Joe Chetcuti, director of Front argues that instead of looking to do something new and 'innovative' clients should be looking for their agencies to simply 'do better'.
When times get hard and we worry about the future it’s natural to look for silver bullets and magic potions that will provide succour to our fevered brows. But why do people in business insist on discussing the new, the different and the never done before? I assume it’s because they are bored of what they do or that they haven’t listened to the needs of their customers.
This attitude does slightly baffle me as really there is nothing new. It may seem new on the face of it, but I can pretty much guarantee it’s been done before. And if it hasn’t, then it’s probably not very good in the first place.
Instead of sitting in an ivory tower dreaming up new schemes, why don’t companies speak to their customers to understand what improvements to a product, service or communication would most benefit them. Nine times out of ten they won’t want to reinvent the wheel; what they’ll probably want are incremental improvements that show a business listens, cares and is willing to act for their benefit. Customers don’t want new - they want the best value for their time and money.
Was the Ipod new? Nope! It was simply a better MP3 player that was better designed, better communicated and boasted better access to lots of music. And those brands that have, at some point, positioned themselves as innovative and new, such as Apple, Virgin and Dyson are usually taking complex things and making them simple to understand, buy or fall in love with. In effect, they’re simply making products and services better: better produced, better supported and better communicated.
Feel free to innovate but do it behind closed doors and inflict your new ideas on those you know and trust first and only bring them to the public when they actually improve the existing service, product or campaign. I can guarantee that they may be new to you but your customers will stifle a yawn and move on to the brand that consistently offers better.
All in all, my philosophy is when someone suggests doing something new, what they should really be saying is lets do it better than the competition.