What is innovation?
“Innovation means coming up with new ways of doing things. Bringing innovation into your business can help you save time and money, and give you the competitive advantage to grow and adapt your business in the marketplace.” according to the business.gov.au. It does not only mean to create but also to change as the needs of your consumers and the market changes.
Why you need to get on the train of innovation right now?
With the ever-growing fast-paced environment, we are in, innovation is the key to survival for any business regardless of big, small, or how well established it is.
Loyalty from your consumers will only last you a limited time until another business comes into the industry with something great and innovative, sweeping away all your consumers.
Therefore, innovation is imperative. It gives you an edge over your competitors; it provides consumers with a motive to choose you over others. It also aids a business in penetrating markets faster and more successfully.
When your business incorporates an innovative culture, your company will grow much more smoothly and efficiently. The correct techniques can help save time and money while giving you a competitive lead in the expansion of your business.
Several businesses in the past have taken this lightly, only to face a major downfall and eventually closure.
Don’t believe in the importance of innovation?
Let’s look at a significant business that faced its demise due to a lack of innovation.
Vine was an app that let users record short six-second video loops through an in-app camera and share it on their feed. This idea was much like what Snapchat has become today.
Vine came in during a time other applications did not offer what it did. Initially like the other application Slack, it was built for a different purpose. This plan quickly pivoted into something much different. Although Twitter had bought Vine and had initially planned to make it a part of their application, this did not end up happening. Vine remained an individual application.
The six-second constraint was taken as a creative challenge by consumers. It was videos that were similar to GIFs and the now popularly known, Boomerangs which made it even more interesting.
It is essential for any start-up company to focus on establishing the brand and a following. While it is difficult breaking into an industry, it is pertinent to create credibility and experience. Vine eventually became a successful brand by itself and grew out of its association with Twitter.
It wasn’t too long before other social media companies caught on with Vine. While Vine had one main thing to offer in terms of short videos, other social media platforms capitalized off of the appeal of Vine by broadening the scope and additional features. Instead of having to use separate applications for each feature of video posting and sharing, social media platforms were then offering it all in one.
While it is an endless challenge to keep up with the changing nature of the current industry, Vine failed to show any signs of innovation. Vine had an immensely large and loyal following and lasted as long as it did because of this loyal following, to whom the app was no longer offering benefits as expected. ‘Viners’ or those that gained popularity on Vine, therefore, turned to other social media applications where they could do more. Soon “Vines’ biggest stars had jumped ship, leaving for more profitable pastures like Facebook and YouTube.” (New York Times) “That threat of stealing users and market share was real, and it worked.” (New York Times)
Applications such as Snapchat and Instagram began to become famous, they were continually introducing new features for its consumers and continue to do so till date. It is clear that they have an intrapreneurial mindset in their company as they are constantly innovating and changing. Vine failed to provide interchangeability of this scope. “Each year, media must consider how the behavior of their audiences changes and adapts. This is known as sustainable innovation.” (Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship) Vine fell behind in this area.
The other obstacle Vine was facing was that it was struggling to make profits. The money started flowing away from Vine as marketers concentrated on other endeavors and hence, the stars followed. “Time Warner said it would invest $100 million in making shows and buying ads on Snapchat.” (Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship). The way the money flowed within the dynamics of Vine is fascinating to look at. Companies typically paid Vine stars to endorse their products or services as part of a video as they had access to millions of followers. Vine, on the other hand, did not only neglect to offer an ad-based system for the Viners but also did not demand a share of the profits the stars made from ads (The Verge). With the ever-growing fast-paced environment of social media and trends, vine not putting out anything new or of consequence for over a year meant that any minor shift in the market could impact it.
Another factor that caused the demise of Vine was Twitters’ negligence towards it and the lack of marketing itself. It never really promoted Vine as much as the other social media platforms promoted themselves. The key to success in this day and age is relentless promoting and embedding ideas and products in the consumers’ minds. Any product or service will never reach its fullest potential without continuous efforts of highlighting its benefits. Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook not just promote themselves but also highlights the positives such as new artists, which bring in more views. Suffice it to say that Vine did not make as much of those efforts concerning advertising. As a result, most of the Vine celebrities with millions of followers shifted and moved on to platforms such as YouTube and others. They no longer had a six second time limit on YouTube, and it was more profitable as well, leading to the mass exodus of people putting out fresh content routinely.
Vines’ most significant issue was ultimately that the application could not keep up with being relevant and neglected to adapt amongst the fast-paced dynamics of heavy competition. Vine remained unable to change, while the needs of their audience changed. With the initial success, Twitter overestimated the future of Vine as a formidable force in the market. As a result, they didn't pay attention to one crucial factor which was remembering that trends come and go but the only way to remain ahead of the competition is to adapt, change and innovate with the ever-changing market.
Innovation Innovation and Innovaton!
Be an Instagram for your users, not a Vine! At this point, you may have understood the importance and urgency to be innovative. As the clock is ticking another business is coming up with an innovation that may wipe you out of the game altogether.
In this day and age, it’s all about the “online media.” Think personalization. How can you create a personalized digital experience for your consumers? Use this question as a starting point for your innovation process.
Instagram tries to be as personalized for every individual as it possibly can, and to a large extent, it is quite successful at it too. According to what the user searches more often it makes sure that the advertisements that appear on its users’ page are relevant to them. Also, it has a discovery page where it curates suggestions according to each users’ activities on the app. This makes the whole experience for a consumer great. This is because it is efficient, saves time for the user so they don’t have to search for content that interests them actively and it also keeps the user interested.
If your business is more personalized and innovative, it automatically increases your chances of success and integrating into the market. You need to be able to change with the needs of your consumers.
While innovation doesn’t come quickly and may lead to you facing some failures before the big bullseye, Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I have just found ten thousand ways that won’t work,” which brings you another step closer to finding that one way that will be your Jackpot!