How to Unleash Creative Innovation, Product Differentiation & Build a Sustainable, Competitive Advantage

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What is innovation? I describe innovation as connecting the dots between two seemingly unrelated processes or industries together to form a sustainable, competitive advantage and making a difference that truly matters to the bottom line.

 

How to use Non-Competitive Analogies to Unleash, Creative Innovation

Using analogies is one of the most effective ways of building innovation. If you are working on an issue that you can not find a solution to, an effective tactic is to look at different industry sectors and types of competitors who have solved the same problem but in a different context. Learn from them and adopt a similar technique, coupled with your ideas to introduce something compelling and transformative. The question is how do you differentiate yourself from others and make enough of a difference to consumers for them to buy into what you are offering.

Music innovation in songwriting and performance is based on a collection of best practices and competency as well as the element of creativity and the element of delightful surprises and hooks, perhaps a fresh sound. Many artists have intertwined genres to create a movement or an entirely new genre. For example, the band Rage Against the Machine combined heavy Led Zeppelin-type guitar riffs with hip hop.

 

What is the Most Significant Critical Success Factor for Innovation and Sustainable Profitability?

There is one common denominator to success and profitability: Creating scarcity.

A successful scarce resource is a product or service that is both highly desirable by consumers as well as can be easily and conveniently monetized. Convenience is of the utmost importance as well as the ability to turn the resource or asset into monies.

 

How to Use Failures as Building Blocks to Success

The pursuit of cutting-edge, game-changing innovation involves a significant investment in time and resources. In today’s fast paced technological economy one has to be able to adapt to their external environment and continue to innovate since the marketplace in in full flux of constant change and re-alignment. No innovation can be created without the building blocks of failures. Learning from failures and developing a best practices framework is critical.

The key is revisiting past failures, compare them to today's realities with a fresh, enlightened mind. Speed and efficiency is the name of the game today, given consumer fickleness and limited attention span. Use the best components of those failed ideas and then alter and update them to create alignment with the context of today’s marketplace and consumer demands. A heavy metal song with a shredding guitar solo would not stand a chance to be a number one single today. However, a Lady Gaga song with a catchy hook and the same shredding guitar solo would create differentiation and perhaps a number one single.

Constant alignment of what is happening in the marketplace environment as well as adapting to renewed consumer behavioral patterns and demands, such as new trends, are what set apart the winners from the losers. The objective is aligning all the key success factors from the failures with a renewed purpose and differentiated opportunity continually. This way a failure from the past can become today’s game-changer. This is the very essence of reinventing innovation. What does this mean for music companies? For starters, the term A&R (Artist & Repertoire) demands a new acronym: I&R (Innovation & Repertoire).


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