12X More Ideas Than Brainstorming for Any Innovation Need, Any Time, and For Any Business

Here is how this blog immediately helps you. You will get an overview of how you can consistently generate at least 12 X more ideas than brainstorming for any need, at any time, in any kind of business. Quantum Idea Generation 2.0 is a highly proven innovation best practice – proven in university studies and, more importantly, in the real world for over two decades. Here is what is in this blog:

  1. You will confidently know that there is a powerful alternative to traditional brainstorming. Quantum Idea Generation 2.0 produces 12 times more ideas than brainstorming. This begins a series of 6 quantum idea generation blogs
  2. You can immediately plan to use Quantum Idea Generation any time and for when you need many high-quality ideas in a short period of time.
  3. Personal perspective: in life we sometimes face conundrums and wish that we had more ideas to solve or fix a situation. Knowing that there is a super powerful idea generating method will enable you to solve and fix these situations better than ever. These can be personal challenges ranging all the way from managing your career to having wonderful relationships.

Here is a quick overview of what you will learn today–the research supporting Quantum Idea Generation 2.0 and the four critical components of Quantum Idea Generation 2.0.

Here is why you can believe that Quantum Idea Generation 2.0 delivers at least 12 times more ideas and brainstorming.

  • Oklahoma State University research studies: two studies, in both cases there was a test and control, control used brainstorming and the test used quantum idea generation methodology—with the same project. Bottom line: quantum idea generation methodology produced 12 times more ideas than brainstorming.
  • Real world experience.
    • Version 1.0 was developed by Doug Hall the founder of Eureka Ranch, which has been one of the leading innovation companies in America. The company and the quantum idea generation methodology have been featured twice on NBC’s Dateline program.
    • It has been used in Eureka Ranch inventing sessions for many of the Fortune 100 and 500 companies. It is why these companies went to Eureka Ranch – generate many high quality new product ideas in a very short period of time.
    • Innovate2Grow Experts/i2Ge.com: while Doug developed version 1.0 of Quantum Idea Generation, my company developed version 2.0, which will be shared with you in these blogs. Like Eureka Ranch, we’ve used this with many Fortune 500 companies plus many smaller companies, including a local plumbing company.

Here are the four critical elements of Quantum Idea Generation that drive its 12 X power. These are the four elements that are executed in an actual creative session where you develop the ideas to solve any innovation problem or opportunity.

  • Diversity: the right kind of diversity fuels a major expansion of idea generation. One of the biggest improvements we made with version 2. 0 was to dramatically expand and improve the quantity and quality of diversity. We will go into lots of detail on diversity in the next blog.
  • Stimulus: stimulus is critical to getting people to think bigger and differently. This is another area where there were significant improvements from version 1.0 to 2.0. Blog three will dive deep into this important topic.
  • Brain type: for a long time you’ve probably heard that there are “creative types” or that you’re either born creative or not born creative. This is hogwash. Almost everyone can be equally creative but they are creative in different ways. Blog four will explore this important topic.
  • No fear, only fun: fear goes beyond stifling creativity – it kills creativity. In a session you need to prevent fear and make sure that there is a high level of fun. Blog five will explore how you can have highly productive fun in idea generation.
  • Lastly blog six will put all of this together. All the parts need to work harmoniously together so that you can get 12 times more high-quality ideas.

How quantum idea generation can help you every single week.

  • Innovation certainly.
  • Anytime you need many high-quality ideas in a short period of time.
  • Quantum Idea Generation 2.0 requires modest preparation time and then actual idea generation happens much faster than brainstorming. Examples:
    • Marketing: a meeting to develop improvements to last year’s promotion plan plus entirely new promotion ideas.
    • Manufacturing: a meeting to develop a range of options for quickly installing new manufacturing capability.
  • Sales: a meeting to develop breakthrough ideas to sell a new customer that could potentially become your biggest new customer.
  • HR: a meeting to develop ideas for an improved plan to communicate this year’s employee benefits.
  • As you will learn, the basic principles can be used spontaneously in a meeting or if time is available develop a more comprehensive use of the quantum idea generation process.
  • Net – many, many more big, high quality ideas in a short period of time as compared to brainstorming.

What you can do today with this information – if you have an important need and/or meeting coming up where generating a lot of ideas is important, then pencil in that you want to read the other five blogs where you will learn in detail how to conduct a quantum idea generation meeting.

If you want help with your innovation program, we can help you achieve dramatically better innovation results in 90 days or less. Guaranteed. We help businesses of all kinds and sizes to consistently double their innovation success rate by creating innovative solutions that are dramatically better than all of their competition. We can consistently do this because Innovate2Grow Experts is the only innovation consultancy using the eight most proven innovation best practices.

At Innovate2Grow Experts we can help you in two fundamental ways. First, we can collaboratively work with you in a variety of ways on a specific innovation need. Second, if you are interested in being trained at a high level on the eight most proven innovation best practices, you can start for free.

Is as of the date on the right-hand side there must be lawyerPlease join me for the next blog where we will dive into the rich subject of bringing diversity into an idea generating session.

Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Have a great day.

Richard Haasnoot, Head Coach, Innovate2Grow Experts/i2ge.com

Founder and Producer, Innovation Best Practices podcast i2ge.com/podcast


How to Get a Quantity and Quality of Ideas That You Will Never Get From Innovation Brainstorming.

This is the second in a series of four blogs on Quantum Idea Generation 2.0. There are three things you should know about how I want to help you with this series of blogs.

First, it is about innovation in its broadest meaning – whenever you need ideas to make something that exists better and/or to develop something entirely new.

Second, I share with you the absolute best and most helpful innovation insights I’ve learned from a decades long career. My career started at Procter & Gamble as a senior leader and executive for 16 years, moved on to be Ernest Gallo’s vice president of marketing for 10 years, then taught in the school of management at Arizona State University for six years, and I have been a leader in the innovation consulting business for almost 2 decades helping both Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurs. Lastly, I am the producer of the Innovation Best practices podcast with thousands of listeners and over 104 countries and more than 300 episodes. You can go to i2ge.com/podcast or iTunes.

Here is a brief review of Quantum Idea Generation 2.0. In the previous blog I covered:

  • Quantum idea generation produces at least 12 times more ideas than brainstorming.
  • To generate these powerful results you need to use four elements – diversity, stimulus, brain type, and eliminate fear and have fun.

This blog addresses how diversity jump starts idea generation.

Today were going to dive deep into the topic of how you bring powerful diversity into an idea generating meeting. As you plan for an important innovation idea generating meeting, diversity of people in the meeting should be one of your most important and first considerations. This blog covers important “must haves” in planning diversity and provide a couple of real diversity examples.

Personal perspective: learning about the power of diversity was a very powerful personal lesson for me. I learned that however good I thought my solutions and ideas were, if I invited in the right kind of diversity, my best ideas always became much, much better ideas. So, while the focus of this blog is on diversity and Quantum Idea Generation 2.0 as it relates to business, this blog can also be a significant personal benefit to you.

Define diversity – a wide range of skills and experiences that are relevant to the need for ideas. Diversity is extremely important because people with different experiences and insights will have different possible solutions to your need – diversity is that simple and that powerful. Diversity also produces bigger and higher quality ideas versus no diversity.

Here are the three levels of diversity.

