Category: Branding

An incomplete manifesto for growth. Via Bruce Mau

1. Allow events to change you. You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.

2. Forget about good. Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you’ll never have real growth.

3. Process is more important than outcome. When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to where we’ve already been. If process drives outcome we may not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be there.

4. Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child). Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as

beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.

5. Go deep. The deeper you go the more likely you will discover something of value.

6. Capture accidents. The wrong answer is the right answer in search of a different question. Collect wrong answers as part of the process. Ask different questions.

7. Study. A studio is a place of study. Use the necessity of production as an excuse to study. Everyone will benefit.

8. Drift. Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism.

9. Begin anywhere. John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.

10. Everyone is a leader. Growth happens. Whenever it does, allow it to emerge. Learn to follow when it makes sense. Let anyone lead.

11. Harvest ideas. Edit applications. Ideas need a dynamic, fluid, generous environment to sustain life. Applications, on the other hand, benefit from critical rigor. Produce a high ratio of ideas to applications.

12. Keep moving. The market and its operations have a tendency to reinforce success. Resist it. Allow failure and migration to be part of your

practice.

13. Slow down. Desynchronize from standard time frames and surprising opportunities may present themselves.

14. Don’t be cool. Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort.

15. Ask stupid questions. Growth is fueled by desire and innocence. Assess the answer, not the question. Imagine learning throughout your life at the rate of an infant.

16. Collaborate. The space between people working together is filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight, and vast creative potential.

17. ——————————. Intentionally left blank. Allow space for the ideas you haven’t had yet, and for the ideas of others.

18. Stay up late. Strange things happen when you’ve gone too far, been up too long, worked too hard, and you’re separated from the rest of the world.

19. Work the metaphor. Every object has the capacity to stand for something other than what is apparent. Work on what it stands for.

20. Be careful to take risks. Time is genetic. Today is the child of yesterday and the parent of tomorrow. The work you produce today will create your future.

21. Repeat yourself. If you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, do it again.

22. Make your own tools. Hybridize your tools in order to build unique things. Even simple tools that are your own can yield entirely new avenues of exploration. Remember, tools amplify our capacities, so even a small tool can make a big difference.

23. Stand on someone’s shoulders. You can travel farther carried on the accomplishments of those who came before you. And the view is so much better.

24. Avoid software. The problem with software is that everyone has it.

25. Don’t clean your desk. You might find something in the morning that you can’t see tonight.

26. Don’t enter awards competitions. Just don’t. It’s not good for you.

27. Read only left-hand pages. Marshall McLuhan did this. By decreasing the amount of information, we leave room for what he called our “noodle.”

28. Make new words. Expand the lexicon. The new conditions demand a new way of thinking. The thinking demands new forms of expression. The expression generates new conditions.

29. Think with your mind. Forget technology. Creativity is not device-dependent.

30. Organization = Liberty. Real innovation in design, or any other field, happens in context. That context is usually some form of cooperatively managed enterprise. Frank Gehry, for instance, is only able to realize Bilbao because his studio can deliver it on budget. The myth of a split between “creatives” and “suits” is what Leonard Cohen calls a ‘charming artifact of the past.’

31. Don’t borrow money. Once again, Frank Gehry’s advice. By maintaining financial control, we maintain creative control. It’s not exactly rocket science, but it’s surprising how hard it is to maintain this discipline, and how many have failed.

32. Listen carefully. Every collaborator who enters our orbit brings with him or her a world more strange and complex than any we could ever hope to imagine. By listening to the details and the subtlety of their needs, desires, or ambitions, we fold their world onto our own. Neither party will ever be the same.

33. Take field trips. The bandwidth of the world is greater than that of your TV set, or the Internet, or even a totally immersive, interactive, dynamically rendered, object-oriented, real-time, computer graphic– simulated environment.

34. Make mistakes faster. This isn’t my idea — I borrowed it. I think it belongs to Andy Grove.

35. Imitate. Don’t be shy about it. Try to get as close as you can. You’ll never get all the way, and the separation might be truly remarkable. We have only to look to Richard Hamilton and his version of Marcel Duchamp’s large glass to see how rich, discredited, and underused imitation is as a technique.

36. Scat. When you forget the words, do what Ella did: make up something else … but not words.

37. Break it, stretch it, bend it, crush it, crack it, fold it.

38. Explore the other edge. Great liberty exists when we avoid trying to run with the technological pack. We can’t find the leading edge because it’s trampled underfoot. Try using old-tech equipment made obsolete by an economic cycle but still rich with potential.

