The world is flat, The market is an elephant, And we are blind.
Not to worry, Ashwini Deshpande and her spirited/playful team at Elephant Strategy + Design are there to help you discover the contours of your market. But beware they will sneak an Elephant motif or two in your logo, product, or brochure!
Ashwini gave an inspiring talk on how her design company employs an eight fold path to deliver innovation Root2Fruit for their clients.
The talk was part of banquet session of the India Innovation Summit 2007 organized by the CII. The content was put together by Erehwon Innovation Consulting, the knowledge partner of the event. Each of the method had an anchor punch line and was elaborated with an Elephant client story.
I was very impressed by the BeckSeal story – too bad I’m not able to locate the product online. The story starts when BeckIndia came to Elephant Desing for a package artwork change. BeckSeal was a supplier for M-seal before it was acquired by Mahindra & Mahindra. So they had a lot of capacity for making the epoxy putty. When M&M did not source the putty from BeckSeal, it went to the market with a ditto product with ditto packaging. Obviously the revenues were nothing to write home about. Elephant as a strategy company offered to ‘Ask the users’ on BeckSeal’s behalf. Elephant figured out that the users are annoyed with the mess of mixing, the smell, and not being able to use fractional quantity of the product.
Elephant’s team came up with a Revelon lipstick like co-extruded epoxy-putty dispenser for BeckSeal thereby positioning it in a totally different high premium segment of the market.
Another impressive innovation method discussed was “Non contextual benchmarking” illustrated by a Bajaj Service stations transformed from a greasy shack to a sophisticated experience. The metaphor employed for the transformation was Intensive Care Unit(ICU) and/or a 5-star kitchen. The results are there for everyone to see. The transformation paid off within months rather than years.
The punch-line method was: “Dont wait for a brief” where they took the initiative on their own and designed an identity for the city they call their home. And as with all good karma got rewarded handsomely in time.
“Find purpose, Means will follow – M K Gandhi” seen on the last slide of the show. Lot of attitude!