  1. First, if you want to develop innovative new products, you may want people from marketing, sales, research, product development, and maybe even manufacturing and finance.
  2. Second, you definitely want people from inside the company that have these skills and experiences, but you also want to seriously consider finding and bringing in external experts that have different but relevant skills and experiences.
  3. Third, you can expand diversity by bringing in highly experienced and successful people with general management experience to ensure you get a bigger picture view of potential opportunities.

Here is why is diversity so important.

  • It is very difficult to get out of the box thinking from people that live in the box.
    • Company culture is very powerful. Most cultures strictly define what the company will do and will not do. This can severely limit possibility thinking.
    • While it is not impossible to get out of the box thinking from people that live in the box, it is very risky to limit diversity only to people who are part of the company.
  • You want to bring in people with different and broader skills and experiences. When it comes to external expertise, you want these skills and experiences to be relevant to the need, but that do not duplicate the skills and experiences of people inside the company.
  • This is very important – big ideas happen when internal experts explore possibilities with external experts who see things in different and often better ways than the internal people alone. What happens is you get the best of the internal and external expertise to come together to create truly breakthrough ideas.

Here are some other diversity considerations.

  • You only want people who are engaged with the need. Put another way, you want people who really care about successfully meeting the need.
  • You never want to have somebody in the room just because their boss told him to be there.
  • You never want to have anybody in the room that does not want to really, really want to be there.

Here are some real-world examples of diversity used by Innovate2Grow Experts/i2ge.com.

  • Real-world example number one: Nestlé.
    • The need: Nestlé needed some breakthrough ideas for some of its frozen food products. They wanted some specific breakthrough ideas that would reduce cooking times while improving the quality of the cooked food. Very challenging project – “good luck.”
    • How we developed diversity for this project.
      • Nestlé people: we only wanted people who were deeply passionate about making the breakthrough.
        • Marketing: we selected the three key marketing people who first identified the opportunity and need. Their career progress could be significantly influenced by a positive result on this project.
        • Research: we brought in the key internal expert in consumer research for this product type.
        • Product development: we brought in several people with the most expertise for these products. These were highly skilled, capable people.
      • External relevant expertise. We identified the world’s leading external experts in high quality, fast cooking of frozen foods. i2Ge’s key leaders conducted the research and interviews necessary to find these people.
        • Cornell professor: he had conducted unpublished research on the exact Nestle need and had identified a breakthrough approach. His contributions quickly enabled the idea session to produce several breakthrough ideas.
        • Penn State professor: he also had conducted breakthrough research in this area. His insights also produced very promising possibilities.
        • Ohio State professor: he conducted similar research five years ago that very few others were aware of. His insights contributed to making significant improvements to the first round of ideas.
        • Microwave cooking expert: we found the world’s leading expert on how microwave ovens work. He was incredibly helpful in helping to combine multiple insights and possibilities into a select few with the greatest promise for success.
      • External bigger picture business and engineering expertise. These people are part of the Innovate2Grow team of experts. Here is a sample of the team of experts brought into this session.
        • A former president and CEO of a major company who prior to moving to this company was the youngest ever general manager and group vice president at Procter & Gamble.
        • The former president of Eureka Ranch that had been one of the preeminent innovation companies in America. She personally led more innovation projects than probably any other person in America.
        • The president of a major outdoor sporting company. A graduate of Harvard Business School, he takes time off from his full-time job to participate in the sessions.
        • A top consumer research expert with expertise across many product categories for United States and international clients.
          • In this example, there was a two day session to develop breakthrough ideas. There were about 20 total people involved in the session. The result was breakthrough ideas that Nestlé developed.
            • Noon the first day comment
            • Research of these ideas following the meeting demonstrated that these ideas had more than twice the chances for long-term success as compared to the average new product idea.
          • Real-world example number two: Faith Plumbing.
            • Background: this local plumbing company specialized in plumbing for new apartment construction projects.
            • The need: in the early stages of a new construction project, the plumbing site foreman encountered unexpected installation challenges. These challenges put additional work on hold until they resolved the problem. Having a crew standing around waiting for a problem to be solved, is an expensive proposition to a small company.
            • The diversity solution: I was the coach for the owner of the company. I knew the importance and degree of difficulty of the situation they faced. Fixing the problem the first time was a very high priority. I quickly suggested a meeting at the construction site two hours after we learned of the need. I knew that we needed diverse skills and experiences if we were to solve the problem the first time.
              • Plumbing site foreman: he had worked over 10 years with my client and had more than 20 years of total plumbing experience on major projects.
              • My client, the plumbing company owner: 30 years of owning a plumbing company and one of the most resourceful, creative people in the plumbing industry.
              • The general contractor’s site foreman: he had more than 15 years of general contractor experience, which means he had a quality understanding of the big picture needs and challenges.
              • The four of us met at the worksite. We visually examined the problem. I informally use the quantum idea generation process that included the high quality and quickly assembled diverse expertise.
              • In less than 60 minutes we devised a highly innovative solution – never before used in this kind of situation. The solution worked in the five different configurations present at the worksite. The solution became a new standard used by both the general contractor and the plumbing company.

Here is a summary of what we have covered today.

  • First, diversity is a critical component of quantum idea generation. When diversity is used with the other three critical components, you consistently expect at least 12 times more ideas then brainstorming.
  • Second, into an innovation meeting you want to bring people with a range of skills and experiences that relate to each other but do not duplicate skills and experiences.
  • Third, for major innovation needs, it helps if you bringing diversity from three sources. You want the best internal expertise, expertise from outside the company, and people with broader general management perspective. Regarding external expertise, ideally it’s from outside the company but it can also be from another division our sister company.

If you want help with your innovation program, we can help you achieve dramatically better innovation results in 90 days or less. Guaranteed. We help businesses of all kinds and sizes to consistently double their innovation success rate by creating innovative solutions that are dramatically better than all of their competition. We can consistently do this because Innovate2Grow Experts is the only innovation consultancy using the eight most proven innovation best practices.

At Innovate2Grow Experts we can help you in two fundamental ways. First, we can collaboratively work with you in a variety of ways on a specific innovation need. Second, if you are interested in being trained at a high level on the eight most proven innovation best practices, you can start for free.

Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Have a great day.

Richard Haasnoot, Head Coach, Innovate2Grow Experts/i2ge.com

Founder and Producer, Innovation Best Practices podcast i2ge.com/podcast


The Power of Stimulus To Inspire Breakthrough Innovation Solutions.

This blog provides powerful, practical information about how to use stimulus to inspire breakthrough innovation solutions. Stimulus is the second of the four Quantum Idea Generation 2.0 elements we utilize in a creative session to generate at least 12 X more ideas than brainstorming – and a quality of ideas you will never get from brainstorming.

Here is a brief recap of Quantum Idea Generation 2.0

  • Quantum idea generation produces at least 12 times more ideas than brainstorming.
  • To generate these powerful results you need to use four elements – diversity, stimulus, brain type, and eliminate fear and have fun.

Today we’re going to dive deep into the topic of how you bring powerful stimulus into an idea generating meeting. You can immediately start using the help in this blog.

As you plan for an important innovation idea generating meeting, make sure you plan for the right stimulus since it pays off in many big ideas.