39. Coffee breaks, cab rides, green rooms. Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces — what Dr. Seuss calls “the waiting place.” Hans Ulrich Obrist once organized a science and art conference with all of the infrastructure of a conference — the parties, chats, lunches, airport arrivals — but with no actual conference. Apparently it was hugely successful and spawned many ongoing collaborations.

40. Avoid fields. Jump fences. Disciplinary boundaries and regulatory regimes are attempts to control the wilding of creative life. They are often understandable efforts to order what are manifold, complex, evolutionary processes. Our job is to jump the fences and cross the fields.

41. Laugh. People visiting the studio often comment on how much we laugh. Since I’ve become aware of this, I use it as a barometer of how comfortably we are expressing ourselves.

42. Remember. Growth is only possible as a product of history. Without memory, innovation is merely novelty. History gives growth a direction. But a memory is never perfect. Every memory is a degraded or composite image of a previous moment or event. That’s what makes us aware of its quality as a past and not a present. It means that every memory is new, a partial construct different from its source, and, as such, a potential for growth itself.

43. Power to the people. Play can only happen when people feel they have control over their lives. We can’t be free agents if we’re not free.

Heres’s the link to the one of the sources with the PDF published. http://umcf.umn.edu/events/past/04nov-manifesto.pdf

First Things First Manifesto 2000. Via Emigre

Various authors

This manifesto was first published in 1999 in Emigre 51.
We, the undersigned, are graphic designers, art directors and visual communicators who have been raised in a world in which the techniques and apparatus of advertising have persistently been presented to us as the most lucrative, effective and desirable use of our talents. Many design teachers and mentors promote this belief; the market rewards it; a tide of books and publications reinforces it.
Encouraged in this direction, designers then apply their skill and imagination to sell dog biscuits, designer coffee, diamonds, detergents, hair gel, cigarettes, credit cards, sneakers, butt toners, light beer and heavy-duty recreational vehicles. Commercial work has always paid the bills, but many graphic designers have now let it become, in large measure, what graphic designers do. This, in turn, is how the world perceives design. The profession’s time and energy is used up manufacturing demand for things that are inessential at best.
Many of us have grown increasingly uncomfortable with this view of design. Designers who devote their efforts primarily to advertising, marketing and brand development are supporting, and implicitly endorsing, a mental environment so saturated with commercial messages that it is changing the very way citizen-consumers speak, think, feel, respond and interact. To some extent we are all helping draft a reductive and immeasurably harmful code of public discourse.
There are pursuits more worthy of our problem-solving skills. Unprecedented environmental, social and cultural crises demand our attention. Many cultural interventions, social marketing campaigns, books, magazines, exhibitions, educational tools, television programs, films, charitable causes and other information design projects urgently require our expertise and help.
We propose a reversal of priorities in favor of more useful, lasting and democratic forms of communication – a mindshift away from product marketing and toward the exploration and production of a new kind of meaning. The scope of debate is shrinking; it must expand. Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, through the visual languages and resources of design.
In 1964, 22 visual communicators signed the original call for our skills to be put to worthwhile use. With the explosive growth of global commercial culture, their message has only grown more urgent. Today, we renew their manifesto in expectation that no more decades will pass before it is taken to heart.
Jonathan Barnbrook
Nick Bell
Andrew Blauvelt
Hans Bockting
Irma Boom
Sheila Levrant de Bretteville
Max Bruinsma
Sian Cook
Linda van Deursen
Chris Dixon
William Drenttel
Gert Dumbar
Simon Esterson
Vince Frost
Ken Garland
Milton Glaser
Jessica Helfand
Steven Heller
Andrew Howard
Tibor Kalman
Jeffery Keedy
Zuzana Licko
Ellen Lupton
Katherine McCoy
Armand Mevis
J. Abbott Miller
Rick Poynor
Lucienne Roberts
Erik Spiekermann
Jan van Toorn
Teal Triggs
Rudy VanderLans
Bob Wilkinson

I may add myself to this. Federico Hernandez-Ruiz

Here’s the link to the original post: http://www.emigre.com/Editorial.php?sect=1&id=14

And a copy of the 164 manifesto written by Ken Garland along with 20 other artists.

http://www.designishistory.com/1960/first-things-first/

Imagen

Ten guidelines for effective front-panel design. Via: PackWorld

While there are no hard-and-fast rules in front-panel package design, here are some guidelines to help you define your brand on today’s cluttered retail shelves.

