I continue from where I left. Probably one of the greatest discoveries in the field of marketing communications. I am referring to Mindscapes tools.
These are thinking patterns and methodology derived from the analysis of award-winning campaigns from the highest ranks, including Cannes Lions and Grand Prix.
They are campaigns that have been awarded not just for their innovation and creativity but also, effectiveness and impact in generating exponential growth for brands.
The result of the analysis is the development of thinking clusters, which are then developed into tools that you can learn to enhance creativity. They are categorised into 3 groups. Insights, Innovation and Communication.
We have covered one out of six Insights tools and used local and global campaigns to demonstrate how it works.
Today I would like to look at an Innovation tool that’s great for deriving innovative ideas that lead to innovations in services and products. The interesting thing is that innovative ideas come out of rich insights.
So, ensure that you are first armed with how to generate strong insights as there is a strong correlation between the two. Great insights drive the ideas that drive innovation.
Another Cannes Grand Prix demonstrates this Innovation tool named, Dynamic Connections.
Art Series, a chain of boutique hotels in Australia was doing very good business on weekdays but was struggling with occupancy during the weekends.
They therefore tasked their agency to develop a campaign that would find a cost-effective way to increase occupancy rates during their quiet to off-peak periods while at the same time differentiating their brand in a saturated hotel market.
In developing a solution, the agency found a great insight. Visitors who had occupied the hotel for leisure travel didn’t like the fact that they had to make an early check-out by 11.00am the next morning.
They also discovered that most of the time, the next guest would either check-in the evening or not at all. So, the question was, ‘why do guest have to check-out so early even if the room is not needed straight away?’
As a result, the ad agency and client come up with a very innovative marketing idea that transcended Advertising, Digital, PR and was pegged in developing a new product called ‘The Overstay Checkout’.
With the Overstay Checkout, guests could stay as long as they wanted until the room was needed by the next guest, at no extra charge! It worked out great; one would stay in their room until the next guest checked in; whether it was at 2.00pm, 6.oopm or even the next day!
Guests overstayed hundreds of extra hours, extra days, some even overstayed a week!
The goal was to sell 1,000 extra rooms; however, they were able to sell 1,540 rooms, 55% above target. Although they didn’t make extra on accommodation, they made about $38,000 on extras, including food, bar and room service.
Furthermore, the campaign gave the hotel an incredible ROI of 359%. It also attracted global media coverage valued at $ 1.5m.
The project was seen as a genuine innovation in the hotel and travel industry, solving the problem of unsold inventory.
Another award-winning example is from France. Intermarche, a chain of supermarkets that sells fresh produce including fruits, vegetables, flowers, meats; briefed their agency to develop a campaign that positions them as the freshest.
The agency not only came up with an advertising campaign but also a new product innovation, which is what nailed it. The product innovation was based on the most popular fresh juice in France; orange juice.
The insight was; No orange juice is better and healthier than a freshly squeezed one.
So, what did they need to do? Prove that Intermarche orange juice was indeed the freshest.
They did this by launching ‘The Freshest Fresh Juice ever Created’. That was the campaign. The juice brand was named the exact time the juice was made. Yes, the name of the brand changed with the exact time it was made.
So, a brand named 8.36 am was cut, squeezed, packed and put on the display at 8.36am. All this was efficiently done in-store.
In the first 3 days the percentage of sales on the juice went up 4000% per store. And overall in-store traffic grew 25% in one of the largest supermarket chains in France.
In these cases, we see a new service/ product that wasn’t there before. These examples show that a connection was made between situations and variables within a given context that were hitherto never connected.
In the case of the chain of hotels, for the first time in the industry they made a connection between check-out time and idle inventory before next check-in.
In the case of Intermarche, they made a connection between the name of the brand and the time of manufacturing the contents of the product.
The Dynamic Connections tool guides us in making the connection between variables in a given situation so that one can create new values, benefits and experiences that reinforce the brand in an innovative way. In a way that makes the brand more relevant and meaningful in people’s lives.
The variables can be clustered into internal and external variables. Internal variables can be controlled and include things like price, product features, distribution.
External variables are those one has no control over for example the age of the consumer, the time and pace of consumption of the product and so on. However, we want to influence these to the extent that is possible.
One then lists as many internal variables as possible and asks the question if connections can be made within them. The same is done between internal and external variables.
In the case of Intermarhce, we see that they made a connection between internal variables (price and brand name), whereas The Art Series, made a connection between an external and internal variable. That is the check-in time of a new guest and extra free time to old guests, respectively.
Can you find a Dynamic for your brand and create an innovative idea? Or, as an agency can you challenge yourselves to produce much more than advertising ideas? Learn how to use your creative assets for generating new business opportunities through product/service innovation?
Try this formula or better still get some guidance through a Mindscapes tools workshop, run by the International School of Advertising.
Author: Susan Makau
CEO, International School of Advertising (ISA)