This blog covers important “must haves” in planning stimulus and provides some real stimulus examples.

The benefits of Quantum Idea Generation 2.0 go beyond the business part of your life. Here is another example of where I learned about the power of innovation while at Penn State, This example involved a very controversial effort. Prior to my arriving at Penn State, the campus humor magazine had been banned because of things they said about the college president’s daughter. Along with a friend, we developed a comprehensive and innovative plan to bring humor back onto campus. We developed a multi-element innovative plan and we executed it well. The result was the triumphant return of Froth. We had the support of hundreds of students who signed up to be part of the sales and editorial staff.

Stimulus is information you bring into an innovation session that immediately generates many more ideas compared to no stimulus. Information can be in the form of words and/or pictures. While in innovation sessions, PowerPoint presentations tend to be the most prevalent; I will give you an example of a simple, informal talk that inspired 40 people to do exceptionally innovative work.

There are five basic forms of stimulus.

  • Background and grounding: it is often good to start an innovation session with a presentation on what is already known and the basis for the session’s needs and objectives.
  • Broader perspective: this is a very big category of stimulus and includes some of the following topics.
    • Competition: what they are doing, where they are strong/weak, recent and upcoming innovations.
    • Worldwide: finding examples of what other similar businesses are doing can prompt significant new ideas.
    • Megatrends: broader cultural and demographic changes relevant to the session’s needs.
  • Relevant developments: whenever you have top external experts as part of an innovation session, ask them to present latest relevant developments from their perspective.
  • Mind expansion: we occasionally use a series of presentations called “the world is a very different place than you think it is.” Includes developments from science, especially quantum physics. It is intended to shake up deeply entrenched views of people in the session so they can explore some even wild and wacky ideas.
  • Inspiration: we have a series of presentations that inspire people to take the existing ideas – many of which may be breakthrough ideas already – and make them much bigger.

Here are a few stimulus examples.

  • When I was a professor at Arizona State University, I used this very simple example to demonstrate the power of stimulus. I asked students to write down all the places they would like to go on vacation. Then in small groups I have them go to the back of the room. There I have laid out hundreds of travel brochures. I asked them to review the travel brochures and add to their list of places they’ve like to go to on vacation. I then asked them to add up the number of places they had before and after. Consistently, the number of places they wanted to go on vacation doubled and in most cases tripled.
  • This next second example used no PowerPoint slides and was one of the most inspiring stimulus presentations I have ever experienced. We were doing a major project for Kimberly-Clark. Since the session’s purpose focused on senior citizens, I found and invited Dr. Bill Thomas– a Harvard medical school trained physician who is broadly recognized as one of the most knowledgeable people on senior citizens. Dressed in a sweatshirt and sneakers, he informally sat in front of the group and shared deep insights into this important group of consumers. Both the information, which was mostly unique to Bill, and his manner of communication inspired and guided a very important and intense three-day inventing session that included more than 30 people.
  • Third, in virtually every one of our major sessions, we use the relevant developments type of stimulus presentation. These are presentations usually given by the external experts. In the previous blogs I talked about a project we did for Nestlé. One of the key external experts was a professor from Cornell. He had done breakthrough, relevant, and unpublished research that the top scientists at Nestlé were unaware of. This information along with presentations from the Penn State and Ohio State professors enabled us to almost completely solve the client’s need a half day into a two-day session.

Here are a some considerations when putting together stimulus.

  • Keep it simple! Do not trying to fill a PowerPoint slide with as many words as possible. Stay focused on the very few major, difference making points.
  • Pictures. Pictures. In most projects, visuals have great stimulus and inspiration potential. They are also very strong communicators of key information.
  • Have a stimulus plan for the entire session. In most cases you start with a background and grounding presentation. It then often makes sense to add a relative developments presentation or two or three. Inspiration and mind expansion presentations often come later in the session. For example, if it is a whole day session, these types of presentations are often most helpful right after lunch or in the early afternoon.

If you want help with your innovation program, we can help you achieve dramatically better innovation results in 90 days or less. Guaranteed. We help businesses of all kinds and sizes to consistently double their innovation success rate by creating innovative solutions that are dramatically better than all of their competition. We can consistently do this because Innovate2Grow Experts is the only innovation consultancy using the eight most proven innovation best practices.

At Innovate2Grow Experts we can help you in two fundamental ways. First, we can collaboratively work with you in a variety of ways on a specific innovation need. Second, if you are interested in being trained at a high level on the eight most proven innovation best practices, you can start for free.

Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Have a great day.

Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Have a great day.

Richard Haasnoot, Head Coach, Innovate2Grow Experts/i2ge.com

Founder and Producer, Innovation Best Practices podcast i2ge.com/podcast


How to Get More and Better Ideas From Both Left and Right Brain People for Any Innovation Need.

In any creative session you will have people who are left and right brain in the way they think and create. This blog addresses how you can get the best innovative ideas from both groups for any need, at any time, for any kind of business.

Quantum idea generation – overview.

Here is a brief review of Quantum Idea Generation 2.0. In the previous blogs I have covered the following:

  • Quantum idea generation produces at least 12 times more ideas than brainstorming.
  • To generate these powerful results you need to use four elements – diversity, stimulus, brain type, and eliminate fear and have fun.

 

Today we’re going to dive deep into the topic of how you bring your understanding of the brain types—left and right brain thinkers– into an idea generating meeting. You can immediately start using the help in this podcast.

  • As you plan for an important innovation idea generating meeting, make sure you plan to understand the makeup of brain types in your session so that you can bring in the best idea generating exercises that best fit the brain types in the session.
  • This blog covers important “must haves” in planning idea generating exercises based on brain types and provides some real brain type idea generating exercise examples.

Let’s start by discussing brain types. Some people believe that there are creative types and not creative types. Other people believe that you are either born creative or not born creative. These are myths. Research study after research study consistently proves that virtually all people can be equally creative. The challenge is that left brained thinkers and right brain thinkers go about developing new ideas very differently. Traditionally left brained thinkers are logical, love facts, methodical, and are more comfortable looking at the parts of a problem instead of the whole problem. On the other hand, right brain thinkers are people who love looking at the big picture, think more emotionally and intuitively, and like visuals and pictures for more than charts of numbers.

Here is how to design idea generating exercises based upon the left and right brain makeup of the people in your session.

  • First determine the makeup of left and right brain thinkers in your session. Ask them to take a simple online and free test. You can find available tests simply by Googling “left brain, right brain test” or “brain dominance.”
  • What do you do with what you’ve learned.
    • If your group is 60% or more left brain, primarily use left brain idea generating exercises, which I’ll cover in a moment.
    • Conversely, if your group is 60% or more, primarily use right brain idea generating exercises.
    • If there is a fairly even split between left and right brain participants, you will probably want to start with some left brain exercises. Depending upon how positively people react to the process, you can continue with mostly left brain with occasional right brain exercises or if the reaction is not positive consider using mostly right brain exercises with an occasional left brain exercise.

I will now share an actual left and right brain idea generating exercise.

