August 30, 2007

A new seminar on INNOVATION

Yesterday I finished what I started seven weeks ago here in Boston: a new seminar on innovation. After several weeks reading and researching in the Harvard Business School Library, and a few more weeks developing new slides, the new seminar is ready to be given.

It's a 2-day seminar, but could be adapted to a 1-day seminar or even to a 2 hour conference.

The structure of the seminar is the following:

How to get your business model in shape.

What’s going on the market?

The challenge to shift the focus of the company towards innovation.

Ten keys to acceleration.
The cruising speed of the History is hastening and managers should be able to deal with instability and high competition.

3 step process to predict industry changes.
Signals of change.
Competitive battles.
Strategic choices.

3 types of innovation.
Sustaining innovation.
Low-end disruption.
New-market innovation.

How to start an innovation process within your company.
Why leading companies usually don’t cope with disruption.
Methodology to innovate.

The 4 pillars of a business model.
The Value proposition.
Channels and distribution.
The Value chain.

The value proposition.
Dealing with a polarized market.
The vertical and repetitive evolution of the markets.
3 step methodology to design a new value proposition.
The challenge to describe the value proposition in less than 30 words.
How to reach differentiation by drawing a new value curve.
Mastering design as a powerful differentiation tool.

How customers think?
What happens in the cerebral cortex?
The difference between thought and verbal language.
How does memory work?
Types of memory.
The journey from the experience with the brand to the conscious memory.
Reviewing the traditional marketing research tools.
6 proposals: segmentation, the right questionnaire, listening to clients, online conversation, ‘consumer safari’, database analysis.
Healthy growth formula.
The client corridor.

Channels and distribution.
How are my salespeople spending their time?
4o inspiring ideas in retailing.

The value chain.
Economies of scale and the natural size of the company.
The disintegration of the value chain.
Advantages and disadvantages of integration and a modular architecture.
Designing the organization trough the 5 star model.
· Strategy: finding direction, vision and focus.
· Structure: specialization, shape, interdisciplinary teams, power and departmentalization.
· Processes: vertical and horizontal.
· Rewards: reasons why, skills, systems and goal alignment.
· People: recruiting, training, development and rotation.
10 characteristics of high potential professionals.
When do I need lateral coordination?
7 tools and ideas for conflict management.
Types of lateral processes.
Fully reconfigurable organization.

The keys to transformation processes.
The 4 step formula.
The variables of change.
10 recommendations to start a process of change.


Some slides of the seminar:

August 27, 2007

5 lessons in New York

Last week I made a brief visit to New York to see new trends in retailing. These are a few things that caught my eye:

Location is important, but not that much. 5th Avenue doesn't prevent your prices from "free falling"...

In Abercrombie & Fitch, buying clothes is the closest experience to having a drink in a pub: the atmosphere is absolutely outstanding. The music they play in the store is particulary relevant.

Apple Store, 3:05 pm: 200 customers.
Check your email, try the iPhone, ask any question, feel at home!

Sony Store, 3:30 pm: 10 customers.
No wifi, no pictures allowed, "do not touch" banners, security people not particularly friendly...

Great message for the employees on the backdoor of the Hilton Hotel: We make it happen.

August 13, 2007

How to market a street

Here I provide a good example of how to market a street.
Newbury Street (Boston).

The retail world is evolving really fast: Armani sells coffee. A lesson to be learnt...

Demanding slogan that I found in a window shop.

August 8, 2007

Irrelevance on the shelves

As long as I'm advising a leading Spanish company in beauty and personal care, I'm really interested in analyzing what happens in the stores. And how companies try to avoid irrelevance on the shelves -actually, they are packed of similar products, with similar prices, with similar features and are oriented to similar consumers.

This is what a saw a few days ago in a central Boston CVS/Pharmacy Store:

There is little differentiation. At least, the differentiation that a consumer can perceive. Therefore, brands need to attack consumers like this Garnier free tester display (see picture below):

And the question that arises is what's next?

August 7, 2007

Use consultants wisely

The Essentials of Managing Change and Transition.
This is the book that I'm reading this week. It offers strategies and tools that might enable companies to:
  • Assess various approaches to change and set the best strategy.
  • Prepare the organization and employees for change.
  • Communicate information effinciently across the change process.
  • Reduce employee stress.
  • Use consultants (like me) wisely.
  • ;-)