I wonder … could we be in danger of innovating so often in our businesses that customers turn their backs on us because they’re confused?
The other day I was listening to the recording of an excellent talk given by David Meerman Scott at The NAMM Show (Jan 2012)
Contained in the many gems of information was the result of recent research conducted amongst journalists, where he discovered that the most over-used word in PR is ‘Innovate’.
What’s the problem with innovation? Here’s what I believe.
The world seems to be in a permanent state of ‘Fast Forward’, especially when it comes to technology and the internet. As business owners we do our best to keep up with all the changes, and we also seem compelled to keep innovating in regular knee-jerk reactions to those changes.
As an example, take the recent rise in popularity of social network Pinterest. I’ve spent a little time on it, set up a few ‘boards’ and enjoyed looking through the attractive and creative photos. However I decided not to use it for business, even though I know many coaches and consultants are busy posting there. They are indeed being innovative in thinking of ways to use this visual medium.
To be honest, I’ve reached saturation point with the number of social networks I can handle and don’t believe my business really lends itself to pretty pictures.
And what about our poor customers?
If we’re always coming up with new ideas and chasing the latest BSO (Bright Shiny Object), aren’t we doing so at the risk of totally baffling the very people we want to communicate with? Giving them an ever-growing choice of places to find us seems to me to be more about demonstrating how up to date WE are keeping in our marketing, and less about what we can actually do to help THEM.
In the same way, while we certainly need to develop attractive new products and services, we shouldn’t make them so innovative that they are miles away from our core business and area of expertise.
After all, our clients’ problems and needs don’t innovate. Surely the most important factor when they’re considering who to choose to buy from or hire, is not who innovates the most but who can help them get the best results.
I somehow doubt they’re interested by the fact that they can now connect with us at 30 gazillion places online. They just want to know if we have a solution that will work for them.
Which do you think is more important – Innovation or Consistency – and why?