  • Left brain exercise example.
    • These start by giving the group an assignment. For example, “in this exercise you are asked to generate ideas to create a 50% improvement in our customer service scores.”
    • Before people are asked to generate ideas, there can often be a stimulus presentation that precedes the request. From the stimulus podcast it could be a broader perspective or relevant developments stimulus presentation.
    • Left brained people like to start generating ideas on their own. So the first step is asking people to take out a writing pad and working alone to write down ideas to accomplish this goal.
    • In the next step, they are asked to share their ideas with one other person. The goal is to make each other’s ideas bigger and better.
    • In the next step, they are asked to share their ideas in a group of four. The goal is the same – make ideas bigger and better.
    • In the last step the four people share their ideas with the larger group to get feedback and improvements.
    • This is a traditional and highly effective left brain idea generating exercise.
    • It can be followed up by another sequence of steps where people are asked to take the top 2-4 ideas from the previous exercise and make them better and much bigger.
  • Right brain exercise example.
    • These start by giving each group of four people an assignment. For example, “in this exercise you are asked to generate ideas to create a 50% improvement in our customer service scores.”
    • You will immediately see how dramatically different right brain exercises are from left brain exercises.
    • People are given Post It notes and a pen. They are shown images on the screen that may or may not have any relevance to the idea generating need. For example, they could be shown an image of a happy customer followed by an image of a polar bear on an ice flow.
    • As each person sees the image, they very quickly write down single words on a Post-it that come to mind when they see the image. They are asked to write down the very first words that come to mind – no judging allowed.
    • After all the images have been viewed and all the Post Its written, they are mounted onto a sheet. There are squares numbered 2-12– these numbers correspond to the results that can come from rolling dice. The four people in a group put the notes evenly on all the squares.
    • The facilitator then rolls the dice and calls out a number. The top note on that number is put onto a flipchart page. After rolling the dice about four times and getting four different notes put onto the flipchart page, the group of four people is given a new task.
    • Using the four randomly chosen words on their flipchart page, they are to generate ideas that are capable of achieving the objective.
    • Right brained people love this kind of exercise. It’s fun. It gives them tremendous freedom. They love the spontaneous interaction with others.
    • Left brain people can feel distressed.
      • I once ran a session that was almost exclusively made up of left brain people. The energy in the room was not as high as I needed it to be. I threw in a right brain exercise like the one we just discussed. Two minutes into the exercise the senior person from the client said, “Richard, do you have any idea what you’re doing?” I responded by saying, “yes. Please trust me. You may be surprised how productive this is.” And they were surprised – the ideas were surprisingly breakthrough and on target.

Here are a couple of considerations when putting together left and right brain idea generating exercises.

  • You need to pay close attention to the energy of the group. You want them to be highly engaged. You want them to be having fun. You want them to feel that they’re having a high level of accomplishment.
  • Do not be afraid to mix it up. Use the occasional right brain exercise with a left brain group and vice versa.
  • I have given you the basics of left and right brain exercises. In my company, Innovate2Grow Experts we have more than 100 pages of left and right brain exercises. I frequently call audibles in a session and pull an exercise from one of the 100 pages.

If you would like to create far more robust innovation capabilities within your business, I have a complete portfolio of training programs that we tailor to your unique needs. If you would like to learn more, go to the Innovate2Grow Experts website – i2Ge.com and click on Free Training on the menu bar.

One of my six books is Proven Practical Innovation That Delivers Results. This very low-cost book is available at Amazon in paperback and has a Kindle book. Is truly packed with lots of practical help.

Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Have a great day.

Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Have a great day.

Richard Haasnoot, Head Coach, Innovate2Grow Experts/i2ge.com

Founder and Producer, Innovation Best Practices podcast i2ge.com/podcast


Unleashing Wild and Wacky Ideas To Get Big Breakthrough Innovations.

While wild and wacky ideas might not be the winning ideas coming out of a Quantum Idea Generation 2.0 Creative Session you may not get those winning ideas unless they start as wild and wacky ideas.

Here is a brief review of Quantum Idea Generation 2.0 from previous blogs.

  • Quantum idea generation produces at least 12 times more ideas than brainstorming.
  • To generate these powerful results you need to use four elements – diversity, stimulus, brain type, and eliminate fear and have fun.

Today we’re going to dive deep into the topic of how to make sure there is no fear in an idea generating session and instead there is a very healthy sense of fun. You can immediately start using the help in this blog.

As you plan for an important innovation idea generating meeting, make sure you plan to eliminate fear and replace it with fun so that you can bring out the highest level of creativity from the people in your idea generating session.

This podcast covers important “must haves” in planning idea generating exercises so that you have fun, not fear in the session.

In a previous blog I mentioned Doug Hall and Eureka Ranch. When he first started, he had a very strong focus on fun while being innovative – pinball machines, pillow fights, canoeing, Nerf gun battles and on and on. It was these unexpected visuals in a business context that caught the eye of NBC’s Dateline program. His approach to fun innovation made for great film! Later in his career, Doug discovered that too much fun overwhelmed the idea generation and he needed greater balance. The pinball machines are still at Eureka Ranch.

Why eliminating fear is so important.

  • First, I want to define what I mean by having fear in an idea generating session. There are two major kinds of fears that can inhibit creativity. Some people fear sharing ideas that will make them look foolish or, even worse, not very smart. Other people fear sharing ideas because they might be judged, criticized, and even ridiculed by other people. Whenever any of this exists to any degree, you have a potentially serious problem.
  • When either of these dimensions of fear exists, you will find people sitting back and not participating. The result is a dramatic reduction in creative output from the session. As a result, I think you can see why eliminating fear is one of the four major factors in effective quantum idea generation.

How you eliminate fear from an idea generating session.

    • First, you need to address it head on. When I am leading a session, I share the following story.
      • Over the years when I have seen a very big idea come out of the session, I go to the small group of people that first generated the idea. I ask them how they created the idea. The number one response I get over many years of doing this goes like this. “Well first Sue blurted out this wild and wacky idea. Then John built on the idea. Rebecca loved the build and added her own new dimension. And then Ed connected all the dots and all of a sudden we had this big, exciting idea.”
    • The lesson of the story is without wild and wacky ideas we are unlikely to get the really big ideas we need. If Sue had felt any fear, she would not have blurted out the wild and wacky idea that led to the big idea.
    • As a result, I encourage people to blurt out wild and wacky ideas. Because these are so important, I prohibit verbal and nonverbal judging and criticizing of ideas during the idea generating process. Typically at the end of a session we ask people to vote on their favorite ideas, which is the only time judging is allowed.
    • The second thing I do to eliminate fear is to have a one-on-one chat with all of the more senior people and managers in the session. I request their help. I ask them to never judge ideas during the creative session. I underscore to them how their managerial power can either stifle creativity or be a major encouragement to creativity. In almost all cases this one-on-one request works well. Senior leaders want maximum creativity and I am showing them the way to help with this.

Now that we have eliminated fear, this is how we inject fun.

    • The facilitator of an idea generating session plays a very critical role in creating fun. One of the most important ways of doing this is to be closely in touch with the small groups of people as they create ideas. As groups are generating ideas, I observe and when I see anything approaching a promising idea, I inject strong positive encouragement. When the groups then share their ideas with the total session, I am also on the lookout for every opportunity to complement and praise people for their ideas.
    • In addition, I have a number of stimulus presentations intended to inspire people to reach for even bigger ideas. I often do this with some rather humorous presentations. I’m looking to generate smiles and laughs as I inspire people to reach for even bigger ideas.

