Being creative leads to highs and lows !

I recently attended the excellent Packhub Innovation day aimed at Brand & Packaging managers in the FMCG market and as would expect, the presentations were focused on helping to ‘innovate thinking’ around brands.

I wanted to share some of the thoughts as they certainly inspired me, but also reminded us that Innovation is not easy.

Working on the basis that three’s are always the best way of delivering an idea, I will start with three lots of threes!

Innovation is all about juggling creative effort, consumer/customer needs and technical capability

And, there are typically 3 reasons - Why you need to innovate?

·         To grow

·         To protect

·         To transform

All based upon a need to adjust to outside influences, adapt to trends and internal needs.

Innovation fixes frustration

Frustration that needs to be real and relevant

In the packaging world, the big trends are as follows:

·         More consumers! And changing demographics – younger and older

•       Personalised & ‘Made for me’

•       Link to technology  - tune in to the ‘Media Savvy’

•       Functionality – Easy to open, easy to see

•       On the go! Flexibility

•       Locally produced – craft production preference

So, innovation in packaging needs to respond to these issues.

Innovation fixes frustration

Frustration that needs to be real and relevant

However, for innovation to be successful it needs to ‘stick’ – new launches that stay for more than a year

But you may have to be patient, Innovation may take time.

Here is a great example of an innovation that was ‘too early for its time’.

Nespresso machines are everywhere now, thanks to George Clooney, but the machine was inventedin 1976, Eric Favre, an employee of Nestlé, invented, patented and introduced the Nespresso system[3][4] to the business market in Switzerland, initially without significant success. Nescafe revisited the concept as taste began to change.


 There are usually 3 types of Innovation

1.     Incremental innovation – used to strengthen existing product or steal share from competition, Sometime small tweaks can be made to Product, process or people to satisfy new questions or needs from existing users or customers.

2.     Stretch Innovation that generates revenue on fringes of existing market – this often recognises new opportunities. finding new ways to draw in audience beyond normal reach.

3.     Game Changer innovation - New product for new market- re-invent an existing product or process. Typically this will be about creating ‘Big impact’ on market. But Innovation like this leads to PAIN, you are being disruptive to the market. And you could also be disrupting you only systems.

Too difficult to come up with one of these innovations? The simplest way to think about a new Innovation is this ….. What would I hate my competitor to launch or invent ?

Why innovation fails?

Creativity is almost never the problem, its creativity on the right product

The world of business is –

90% operational world – systems, process, order, priority

10% time in innovation world trying things – experimenting

These two worlds are in conflict because Innovation disrupts systems. Even the most creative company has budgets, forecasts, systems…

Think about this. We like systems, they make things work.

What is best for you when we think about Flight?

Are we happy in the hands of a fully qualified pilot sitting behind a bank of instruments?  Taking instruction from a computer and traffic control and following procedures.  Or do we like the creativity and Innovation of French flying man - Franz Reichelt, also known as Frantz Reichelt or François Reichelt (1879 – February 4, 1912), was an Austrian-born, French tailor, inventor and parachuting pioneer, now sometimes referred to as the Flying Tailor, who is remembered for jumping to his death from the Eiffel Tower while testing a wearable parachute ? I know which I would choose.



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