A new study supports the approach we use here at BigHeads and finds that DIVERSITY DRIVES INNOVATION!
Read about it HERE
Toyota DONATES their EXPERTISE and IDEAS (instead of money) to help the Food Bank of NYC. A great INNOVATION story! (read it HERE)
Here at BigHeads, we will be working with more-and-more CHARITIES to help them solve problems using unexpected solvers…..stay tuned!
A ROCK-CLIMBING GYM designed to BOOST CREATIVITY!
How iPads and MacBooks INFLUENCED the new ELECTRIC BMW.
h-Mag interview with BigHeads founder, John Palumbo
A BALCONY DESK that BORROWS design inspiration from RAILING PLANTERS. http://www.werd.com/21372/balcony-desk
WHEN PANTIES BORROWED FROM PACKAGED GOODS (by BigHeads founder, John Palumbo)
Cross-pollination is a term we use at BigHeads to describe the innovation practice of “borrowing” (some might say, “stealing”) ideas, techniques and tools from outside (and often unexpected) industries/sources and applying them to your own. And there’s nothing I enjoy more than talking to fellow innovators who have embraced cross-pollination as part of their process and hearing their stories about when it worked.
One such innovator is Jill Beraud. Jill is currently CEO of Living Proof, a privately-held beauty company in Cambridge, MA. Prior to that, Jill was President of Starbucks & Lipton Joint Ventures and Global Chief Marketing Officer at PepsiCo. Before PepsiCo, Jill spent 13 years at Limited Brands in various roles, including chief marketing officer of Victoria’s Secret.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Jill about her experience “cross-pollinating” and one of her favorite examples using the approach.
JP: These days the practice of cross-pollination is becoming more prevalent, especially as companies and brands continue to adopt open innovation and crowdsourcing initiatives to drive innovation. Tell me about your experience with cross-pollination.
JB: I have used cross pollination to create innovative programs for many years. Having built brands and businesses across multiple categories, from food & beverage to fashion & beauty, I have utilized ideas from each of those categories and applied it to the other.
JP: Can you give me an example of a time when you used it successfully?
JB: One of the most successful examples is how I used a very common idea from the food, beverage and beauty category and applied it in an unexpected way to the fashion/lingerie category.
While at Victoria’s Secret, one of the key insights we identified about our consumers’ shopping behavior was that 50% of our customers where buying our bras but not our panties. Clearly that was a huge opportunity for us to drive incremental business and trial.
In 1996, I created a direct mail “panty sampling” program which targeted all of our consumers that had not purchased a panty to come into our store for a “free cotton panty.” Not only did this drive significant incremental and highly profitable traffic to our stores and tremendous trial/repeat of our panties, but it helped to build the panty business into a $500MM+ business as well as increase the overall bra business.
JP: And this had never been done before?
JB: While sampling is a very common methodology to get trial in beauty, food and beverage, it had never been employed in the fashion/lingerie business to drive trial/repeat and as well as create profitable traffic in retail.
This “free panty sampling” program has continued to this day, 17 years later, to drive profitable business to Victoria’s Secret and has since been copied at other specialty retailers.
So, the takeaway for YOU is simple – always consider approaches and techniques from OUTSIDE industries to inspire innovations and solutions for your own.
You might not immediately see how the marching behavior of ants could help a major airline create a more efficient boarding process…or how techniques used by a bounty hunter could help a fortune 500 company find the best employees to hire…or how a tool used by a car restoration specialist could lead to a new color-matching product for a cosmetics company, but these are the types of unexpected connections we make every day to help companies create innovative new products and ideas.
And since innovation is often the result of "connecting-the-dots" between your objective and approaches from outside your industry, we’ve developed processes that leverage our network of diverse BigHeads to accelerate those connections so you can uncover tools, techniques and ideas from other industries that can be applied to your own.
And you thought connecting-the-dots was child’s play.
For more information contact:
Carlyn Kelly, EVP of Strategy and Innovation
Special thank you to Albie and Chris Manzo for the interview…
Want to make that big business PITCH a success…start SWEARING. It’s an older study…but one we love around here: http://commons.lib.niu.edu/handle/10843/11581