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FILED IN:  Package designGraphic  >
By Ron Romanik, Contributing Editor

Branding, marketing, and advertising all converge on the front panel of a retail package. Dedicated package designers would argue a package does all of that and more, and that nothing represents the brand more than the retail package. That’s because the package is the last place the consumer interacts with the brand prior to making a purchase decision.There are certainly no hard-and-fast rules in front-panel package design, and some categories have much more freedom to experiment. But here are some guidelines that will help you define your brand on the front panels of packages on today’s cluttered retail shelves.

1. Determine the brand “position.” Know your company and your brand and your core values. Ask the hard questions again and again, and don’t underestimate the savvy of today’s consumers. Is there a unique value proposition? What is the primary product benefit, lifestyle advantage, or convenience gain? For a new brand or brand extension, remember that getting noticed is often the most important goal.

2. Explore the competitive environment. Use differentiation in a category for one goal—giving consumers a reason to pick up the package. Go to the retail environments where the package will live, and ask these questions from the perspective of the brand:
• Who am I? Do I represent something tangible? Do I inspire trust?
• What makes me special? Where do I fit in among competitors?
• Why would they buy me? What’s the most important benefit or advantage?

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• How can I connect with consumers emotionally? What cues can I use?

3. Settle on a hierarchy. Information organization is a critical element of front-panel design. Broadly, the importance of the information hierarchy goes: 1) brand; 2) product; 3) variety; and 4) benefit(s). Analyze all the messages you want to convey and put them in order of importance. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be in that order, top to bottom, on the package, but it’s a good reference point to start with. Having a very organized, consistent information hierarchy across multiple product varieties helps your customer find the variety they desire and allows for a satisfying experience. Saving the shopper time in picking out a product should always be a priority.

4. Make one element the hero. Is the personality of the brand strong enough to stand on its own? Determine what is the most important single idea to communicate about your product. If you’re going to “own” something, what is that something? Align secondary brand messages under the primary umbrella message. If your brand is the hero, consider “locking in” a tagline with the logo. But make sure you’re committed to that tagline for the long haul. Otherwise, look for inspiration outside the category, which can often lead to breakout design. Use shapes, colors, illustrations, and photographs to reinforce the hero of your brand story. Above all else, make it easy for repeat buyers to find you the next time.

5. Keep it simple. Less is often more—communication-wise. Be succinct, both verbally and visually. Three main visual cues are all that the typical eye will tolerate. Successful package design is often an exercise in constraint. Remove overloaded messages on the front panel. Limit marketing claims and benefit statements. Any more than two or three, and the points will be counterproductive. Too many benefits will dilute the core brand message, and it will actually cause the consumer lose interest in the store aisle. Remember, most packages have secondary panels for more information. That’s where shoppers look when they want to learn more. Use the secondary panels, but don’t skimp on design for those either. If secondary panels are unavailable, consider a hangtag to tell a deeper brand story.

6. Manage stakeholder expectations. Expect some stakeholders to want to put all the information or marketing claims they have on the front panel. Remind them that a package is not an advertisement. Be prepared for the counter-arguments by having a repeatable design development process. Back the process up with checkpoints and transparency and show progress with visual aids. Explain how the process is both expansion and contraction, and have everyone sign off on the process before starting. Quickly develop three to five options so you can establish a common language to talk about the objectives. Be prepared with questions and suggestions should a stakeholder come to you with a printer or converter already in mind before design begins.

7. Communicate value visually. Of course, having a transparent window that shows the product inside is almost never a bad idea. Consumers want visual confirmation of the choices they make. Aside from that, you can say things non-verbally with shapes, design, graphics, and colors. Use the elements that will best communicate attributes and equities, sensations and feelings, emotional associations, and textures. Create an association with a sense of place. Suggest use occasions with graphics that have the elements of that use occasion. Involve a lifestyle. Today’s consumers judge products in relation to how the values of that brand fit into their values and lifestyle. Create a singular “reason to believe” that is capable of closing the sale in isolation.

8. Be mindful of category-specific rules. Each retail category has its own conventions. Some should be followed religiously. Some are important because bucking the convention can set a newcomer brand apart. For food products, however, the product itself should almost always be the hero. Spend the money on production and printing to create a photorealistic representation of the ideal serving suggestion. Conversely, for pharmaceutical products, the brand and product’s physical characteristics can be secondary—sometimes even unnecessary. The parent brand logo may not need to be on the front panel. Instead, emphasize the name of the product and what it does. Across all categories, though, it’s advisable to err on the side of less clutter on the front panel.

9. Don’t forget findability and shopability. Learn how consumers shop the particular category you’re in. Make sure they won’t be confused by the format or the information hierarchy. Remember, cognitively and psychologically, colors communicate ahead of everything else. Next come shapes. Words matter, but mostly as a support role. Words and typography are for reinforcement, not high-level brand communication.

