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The Timing is Ripe for An Innovation Communication Audit

| On 14, Jan 2009

Lynda Curtin

Yesterday, I received a marketing piece inviting me to a seminar on “How-to Survive” in a Market Downturn. I deleted it immediately. My intention is to THRIVE, not just to s u r v I v e. I hope yours is too.

This incident got me to thinking about the choice of words that are selected to communicate new ideas and the impact they can have on success. I want to thrive so I’m not going to that seminar. I wonder if the creator of the event thought about the choice of that one word – survive, and the different ways it can be perceived by prospects. The impact on success is immediate, and, it’s just a word.

This leads me to share the following two situations that also happened to me this week:

  1. I am in my fourth year of learning to play golf; sports of any kind do not come easy to me. I just discovered from another player the markings on my club heads are there to help me align the sweet spot on my club heads with the golf ball. I thought the marks were design elements. So, I went to the website of the maker of my clubs to find out what else I should know that would be helpful to me. Technical golf-speak and lots of acronyms filled their descriptions communicating all the apparently great new innovations their clubs offer. No help to me; just golf mumbo jumbo.

Why do companies spend so much money on innovation and then neglect one of the most important steps in the whole innovation process – communicating the innovation in a clear, compelling, and easy to understand way?

  1. A Tide commercial caught my attention. This amazed me because my approach to buying cleaning products is to keep my life simple and to save time by just buying the brands I always buy.

Why did Tide catch my attention? The commercial communicated a compelling easy to understand message about a new innovation. It demonstrated solving a problem that bugs me; having the colors of my clothes fade from washing.  Tide showed their new version retaining the color of clothes for 30 washes. I will likely buy it the next time I am shopping.

I share these observations with you because I think now is a perfect time to consider conducting an Innovation Communication Review/Audit.  It’s such a shame to see a valuable innovation languish or fail because the communication step is weak.

I know it’s frustrating for many to be working in an environment when so much effort is focused on cutting budgets. I believe by deciding to complete an Innovation Communication Audit, a very inexpensive and proactive activity, you can actually end up adding to your top and bottom-line this year; not to mention, actually strengthening your valuable innovations.

Until next time …