From a personal perspective I think most of us have had the experience of trying to create new ideas when we are full of fear and anxiety. Ideas are few and far between in those ideas we have are not very good. On the other hand, when we have fun developing ideas and are full of hope and inspiration, we find a big ideas flow quickly and easily.

    • Ongoing close.
      • What you can do today with this information – now you know how to eliminate fear and maximize fun in your session for optimal creativity.
      • If you would like to see the key written points from this podcast, you can find them in my blog – i2ge.com/blog.
      • If you would like to contact me, please email me at richard@i2ge.com. Contact me if you have questions, thoughts, or would like more help. In future podcasts I will feature people who contact me with questions or have an interest in sharing their success. I promise to get back to you no later than 48 hours after I receive your email – actually I try to reply the same day.
      • If you would like to create far more robust innovation capabilities within your business, I have a complete portfolio of training programs that we tailor to your unique needs. If you would like to learn more, go to the Innovate2Grow Experts website – i2Ge.com and click on DIY Innovation Training.
      • One of my six books is Proven Practical Innovation That Delivers Results. This very low-cost book is available at Amazon in paperback and has a Kindle book. Is truly packed with lots of practical help.
      • Here’s a quick review of podcasts to come. The next two podcast will complete the series and quantum idea generation. Following that be a series on how you can double the chances for success on a new product or service – either an existing one or a new one you invent. Please join me for the next podcast where we will dive into the fourth component of quantum idea generation – eliminate fear and have fun.
      • Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon.

If you want help with your innovation program, we can help you achieve dramatically better innovation results in 90 days or less. Guaranteed. We help businesses of all kinds and sizes to consistently double their innovation success rate by creating innovative solutions that are dramatically better than all of their competition. We can consistently do this because Innovate2Grow Experts is the only innovation consultancy using the eight most proven innovation best practices.

At Innovate2Grow Experts we can help you in two fundamental ways. First, we can collaboratively work with you in a variety of ways on a specific innovation need. Second, if you are interested in being trained at a high level on the eight most proven innovation best practices, you can start for free.

Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Have a great day.

Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Have a great day.

Richard Haasnoot, Head Coach, Innovate2Grow Experts/i2ge.com

Founder and Producer, Innovation Best Practices podcast i2ge.com/podcast


How to Create the Maximum Major Innovative Solutions Using the Four Elements of Quantum Idea Generation 2.0.

Here is a brief review of quantum idea generation.

  • Quantum idea generation produces at least 12 times more ideas than brainstorming.
  • To generate these powerful results you need to use four elements – diversity, stimulus, brain type, and eliminate fear and have fun.

Today we’re going to dive deep into the topic of how to pull coordinate the four elements of Quantum Idea Generation 2.0. You can immediately start using the help in this podcast.

Let’s start with a big picture view. There is a sequence for the development of the four elements of quantum idea generation – diversity, left and right brain, stimulus, and no fear, just fun. All four parts need to work together. In no place is this coordination more important than knowing the left and right brain makeup of your group and developing the right kinds of stimulus.

The discusses the sequential development of the four elements. In this podcast there is going to be considerable detail in what follows. As always, if you want to review this podcast, you can go to my blog – i2ge.com/blog where my written notes for this podcast are posted.

First, you need to select the people you want in the idea generating session. This largely depends on the degree of importance and challenge you face in generating innovative ideas.

  • Level I: a fairly routine, relatively low priority and importance of meeting. The need for diversity is also fairly low. You can probably accomplish the task with people from the department with primary responsibility, like marketing, with additional diversity from related departments, like sales and possibly supply chain. You always want at least this minimum level of diversity to ensure you get better ideas than you would get from people who are very, very close to the need.
  • Level II: this is a meeting on an important topic where the success of the meeting is very dependent upon getting new and better ideas. For example, it can be a quarterly planning meeting or a meeting to sell a major new customer or a meeting to develop next year’s promotion plan. Diversity becomes very important. Besides the department with primary responsibility for the meeting, you definitely want 3 – 6 people from outside the department who are also deeply involved in the subject matter.
  • Level III: this is a major meeting with a critical need for very big ideas capable of being dramatically better than the competition or what you’re currently doing. In addition to the diversity in level II, you want to add 3 – 6 people from outside the company. Potential sources include consultants with relevant expertise and the right people from suppliers.

Having selected the diversity, you want to determine the distribution of left and right brain thinkers in your group. In the podcast on this topic I shared that there are left and right brain thinkers. There are also a small number of people that are balanced left and right brain thinkers – equally good from both perspectives. Whenever there is about 60% or higher presence of either one of these, this should determine the type of idea generating exercises you plan to use.

Now that you know who is going to be in the session and the left and right brain thinking orientation of the group, you are ready to plan your idea generating exercises.

  • The vast majority of idea generating exercises should be done in groups of four people sitting at a round table. There is considerable evidence suggesting that four is the optimal number. In many exercises, you will want to work in pairs so four is a great number. In each group make sure that there is diversity.
  • From the podcast on stimulus, you will almost always want to start with a background and grounding presentation. If you have a left brain, this can be full of facts and charts. If you have a right brain group, it needs to be more of an overview and visuals.
  • If you’re doing a level II session and certainly if you’re doing a level III session, you will probably want to follow that with a broader perspective and/or relevant developments stimulus presentation. Again the same comments I just made regarding left and right brain apply to this presentation also.
  • You’re now ready for the first round of idea generation exercises. Again from the stimulus podcast, you have a specific example of a left brain and right brain idea generating exercise. You want to start with a fairly specific objective of the session.
  • Subsequent idea generating exercises should build on the previous ones. For example, in the next round of work the group can select the biggest ideas from the previous idea generating exercise for further development.
  • Depending upon the objective and its complexity, you will want to go through multiple sequences to probe multiple dimensions.
  • You will also want to repeat the entire cycle if there are very different alternative directions you want to explore. In a level III meeting, there almost always will be multiple alternative directions you want to explore.
  • Finally, whether a predominantly left or right brain group, you want to consider changing things up depending upon the level of engagement and energy in the room.

You are now ready for the meeting and it is time to act on the no fear, only fun element. The suggestions in the podcast on this element are direct and to the point. You will want to establish the importance of wild and wacky ideas and the importance of everyone, especially managers, to not judge in any way the ideas that are generated. Everyone needs to know that there will be a time and place to judge ideas.

There should always be a facilitator for the meeting. The facilitator should be the key person who has planned the meeting, especially the stimulus presentations and idea generating exercises. During the session, the facilitator plays a critical role of monitoring productivity and energy in the room. In many idea generating exercises, you want people to write their ideas on 4 x 7 cards and collect them after the session. This will give you a good idea about the quantity and quality of ideas being generated. You want the energy to be high, positive, and focused on the task.

If you want help with your innovation program, we can help you achieve dramatically better innovation results in 90 days or less. Guaranteed. We help businesses of all kinds and sizes to consistently double their innovation success rate by creating innovative solutions that are dramatically better than all of their competition. We can consistently do this because Innovate2Grow Experts is the only innovation consultancy using the eight most proven innovation best practices.

At Innovate2Grow Experts we can help you in two fundamental ways. First, we can collaboratively work with you in a variety of ways on a specific innovation need. Second, if you are interested in being trained at a high level on the eight most proven innovation best practices, you can start for free.

Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Have a great day.

Richard Haasnoot, Head Coach, Innovate2Grow Experts/i2ge.com

Founder and Producer, Innovation Best Practices podcast i2ge.com/podcast


Merwyn Technology: The Power to Make Smarter Innovation Decisions.

This blog and the next four that follow it may be the most helpful and valuable blogs you ever read. Before you dismiss this as an exaggeration, please consider the following facts.

  • Almost everyone who uses innovation to invent a new product or make an existing one better believes they have a slam dunk success on their hands. You get excited. You can’t wait to start collecting the profits.
  • Here is a sobering fact that has been true for many decades: 25% of all products are successful for five years. 75% of all products fail. Most of them fail in the first 12 – 24 months, with many not making it past the six-month mark. These numbers apply to the biggest corporations like Procter & Gamble down to the smallest entrepreneurs.
  • Here is a tragic fact. Some innovators go to market with a product that uses customer communication giving them only a 25% chance for success or less. For these innovators, what’s holding them back is not very persuasive customer communication. In truth, they have a much, much better product than they are effectively communicating. If the product had communication guided by the science of persuasion its chances could be twice as high.

Today’s blog is the first in a series about what it takes for an innovative new or existing product to have high chances for long-term success. In this series will learn how you can double the chances for success of an existing or new product – proven by rock solid science known as the Science of Persuasion powered by Merwyn Technology. This blog provides you with an overview with subsequent blogs going into detail on the individual elements of the science of persuasion.

Often innovation is focused on inventing an entirely new product or making an existing product better. When we use quantum idea generation the result is many options to accomplish both of these objectives.

The challenge then becomes selecting a very few ideas for further development.

Major companies rely on Merwyn Technology to evaluate their options and select the one with the highest chances for long-term success.

In your product innovation work, you want to make sure that you understand the three critical elements that drive your chances for long-term success.

When you have an existing product, you want to use Merwyn Technology’s science of persuasion to optimize the persuasiveness of your communication to potential customers.

Beyond product innovation, in any situation where you need to persuade people, the science of persuasion will quickly and easily make you as persuasive as you can possibly be. When you have done that you are in a position to make smarter innovation decisions.

Here is an overview of Merwyn Technology.

  • Merwyn Technology was first developed and patented by Doug Hall of Eureka Ranch plus two people with PhDs.
  • His motivation for developing it was to help clients who had developed many ideas at Eureka Ranch to identify the ideas with the highest chances for long-term success. Prior to Merwyn, him the identification process was highly subjective and Merwyn added an important objective perspective.
  • Developing Merwyn took six years and almost $10 million.
  • When it was introduced, Fortune magazine referred to it as one of the most promising new technologies in America.
  • Since it was first developed, many, many Fortune 500 companies plus hundreds of small businesses have used Merwyn.

Today Merwyn has two major ways it can help your business. Regarding innovation, it identifies the three critical factors that dramatically influence a product or service’s chances for long-term success – long term defined as five years. With Merwyn we know when we have a big idea. In addition, Merwyn Truth Teller quantitative research powered by Merwyn Technology provides an 80% accurate year one sales estimate. There are actually multiple sales estimates based upon assumptions you submit.

Merwyn Technology is also the science of persuasion. Those same three critical factors need to be strongly present in customer communication if that communication is to be highly persuasive.

There is a statistical evaluation of a new or existing product message. The quality of the research and real world confirmation of Merwyn’s accuracy is very high. Its accurate statistical evaluations have been confirmed many, many times with real-world examples.

For example, a very large financial services company evaluated more than 20 of its direct mail pieces. Merwyn evaluated each of them and gave them a score. There was a statistically positive correlation between the score and the response rate. Put another way, the higher the Merwyn score, the higher the response rate.

Many hundreds of real world examples also support the accuracy of the Merwyn scores.

Maybe most important for me, is that Merwyn Technology easily passes the common sense test.

Here is a critical understanding of the customer buying process. For almost any type of product a customer needs or wants to buy there are many, many options available to them.

Go into a store and look at the toothpaste section. There is a bewildering array of brands and options within those brands. The customer needing toothpaste will probably purchase only one out of about 50 options available to them. They are going to choose the option that they believe is better than any of the other options.

The same challenge exists with much more expensive purchases. When you are in the market to buy a car, there are more than 20 brands each with more than five different models or well over 100 options for you to consider. Again, since your budget cannot afford to buy all 100, you will determine which one option is better at meeting your needs than all of the others.

Get in touch with your own personal buying process. Regardless of the business that you are in, reacquainting yourselves with the fundamentals of the buying process always reveals insights that can help you sell more and make more.

Please consider the last time you purchased a vehicle. When you began the purchasing process how would you have described your need? Family vehicle like a minivan? SUV for off roading? Car with good mileage and an excellent safety record?

How many options did you seriously evaluate? How many test drives did you do?

When you narrowed your options down to two possible choices, what were the primary benefits of each option? Put another way, how would you have described how each option met your needs?

Why did you believe each option could actually deliver the promised benefit? Did you experience it in a test drive? Did you read an evaluation like Consumer Reports?

You ultimately chose one of the options. Why did you decide that one option was better than any of the others? Price? Benefits? Higher trust?

What we have just briefly gone through is the buying process almost everyone goes through in making a purchase.

Some of these steps in the process can be assumptive and habitual. For example, you might already believe, “I always buy a Honda or I always buy Crest toothpaste.” At one time in your life you made a reasoned purchase and subsequent experiences to confirm the rightness of that decision. As a result, your previous experiences strongly influence your current purchase decision. These experiences usually fall under the heading of giving you reason to believe the benefits the product delivers to you. These experiences built trust.

There is an important dynamic in the purchase process that most business people tend to overlook. Making a purchase is about choosing one option over others, sometimes many others. Choosing one option involves consciously or subconsciously making comparisons. This often overlooked but critical purchase decision step turns out to be the single most powerful part of the science of persuasion.

Big picture view– the extensive research that led to Merwyn’s development identified three critical elements needed for a new or existing product to successful persuade a consumers to buy it.

  • First, the product needs to meet a customer need or want. Needs are usually higher priorities than wants, but the emotions associated with many wants can make them pretty powerful. When communicating with potential customers, it is critical that we communicate the benefit our product has – how it meets their need or want. Put another way, we need to communicate to potential customers what’s in it for them if they buy our product.
  • Second, having communicated a benefit, we need to make that benefit promise credible. We need to give them specific reasons to believe that we can deliver on our promise. Absent a credible reason to believe, our benefit promise can have very little persuasiveness.
  • Third, we need to communicate to potential customers how our product is better than some, most, or all other competitive choices those customers have. Put another way, why should they buy our product instead of a competitor’s product. The source of “better” is often a stronger and more credible benefit promise.

The upcoming blogs address the following.

  • Benefit promise: we will do a deep dive into how you make the absolutely most persuasive benefit promise your product is capable of. You may be surprised by how much we know about highly persuasive benefit communication.
  • Reason to believe: once we know what our benefit promises, we need to craft a reason to believe that potential customers find highly credible. You will discover the five different strategies available to us in creating a highly persuasive reason to believe.
  • Dramatic difference: the most powerful part of the science of persuasion is communicating our benefit promise is better – hopefully dramatically better – then some, most, or all of the competitive options. You will learn how to communicate these differences with skill and persuasiveness.

