Be Innovative

Kodak in 1998 sold over 70 per cent of all photo films in the world. They literally invented that technology. Today, they are as good as dead. Blackberry and Nokia invented the technology for smartphones. But today they are both on their way out. The problem is not technology. It’s not technology that kills brands, it’s the lack of innovation from feedback that does. Jik bleach used to be one of the most popular brand names for years in Nigeria. And then Hypo bleach knocked out Jik bleach from being the market leader in the Nigerian market by making cheaper units in sachet as against the large bottles that Jik used to make. This was innovative as the largest chunks of Nigerians are low-income earners that will rather buy the sachets for their laundry, innovation.
 
 I believe that the key to winning competition lies in innovation. I personally believe that Coca Cola in Nigeria once introduced the Diet Coke as a healthier option in perception to distract the market as an attempt to knockout Pepsi, Fanta Lemon to knock out Limca, The Sprite campaign to knock out 7Up. And even Eva water in the early parts of this century rebranded with a slicker bottle and seal of quality assurance to knock out the likes of the less innovative Ragolis Spring Water who by then had an easy to break plastic bottle which by the psychology of Nigerian consumers was a defect (we love to reuse our bottles).
  
Innovation involves being open to everything and attached to nothing because it breeds change. As a person in business, try as much as possible not to be rigid to decisions, information, packaging, plans or time. Know when to evolve. Know when to say YES or NO, or be silent. Know when to unlearn, relearn, undo, think and even out-think your initial thoughts else they become cliched and old fashioned.
 
In the words of Vadim Kotelnikov, “Average ones compete with others. Great ones compete with themselves”. Always be better than you were.
In Greek mythology, the phoenix bird, burns things, its enemies and then to become better, it burns itself!
The highest battle is to win yourself. Conquer your laws and the world will be easy. Life and business is a challenge and not a competition. It’s a subtle war, the market is the battlefield, your product is the weapon and the enemy isn’t always the competitor, you are.
 

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