always been so’ mentality. Think about what customers really crave – and how you can deliver in a way that nobody ever thought of before – then do it!
Message 3: “Low Cost means functioning without the unnecessary. It does NOT mean Low Quality”
Jean-Paul Treguer, TVLowCost
The eternal conundrum for many a business is to deliver more value to customers at less cost. What is important however is not to allow cost-cutting to result in quality cutting. Because in a consumer-smart, ultra-competitive business environment, when you slip another competitor is already waiting to pick the customers you dropped.
“Low cost” or cost-cutting can be seen as getting rid of the unnecessary or simplification. What are your customers really interested in paying for? Are they being charged for something they really don’t need? Is there a cost-input that can be cut that no-one would notice? Also it helps to think of ‘packaging’ your product or service. Is there a way to bundle, combine, or deliver new products or services that comes at a value that’s a better ‘low-cost’ package to the customer? How can your business or brand maintain its quality function without the frills?
Who can you partner or work with to deliver added value at a ‘low cost’?