Not too long ago I had the opportunity to attend the final rehearsal for the Boulder Symphony as they were preparing for opening night of a concert. Here are three takeaways I gathered that apply to any innovation team building and launching new products.
We just found out that Inc. magazine today accepted Mission Field into its 38th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment— its independent small and midsized businesses.
The Fourth of July is a time for flags, fireworks, and lots of great food! As we celebrate Independence Day, I thought it would be fun to look up what our Founding Fathers’ ate 243 years ago, to see if we whether there truly has been an American Food Revolution.
At Mission Field, we pride ourselves on being entrepreneurial in our approach while understanding and solving for the requirements of our “Big” established CPG clients. And that includes understanding how to help overcome that “not invented here” syndrome. Accepting innovation ideas from outside the organization can be challenging, especially for people in functions whose careers are built around inventing new things.
Come join us at the New Products Conference in Chicago from September 30th to October 2nd where innovators will be discussing the future of food at this 3 day event.
It was an amazing Expo West 2019! With record attendance of more than 86,000 in Anaheim from 136 countries all vying to see the 3,600 booths – it was a little bit of mayhem and loads of great energy. There were an impressive 600 new, first-time exhibitors this year. As someone who has been going to Expo for over a decade, it really was an amazing collection of better-for-you foods and top-notch entrepreneurs.
Read on for 8 top trends…
We at Mission Field are a curious bunch, and when our operations manager Ashley Butler went to NY fashion week in February, we had to hear her secrets! What was it like, what cool new trends did you observe, what fun and flowy materials might we see in future retail packaging?! Well… maybe not the last item, but here were Ashley’s 5 major takeaways on how fashion innovation is similar to consumer product innovation:
Happy Innovation Day 2019 – it’s a day to celebrate you, the innovator, and help you imagine new and better ways of innovating! We have 3 buckets of interesting and inspirational elements on our website including items to FUEL your creativity, FEED your soul, and FIRE up your body. And if you want a little extra inspiration, then go onto our innovation day 2019 landing page - www.mission-field.com/innovationday2019 - and request our free book offer.
As an innovator I think both depth and breadth of subject matter is important, which is what makes choosing between attending Expo West & SXSW each year so difficult.
Each January brings the inevitable messages and promotions for self-improvement. And this year is no exception. But in the “same old, same old” messages, I always find a few nuggets that end up resonating with me. This year, in a short article I saw on LinkedIn about career lessons, I found this one that seems apropos to what I spend my time doing at Mission Field: Never Stop Learning.
My twist on this is, Never Stop Evolving.
My 2019 trend prediction is that we’ll see more and more food items moving from center store to the perimeter, we’ll see consumers adapt and embrace new behaviors in order to gain the benefits of better for you packaged foods and bold, fresh taste.
Marketers have been complaining about the poor quality of concept-testing innovations since modern branding started. But does the fault with the methodology or the type of person being recruited? And does it matter whether those innovations are close-in or disruptive? Let’s examine both of those issues with three key quotes from academics over time:
Consumers’ expectations for how they learn about, try and purchase products is that discovery should occur in a way without undue effort on the part of the shopper. A great way to bring this concept to life is the phrase “route to me” - which said another way means: treat me as a unique individual and not as a cohort when suggesting exciting new products.
As consumer packaged goods shopping increasingly moves online, it raises a host of questions about how shopping behavior changes when it’s on screen vs. walking around a store. Recently we’ve been helping our clients better understand consumer shopping behavior in online channels, and as you might expect, it’s been fascinating!
Have you ever seen car manufacturers' test their future models with a crazy, eye-catching black and white camouflage meant to obscure both brand and design? This past weekend I was able to witness two of these examples being tested on Colorado’s mountain passes.... and they both provide a perfect analog to how Mission Field helps our CPG clients test their new product innovations in plain sight.
One of the difficulties the "Bigs" have in adapting to change is their organizational and structural bias to pursue scale today over growth potential tomorrow. Is there a way to change this so that big CPG can continue to do what they do best AND pursue nascent growth for tomorrow without disrupting their systems? Our Moving Front model may be an answer… read on to find out more
Reading about P&G's experience on Alway's Discreet pads and adult diapers is a classic case of why traditional market research has its limits and why transactional-testing needs to be utilized more often. You can read the WSJ's description of the case here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/p-gs-incontinence-problem-how-to-get-women-into-adult-diapers-1530014400 . Here's our analysis:
I love working in consumer insights, and I especially love ethnography work. Whenever I wear the hat of ethnographer I always have this single question in the back of my mind, “what’s your secret?”, meaning, what is it that drives you, that fuels your hopes and dreams, your fears and inhibitions, what drives the choices you make in life, both big and small.
The path of product innovation is always a curvy and twisty road... but sometimes it can produce something else entirely unexpected! Hint-hint, poke-poke, prod-prod - you know who I’m talking to…
It is hard – very hard – to unknow what you’ve worked hard to learn, to be able to see beyond what you know to be true and to re-try to solve a problem you or the team has already investigated. Bringing in fresh perspective to solve tough business problems can be just what a team needs to find fertile new ground for growth.