If you want help with your innovation program, we can help you achieve dramatically better innovation results in 90 days or less. Guaranteed. We help businesses of all kinds and sizes to consistently double their innovation success rate by creating innovative solutions that are dramatically better than all of their competition. We can consistently do this because Innovate2Grow Experts is the only innovation consultancy using the eight most proven innovation best practices.

At Innovate2Grow Experts we can help you in two fundamental ways. First, we can collaboratively work with you in a variety of ways on a specific innovation need. Second, if you are interested in being trained at a high level on the eight most proven innovation best practices, you can start for free.

Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Have a great day.

Richard Haasnoot, Head Coach, Innovate2Grow Experts/i2ge.com

Founder and Producer, Innovation Best Practices podcast i2ge.com/podcast


How To Optimize Benefit Communication to Increase Chances for Innovation Success

The previous blog identified the three critical elements of the science of persuasion powered by Merwyn Technology. Those elements are communicating a customer benefit, giving them a reason to believe you can deliver the benefit, and letting them know how your product is better than other options they have. Today’s blog does a deep dive into creating highly persuasive benefit communication. In this series learn how to double the chances for success for an existing or new product – proven by rock solid science known as the Science of Persuasion powered by Merwyn Technology.

Here is an overview of how to optimize the persuasiveness of your benefit communication for any innovation. By doing this, you optimize your chances for innovation success.

Merwyn Technology is used to evaluate actual product communication. When it comes to persuasively communicating and products benefit, we know scientifically that the strength of your benefit communication directly impacts your chances of success. Specifically products with weak benefit communication have a 13% chance of succeeding. If you have strong benefit communication you double your chances to 26%. And best of all, if you have very strong benefit communication your chances for success increase to 38%.

So with very strong benefit communication alone, you can have chances for success that are higher than the average 25% success rate for all products. And if you increase the persuasiveness of you benefit communication from weak to strong you double your chances for success. In subsequent blogs we will show how when you add a credible reason to believe and communication of your differences that your chances go up dramatically.

When optimizing the persuasiveness of your benefit communication, keep these five thoughts in mind.

First, you must start by understanding customer needs and wants for your product. You cannot assume unless you willing to take on a high level of risk that you know clearly and specifically what the customer needs and wants are for your product.

You need to make sure that you understand their language in describing their needs and wants. When you communicate benefits to them you need to talk to them in the language they use when thinking about are talking about products like yours.

Here’s an example from my time as vice president of marketing at the Gallo Winery. If we were going to talk to consumers about the taste of a Riesling wine, we had several options. We could describe it is sweet, fruity, and smooth. We knew from talking to Riesling wine drinkers that fruity was a positive term while sweet was not so positive to negative. Having said that, we knew that the fruity taste came from the sweetness of the line. Bottom line, we talked to consumers in the language they used in the language that was most positive to them.

Second, you want to communicate benefits, not features. Features describe something about the product like what it’s made of and technology that is in a device. It doesn’t tell you how this helps you by meeting your need. Here are some examples.

  • The advanced stabilization control example – reduces rollover risk by 25%.
  • This drill bit is made of titanium – feature. This drill bit stay sharp twice as long – the benefit.
  • Our company invented quad logic which took seven years and $22 million to develop. Quad logic software reduces your customer service costs 20 – 30% within 30 days of installation.

Third, make your benefit specific. Some examples.

  • Fast shoeshine or two-minute shoeshine.
  • Reliable service or over 99% on time customer shipments.
  • High-quality service or no customer complaints in the last two years.

Fourth, communicating fewer benefits can be more persuasive than more benefits. Products communicating one – two benefits had a higher rate of success than products generating 3+ benefits. Be good and known for one thing. Examples.

  • BMW – the ultimate driving machine.
  • Volvo – – safety.
  • Bounty – the quicker picker upper.

Fifth, communicate the most important benefits your customers want – emotional or rational benefits are equally effective if they are the right benefits for your customers. Some good benefit examples.

  • Reduces order processing times from two days to 30 minutes. And within 18 months they expect a 100% return on their investment.
  • Perfect 10 – perfect nails for 10 days (Revlon nail polish).
  • Now you can shave your legs half as often.

The next blogs cover these topics.

  • Reason to believe: once we know what our benefit promises, we need to craft a reason to believe that potential customers find highly credible. You will discover the five different strategies available to us in creating a highly persuasive reason to believe.
  • Dramatic difference: the most powerful part of the science of persuasion is communicating our benefit promise is better – hopefully dramatically better – then some, most, or all of the competitive options. You will learn how to communicate these differences with skill and persuasiveness.
  • The series will conclude by a blog that pulls together the three elements and shows how they work best together.

If you want help with your innovation program, we can help you achieve dramatically better innovation results in 90 days or less. Guaranteed. We help businesses of all kinds and sizes to consistently double their innovation success rate by creating innovative solutions that are dramatically better than all of their competition. We can consistently do this because Innovate2Grow Experts is the only innovation consultancy using the eight most proven innovation best practices.

At Innovate2Grow Experts we can help you in two fundamental ways. First, we can collaboratively work with you in a variety of ways on a specific innovation need. Second, if you are interested in being trained at a high level on the eight most proven innovation best practices, you can start for free.

Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Have a great day.

Richard Haasnoot, Head Coach, Innovate2Grow Experts/i2ge.com

Founder and Producer, Innovation Best Practices podcast i2ge.com/podcast


Want Greater Innovation Success? Give Customers a Reason to Believe The Benefits You Promise.

This blog continues our series on Merwyn Technology. Merwyn Technology has two major ways it helps you achieve greater innovation success. First it helps you craft the single most persuasive message for your innovative idea. Second, Merwyn Technology then evaluates the strength of this message by giving you feedback on your chances for success in year one sales potential.

Here is an overview of what we will cover on how to craft a strong reason to believe that you can deliver the benefit promise to customers.

Merwyn Technology is used to evaluate actual product communication. When it comes to persuasively communicating a reason to believe the promised benefit, we know scientifically that the strength of your reason communication directly impacts your chances of success. Specifically products with weak reason to believe communication have a 18% chance of succeeding. If you increase it to strong you have a 29% chance of success. And best of all, if you increase it to very strong reason to believe communication your chances for success increase to 42% or more than double weak communication.

So with very strong reason to believe communication alone, you can have chances for success that are higher than the average 25% success rate for all products. In subsequent podcasts we will show how when you add communication of your differences that your chances go up even more dramatically.

Here are several important points to keep in mind as you craft a strong reason to believe.

First, you need to address buyer skepticism regarding any benefit promise that you make. Research study after research study clearly shows that 60% – 90% of people say they distrust advertising and claims made by salespeople. The only way you reduce the skepticism is to provide a highly credible reason to believe that your product delivers the benefits you promise.

Second, there are five proven strategies for developing highly credible reasons to believe.

