Indra Nooyi, CEO, PepsiCo
When I first came to PepsiCo, every time we talked about products for women, people would just put it in a pink bag, or put on a pink label. And I thought: Whoa! We have a problem in how we think about innovation, not just in terms of form function—the package it’s going to be put into—but how it’s going to be used and all the way back to the early stages of the value chain. I believe deep consumer insights are really important.
So one day, I gave each of my direct reports an empty photo album and a camera. I asked them to take pictures of anything they thought represented good design
… after six weeks, only a few people returned the albums. Some had their wives take pictures. Many did nothing at all. They didn’t know what design was.
- design is not packaging (“should we go to a different blue?”)
- bring a designer into the company (Mauro Porcini, fmr. 3M)
- rethink the entire user experience (purpose generates margins)
Market growth alone doesn’t give you enough tailwind. You have to create your own. The way to do that is by designing products for consumers that wow them. Not just the way they look, but that every aspect of what they buy delights them.
Mauro Porcini, Chief Design Officer, PepsiCo
Indra and I are really on the same page when it comes to marketing research. In many corporations, marketing research is heavily used to validate rather than to generate insights to drive innovation.
Design is to create meaningful and relevant brand experiences for our customers any time they interact with our portfolio of products
Design is a strategic function that focuses on what people want and need
As for the return, look at consumer engagement, and brand equity.
En 2005, quand la cafetière filtre de base est passée du jour au lendemain de €19.99 à €4.99 chez Leclerc, Auchan ou Carrefour, on ne savait pas fabriquer à ce prix. Nous avons donc pris un tournant majeur: réfléchir d’abord à l’usage. Nous avons recruté des spécialistes de l’agroalimentaire, des anthropologues, des chefs cuisiniers, associé étroitement le marketing, le design, la R&D…
Nous sommes toujours là car nous avons réagi par l’innovation. Exemple: Actifry. Nos produits sont vendus en moyenne €50. Le groupe a doublé de taille en douze ans. Nous avons fait le pari de l’innovation en associant usage et technologie. L’innovation, en Chine comme ailleurs, c’est notre recette de base pour une croissance à 2 chiffres.
En 2011, nous avons aussi lancé SEB Alliance, notre fonds d’investissement dans des start-up. Bref, un écosystème très ouvert qui nous permet d’innover sans cesse, d’inventer une friteuse sans huile, un aspirateur silencieux, un Cookeo aux recettes préprogrammées doté d’une entrée USB… Nous sommes au début d’une ère où le digital transforme tout de fond en comble.
Why Apple is #1?
Simply because Apple (Steve Jobs) is the most innovative (not inventive, not creative) company of the past 15 years.
Apple didn’t create the first MP3 player, the first smartphone, or the first tablet. And yet they, along with rival technology companies like Google, Blackberry and Microsoft have access to the same materials, the same bright minds, and the same funding. Nothing distinguished them structurally from other companies, so what’s the difference?
Why are more people buying iPods instead of Zunes, iPhones instead of Nokias, iPads instead of Samsung Galaxys?
This post isn’t just to rah-rah about Job’s marketing prowess. At Apple, they think, act, and communicate differently. Marketing is at the “core” of the company, i.e. the customer occupies center stage. Don’t think of Apple as having a single “marketing department” that controls all its advertising and design, rather, the whole company connected to its customers, are the marketing department.
The iMac’s biggest selling point was how easy it was to get onto the internet. Just plug in your phone line and go. That feature alone made it very enticing to new internet users.
With iTunes, Apple had completely reinvented the way we looked at music files. Suddenly, we could download just the songs we wanted, and we did not need to go and get/order CDs (and place them on a shelf).
So the takeaway lesson to remember from Apple Mac’s sudden surge in popularity is to discover what people really want (and not what you, in your office, think they want) and determine if they’d be willing to change and experience your idea in order to get that want fulfilled.