Imperfect Intentions: A Path to Sustainable Behavior Change

When I first started working in sustainability, I suffered from imposter syndrome. I was surrounded by people who were making far more sustainable choices than I was. And I questioned my ability to ever live up to their same standards. Could I ever belong here?

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The Innovator’s Communication Dilemma

When it comes to sharing innovative ideas, there are two ways the response could go. 

On one side, there’s the lean forward. The audience collectively shifts their shoulders forward, their eyes widen, they reposition themselves – they get ready to engage. On the other side of the spectrum, is the eye roll. Listeners lean back and quickly begin to focus elsewhere, dismissing whatever they’re being told. 

You’ve likely heard of the innovator’s dilemma, a term coined by Clayton Christensen. Established companies have a strong disincentive to innovate because it threatens the status quo of their growth. Less talked about, but possibly more prevalent because it affects any innovator regardless of company size, is the challenge that innovators face when sharing their new ideas. While most know the response they want from their audience, they don’t know how to get it. And the most discouraging part is that our ideas aren’t the problem. It’s how we communicate them. 

We’ve seen it time and again in our focus industries (although it extends to any innovative area): Sustainability leaders losing their audience immediately because their future vision is not in touch with the current reality. Healthcare marketing executives told that their aspirations for digital patient experience are not a priority. Product teams within B2B organizations that can’t get enough funding for their B2C initiatives.

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For innovators, mass marketing misses the point

Congratulations on your truly remarkable innovation!

But here's the blunt truth: most new products, regardless of their brilliance, innovation, or potential to improve lives, ultimately fail. Innovators often clearly envision a world where their creation dominates the market, headlines and makes them rich along the way. However, this outcome is all too rare.

Consider MP3 players. Remember the MPman F10, the Rio, or the Creative Nomad Jukebox? Neither do I. But we all vividly recall the iPod – which came after many other similar products.

Why do many excellent products, services, or technologies falter while sometimes inferior ones succeed? It's because they attempt the impossible—they aim to capture everyone's attention. In doing so, they stumble into what Geoffrey Moore famously termed "the chasm"—a vast void between early adopters and the broader market. It's where promising ideas meet their demise.

You might argue, "But this new product is genuinely incredible!" However, two significant obstacles stand in your way. First, we're all bombarded with messages incessantly from all directions, forcing us to tune most of them out – making it nearly impossible to gain attention. Second, gaining acceptance for a new idea means challenging entrenched habits—a notoriously difficult feat.


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When Habits Die Hard: 3 Brand Strategies to Shift Behavior and Transform Markets

Habits are so essential to our survival that their behavioral patterns are imprinted into our subconscious neural pathways. And anything that is counter to those habits is seen as a potential threat to our stability and safety. 
But what happens when a brand needs their market to break free from these patterns?

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The number one reason most product launches fail

When Google Glass launched to the public in 2014 after a $400 Million investment, it was heralded as the next big thing in wearable technology. But, less than a year later, the product was pulled from shelves. It’s a prime example of the unfortunate reality of innovation. Having a vision for a revolutionary product is not enough. 

The launch campaign for Google Glass struggled to paint a clear picture of its place in consumers’ everyday lives. 

“...though I tried, very hard, to make Glass a part of my life, I simply didn't feel comfortable with the screen hovering just out of my line of sight.” April 2014 Review in The Washington Post

Success and failure in innovation hinge on your ability to help others see themselves in the future you’ve envisioned. The iPod is a perfect case study. It wasn’t the first to market, but its success over other failed MP3 players can be attributed to Apple's ability to envision a new future of music consumption. Steve Jobs didn't just sell a device; he sold an experience, a new way of interacting with music that was so compelling that people wanted to be in this new world. 

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A better recipe for cookies management in healthcare

Today’s media is buzzing with pretty dramatic headlines declaring the end of cookies on the web. But here's the thing: it's not all doom and gloom for marketers. For marketers who have relied heavily on third-party cookies over the past several years, the shift to a cookie-less web can feel daunting. But our ability to personalize messages and offers is not going away. We just need to be more mindful and strategic about the way we collect and use data. 

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Under the Hood of Website Personalization

 

Creating moments of customer serendipity

Where “serendipity” is used to describe the coincidental occurrence of events in a beneficial way, the concept of customer serendipity is not a matter 
of chance at all.

With right strategy and technology, you can deliver the right content at exactly the right time that it matters. It seems like surprise to your users and yet it is a trusted and welcomed interaction.

Today’s modern and personalized web architectures allow you to give each user a unique experience tailored to their needs. 

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What's a digital twin and what does it mean for my website privacy policy?

Each day it's getting harder to keep up with the latest trends in digital consumer engagement – not to mention the complex privacy risks that come with it. Take for instance the concept of digital twins, which has secured a spot in Gartner's latest hype cycle for emerging technologies. These virtual representations of a customer are intended to simulate, emulate and anticipate consumer behavior to help modify and enhance the customer experience.

While even Gartner predicts true market adoption is still at least 5 years away, it's imperative that companies start setting the right ethical foundation now. 

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