  • First, explain how your product works to produce and deliver the benefit.
    • Think about a process – how it’s made and delivered and why the result is different from competition.
    • For example for a muffin claiming superior fresh taste: we add twice the number of berries, using only natural butter, and make our muffins fresh every hour.
  • Second, give people personal experience with the product so they can experience the benefit for themselves.
    • Examples: test drive a car, give people a free sample, the sensory feedback with Ziploc bags, a demonstration of your benefit – Bounty paper towels side-by-side demonstration of the quicker picker upper benefit claim.
  • Third, pedigree is a reason to believe.
    • Development pedigree: made with Idaho potatoes, patented, award-winning process.
    • Marketing pedigree: best-selling, choosy people choose Jiff, 50 years of satisfying customers.
    • Trademark pedigree like Disney.
  • Fourth, testimonials as a reason to believe.
    • Customers: nine out of 10 prefer, you can’t eat only one for potato chips.
    • Experts: Dr. preferred, endorsed by the American dental Association.
    • Media: movie critic quotes for movies.
  • Fifth, guarantee as a reason to believe.
    • Doug Hall: the power of your guarantee is directly linked to the level of risk you and your company are perceived to be taking.
    • L. Bean: our products are guaranteed to give 100% satisfaction in every way. Return anything purchased from us at any time if it proves otherwise. We will replace it, refund your purchase price, or credit your credit card.

Here are a couple of simple examples.

  • Example 1.
    • Feature: Boat for sale
    • Benefit: Fast boat
    • Strong Benefit: Specialized racing boat for those with a passion for winning
    • Real Reason to Believe: Designed by America’s Cup champion boat designer
  • Example 2.
    • Feature: Fish for sale
    • Benefit: Fresh fish
    • Strong Benefit: The freshest fish in town
    • Real Reason to Believe: When you sell more fish, it’s fresher. We sell more fish than anyone.

A quick summary of what we have covered today.

    • You can double your chances for success with a product if you backup your benefit promise with a highly credible reason to believe your benefit promise.
    • There are five different ways you can create a credible reason to believe: tell how it works, pedigree, testimonials, personal experience, and guarantee.

If you want help with your innovation program, we can help you achieve dramatically better innovation results in 90 days or less. Guaranteed. We help businesses of all kinds and sizes to consistently double their innovation success rate by creating innovative solutions that are dramatically better than all of their competition. We can consistently do this because Innovate2Grow Experts is the only innovation consultancy using the eight most proven innovation best practices.

At Innovate2Grow Experts we can help you in two fundamental ways. First, we can collaboratively work with you in a variety of ways on a specific innovation need. Second, if you are interested in being trained at a high level on the eight most proven innovation best practices, you can start for free.

Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Have a great day.

Richard Haasnoot, Head Coach, Innovate2Grow Experts/i2ge.com

Founder and Producer, Innovation Best Practices podcast i2ge.com/podcast


Dramatically Increase Your Chances of Innovation Success By Delivering Innovations That Are Dramatically Better Than Your Competition

From previous blogs in this series, you know that 75% of all new products fail, with most of them failing in less than two years. The single biggest reason they fail is addressed in this podcast. They fail because they do not offer benefits that are dramatically better than the products people are currently using.

Of the three critical elements in the science of persuasion powered by Merwyn technology, today we cover the third element– communicating how your product is dramatically better than some, most, all of the competitive options.

Here is an overview of the importance of dramatic difference communication.

Merwyn Technology is used to evaluate actual product communication. When it comes to persuasively communicating how your product is different and better than competition, you need to pay close attention since it dramatically impacts your chances for success. Specifically products with weak communication of their differences have only a 15% chance for success. If you’re difference communication is that a medium level, your chances jump all the way up to 40%. And do an excellent job in of communicating a dramatic difference in your chances increase to 53%. There is an important perspective here – if you have very strong communication on this one critical element, you can have twice the chances for long-term success as compared to the average product. Please think about that.

Here are several dramatic difference points.

First, there are multiple dimensions that you can be different than some, most, or all of your competition.

  • Efficacy: your product can be dramatically better at delivering a key benefit like fresh taste, processing speed, or comfort.
  • Price: you can have the lowest price which is a positive to some people or you can have the highest price which can also be positive for a certain target audience that prides themselves in buying the very best.
  • Value: the best balance of benefit delivery with price. You may not be the lowest priced, but the group of benefits you deliver for the price makes you the best value. In many categories being the best value is the sweet spot for becoming the market leader.

Second, it takes much, much more difference than you may think to have a dramatic difference. My usual advice to people is that whatever you think it takes to have a dramatic difference, multiply it by 10.

There are three levels of differences. Most of these levels make very little difference in the real world.

  • Level I differences: your product is technically different and better. For example, it might have 10% more of an active ingredient. This level of differences are virtually impossible for consumers to notice and appreciate. Net, they may make you feel good, but your customers will yawn.
  • Level II differences: these are technical differences that are great enough that customers can notice if they pay attention. If they don’t pay attention, there is a good chance they will not notice. For example, when a new computer chip comes out and doubles the speed of your computer, we may briefly notice the improvement. These kinds of differences are big enough for some consumers to buy more if they are existing customers or to cause a competitive customer to switch to your product.
  • Level III differences: these are WOW differences. All you have to do is show it to a customer and they immediately and positively notice the difference. Think of the Prius, the iPod, the iPad, Tesla, Pixar, Industrial Light and Magic (Star Wars!), Starbucks, Keurig,.

Third, a qualitative example of how much a difference it takes to get someone to switch from a brand they are loyal to.

  • Group example I use. I ask for a loyal Crest or Colgate toothpaste user to raise their hand.
  • I then offer three levels of major product news on the competitive brand.
  • For example for a loyal crest user I tell them there are three major new product improvements coming to Colgate toothpaste – which one will they switch for.
    • 10% more whitening.
    • 50% more fresh mint taste.
    • 75% fewer cavities than Crest.
  • In the years that I’ve been doing this qualitative experiment I have never been able to get a loyal Crest or Colgate user to switch.

What all of this means.

  • If you’re inventing new products, you need to set the bar of how much better the new product is then some, most, all of your competitors very, very high if you want to have at least twice the chances for success of the average idea.
  • If you’re looking to make a product improvement on existing product, you know that the improvement needs to be a major and dramatic improvement versus the current product if you truly want to sell more and make more from the improvement.
  • So many companies and people forget the importance of having products that are dramatically better than their competition. They set the bar entirely too low. It is why so many product improvements have a very low or negative return on investment.
  • Having said that, developing dramatically better new products and dramatic improvements to existing products is no easy task.
  • Bottom line: if you don’t see a path to making a new or existing product dramatically better than your competition, then consider not investing in smaller very modest improvements. Instead, focus on developing your core business through branding and more persuasive communication of the benefits you already have.

If you want help with your innovation program, we can help you achieve dramatically better innovation results in 90 days or less. Guaranteed. We help businesses of all kinds and sizes to consistently double their innovation success rate by creating innovative solutions that are dramatically better than all of their competition. We can consistently do this because Innovate2Grow Experts is the only innovation consultancy using the eight most proven innovation best practices.

At Innovate2Grow Experts we can help you in two fundamental ways. First, we can collaboratively work with you in a variety of ways on a specific innovation need. Second, if you are interested in being trained at a high level on the eight most proven innovation best practices, you can start for free.

Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Have a great day.

Richard Haasnoot, Head Coach, Innovate2Grow Experts/i2ge.com

Founder and Producer, Innovation Best Practices podcast i2ge.com/podcast