There is one thing Jayant Murty wants to make clear; innovation is not about the bottom line. During his session at the 2015 Marketing Innovation Summit, Intel Hong Kong’s Director of Brand Strategy, Integrated and Partner Marketing bemoaned the many obstacles to innovation in the corporate world.
“You’ll find that most often that people are generally calling it stupid,” he says, “or it doesn’t seem right, it doesn’t seem like a good business model, there’s no money in it, no profit; there are always terrible things that oppose great ideas.” Throughout his session, Murty outlined the six core principles to realistic innovation:
- Innovation takes courage and competency.
- Reframe the problem and embrace the data.
- Impact the product, process, or business model.
- Focus on the downstream, not just upstream.
- Be customer-centric. Involve and engage the user.
- Embrace the trend, but interpret it for your
Murty believes we should rethink what we expect from the word itself. “When we think of innovation we think of Silicon Valley, of better products and services. We need to look at innovation on a broader scale, at processes and customers.” Brands needn’t be radical, says Murty; a small change that improves or simplifies the consumer experience is just as worthy. Innovation is not something that should be quantified by how many people it affected, but rather by how it affected people’s lives.
Instead of focusing on highly competitive upstream areas, Murty advises playing to your brand’s strengths by taking a trip downstream and tailoring the experience in a way that makes it worth the ride for consumers. After all, what are you more likely to encounter; a consumer saying they want a newer device, or a consumer who is looking for more satisfaction? “What’s really interesting is when you ignore the upstream, because not everyone can play in that space,” he says. “It’s not about the better product or the better process, very often it’s about changing the axis of perception.”
“For me, the most interesting part about innovation is framing the problem,” he says. For example, data shows that it takes the same length of time for an Uber car to arrive at its destination after being requested as an ambulance does after a 911 call — so why not equip Uber drivers with first aid kits? Data becomes important, says Murty, when it is used to yield solutions which transcend your core business and offer genuine benefit. That is where you will find your competitive edge; that is real innovation.