One size fits all

Escrito el 19 Abril 2006 por Ricardo Pérez Garrido en Innovación / Innovation

We want to give our dear customers new products, new offers that can respond to their needs… To make it happen, we keep imagining new products, taking them through complex filters so we make sure they are great products, good enough for our company’s reputation. We then take them to the market, with several “flavors”, so everybody can make it “his product”. And we end up with long lists of offers, that nobody understands, and that will keep our customer service busy trying to explain our “wannabe” customers how to really get what they want, something, in many cases, extremely simple, far away from the complexity we have created.

From time to time I like to visit Casa Mingo, a restaurant in Madrid opened in 1917, which only serves roasted chicken, salad and cider (a couple of side dishes too, but everything very simple). If you are not there really early, you will have to wait for a table. The business has been a success for years. And simplicity is their best tool. They have changed the kitchens, the way they serve the cider, some of the rooms… but they offer what their clients want: good food, reliable quality, good prices. When you go there you know what to expect. And we keep coming back again and again.

Now that everybody wants to know how to innovate, maybe it’s also time to measure the amount of change you want; maybe you want to simplify your processes before you go back to your innovation board. Or maybe even that process of simplification can lead to a better understanding of what your customers really want, which in most cases doesn’t match with pages and pages of different offers that nobody understands.


Enrique Cabello 21 Abril 2006 - 13:17

Keep it simple or at least, as simple as you can, could be the claim.

Nowadays we are reviewing business case “The Body Shop” and apart from being a former case about new corporate social responsability, is a good example of innovation.

Anita Roddick’s way of management is an example of innovation from a business perspective. Innovation in such a case, understood as doing the things with a different perspective, could lead into a competive edge.

Innovation here comes to the hand of social responsibility but is this anything that applies by definition anybody anywhere? Of course not but at least our potential customers got the feeling of the commitment they are looking for.

But, please, do not get confuse with the idea. Is this marketing to make business or it’s just really a “save the whales” approach? The confusion comes when innovation does not allow you to see the tree because of the forest, when innovation comes first to business.

Sometimes simplicy is a solution but is it because of keeping it simple the competive edge of Casa Mingo or is it something else? How easy is to be copied? From my point of view if this were only the edge everybody could do it … or, not?

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