10 Strategies of the World's Most Successful Businesses...
Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, representing more than 2,000 consumer electronics companies was one of the keynote speakers at the 2013 PPAI North American Leadership Conference.
He had some interesting things to say. Have you ever heard of a Chinese brand? Korea has Samsung, Japan has Sony, China has....?? There are several reasons for the lack of prominent Chinese brands and some of those reasons are covered here.
It's encouraging to note that Gary believes that our industry succeeds because we create a branding experience using the five senses. Obviously there was more shared in Chicago than I can convey in this column, but I'm going to give you some nuggets from his thought-provoking session on innovation.
Brand building in the broad sense is based on innovation, which of course is a driving force in the electronics industry. In the promotional products industry, aside from the incentive sector, our products are used to support our client's branding.
As we know, in our industry, suppliers bring in products, mostly from China. Many of the same products are sold by suppliers, which distributors use to logo for use by end-user businesses and/or organizations. These products are effective in providing recognition for our client's brand. What makes one supplier different from another supplier? There are differences. Included in these reasons to use a supplier are: service, quality, creativity, and our business relationships. Our purchasing decisions typically are not driven by brand awareness.
Surprisingly, in many cases, innovation typically isn't one of the motivating factors in a distributor's purchasing decision. But innovation, or creativity, can stimulate buying decisions and lead to profitable business for all. Suppliers who are able to offer innovative branding solutions and effectively share those solutions with distributors have a competitive advantage.
In his book Ninja Innovation, which all NALC attendees received, Gary uses the ancient ninja metaphor to convey killer strategies of the world's most successful business. Here is a synopsis of 10 ninja strategies used by successful businesses. These are applicable to any industry, including ours.
Your Goal is Victory: The goal of a ninja is to defeat the enemy and complete the job. Likewise, the goal of an enterprise is to be better than the competition. Successful businesses succeed because they are driven to win and where the ultimate of the business strategy was clearly defined as victory.
Your Strike Force: Ninjas often operated as a team. More important, they were a team of professionals, not amateurs. One of the steps of any enterprise is to build the right team.
In War, Risk is Unavoidable: Ninjas and successful leaders approach their assignments as a way of life not merely a "day job." (See my article on passion.) If you don't take risks, you won't be successful.
Prepare for Battle: A ninjas behavior is grounded in a specific mental attitude. We call this discipline. To succeed, you must mentally steel yourself for the trials ahead. You will fail, often spectacularly. But never take your eyes off the goal.
The Art of War: Successful strategy is an art, not a science. Often you will not know all you should know to achieve success. That's okay. A successful strategy is a living strategy: it must be executed in a way that allows for a change in tactics. Your competition is fierce and smart, and they won't let you willingly defeat them. Expect surprises and adjust accordingly.
The Ninja Code: No matter what the goal, all actions are "informed" by a martial code of conduct, a.k.a. business ethics. Ninjas create chaos because they don't follow the normal rules; that's how they succeed. But even ninjas follow a code of ethics.
Ninjas Break the Rules: Unlike their feudal counterpart, the samurai, ninjas were not an aristocratic class. They succeed because they were the best. The last ninja standing is the enterprise or individual that not only employed the best people but also pursued the most innovative approach to success.
Innovate or Die: The ancient always confronted obstacles that forced him to alter his approach. It's the same with today's enterprises. Life and business is not predictable.
An Army of Ninjas: Today's ninjas are part of something larger than themselves. As they build, they also defend. Technology allows for all of us to participate in innovation.
The Shadow Warrior: The ninja's best skill was stealth. He was able to deceive his enemies through invisibility and disguise. Gary notes that great ninja companies do this well, but this is the one ninja trick that isn't part of the innovator code.
These are the 10 ninja innovation strategies in a nutshell. If you would like to learn more, I would encourage you to get Gary's Shapiro's book on Ninja Innovation.
Innovation is the lifeblood of business. In my next Rant, I'm going address innovation in our industry... or lack of it... along with another evolving trend we all should be embracing.
COMING SOON! Unique FreePromoTips SuccessTracks Learning Experiences...
Changing Roles and Emerging Industry Trends
Thursday, September 26th, 10:00 AM PST
Presented by: Andrea Smith from Vernon, Grethe Adams from Southern Plus, Sydra Newell from SnugZ USA and PromoKitchen Chef Charity Gibson from Green Banana Promotions
The Business Fulfillment Project
Thursday October 10th, 10:00 AM PST
Presented by PromoKitchen Chef Danny Rosin from Brand Fuel
Information and the registration links can be found here!
Jeff Solomon, MAS is affiliated with a Top 10 distributor company. The FreePromoTips.com website and e-newsletters he publishes are packed with beneficial information and exclusive FREE offers from a few forward-thinking supplier companies. Don't miss out on what's happening! Opt in to receive their e-newsletters! LIKE their page on Facebook and follow them on twitter.