Findability can be either about having a brand-first strategy or about creating a “blocking” element in the store aisle that draws shoppers in. Shopability is about having a consistent system of colors, shapes, materials, or front-panel hierarchy that guide both new and repeat shoppers in finding the specific product and variety he or she desires. If there are multiple lines under a parent brand, consider good/better/best strategies that indicate each value proposition clearly and succinctly. For instance, the relative strengths of different products in a line can be indicated by “strengths,” or relative saturations, of color.

10. Plan for future brand extensions. A brand that is flexible enough to extend to other categories also has a core brand identity that it owns. After that, a successful brand platform is one that can grow by adding product varieties or lines, or extending outside its original category. Test the versatility of a front panel’s design by applying it to new products and to new categories. Look at a wide swath of imaginary products and extensions, not just the flagship variety. Make sure they all work together, united as a brand but easily understood as separate offerings.

Even plan for future redesigns of your core product line. Don’t inhibit the future growth of your brand by creating a platform that is not both extendable and flexible.

– See more at: http://www.packworld.com/package-design/graphic/ten-guidelines-effective-front-panel-design?&spMailingID=6667563&spUserID=MTkxNzUxMTcxOTUS1&spJobID=81221223&spReportId=ODEyMjEyMjMS1#sthash.76fMOFjk.dpuf

FDA Proposes Most Significant Update to Nutrition Facts Labeling in 20 Year

FDA Proposes Most Significant Update to Nutrition Facts Labeling in 20 Year

The nutrition facts label as you know it will likely be changing soon, thanks to significant changes supported by the Obama administration:

“Our guiding principle here is very simple: that you as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into your local grocery store, pick up an item off the shelf, and be able to tell whether it’s good for your family. So this is a big deal, and it’s going to make a big difference for families all across this country.”

– First Lady Michelle Obama

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today proposed to update the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect the latest scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The proposed label also would replace out-of-date serving sizes to better align with how much people really eat, and it would feature a fresh design to highlight key parts of the label such as calories and serving sizes.”

– FDA Announcement

 
 

“For 20 years consumers have come to rely on the iconic nutrition label to help them make healthier food choices. To remain relevant, the FDA’s newly proposed Nutrition Facts label incorporates the latest in nutrition science as more has been learned about the connection between what we eat and the development of serious chronic diseases impacting millions of Americans.”

— FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.
NutritionLabels-01.png
NutritionLabels-02.png

Some of the changes to the label the FDA proposed today would:

  • Require information about the amount of “added sugars” in a food product. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that intake of added sugar is too high in the U.S. population and should be reduced. The FDA proposes to include “added sugars” on the label to help consumers know how much sugar has been added to the product.
  • Update serving size requirements to reflect the amounts people currently eat. What and how much people eat and drink has changed since the serving sizes were first put in place in 1994. By law, serving sizes must be based on what people actually eat, not on what people “should” be eating. Present calorie and nutrition information for the whole package of certain food products that could be consumed in one sitting.
  • Present “dual column” labels to indicate both “per serving” and “per package” calorie and nutrition information for larger packages that could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings.
  • Require the declaration of potassium and vitamin D, nutrients that some in the U.S. population are not getting enough of, which puts them at higher risk for chronic disease. Vitamin D is important for its role in bone health. Potassium is beneficial in lowering blood pressure. Vitamins A and C would no longer be required on the label, though manufacturers could declare them voluntarily.
  • Revise the Daily Values for a variety of nutrients such as sodium, dietary fiber and Vitamin D. Daily Values are used to calculate the Percent Daily Value on the label, which helps consumers understand the nutrition information in the context of a total daily diet.
  • While continuing to require “Total Fat,” “Saturated Fat,” and “TransFat” on the label, “Calories from Fat” would be removed because research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount.
  • Refresh the format to emphasize certain elements, such as calories, serving sizes and Percent Daily Value, which are important in addressing current public health problems like obesity and heart disease.

“The proposed updates reflect new dietary recommendations, consensus reports, and national survey data, such as the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, nutrient intake recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, and intake data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The FDA also considered extensive input and comments from a wide range of stakeholders.”

“By revamping the Nutrition Facts label, FDA wants to make it easier than ever for consumers to make better informed food choices that will support a healthy diet. To help address obesity, one of the most important public health problems facing our country, the proposed label would drive attention to calories and serving sizes.”

— Michael R. Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine

“The Nutrition Facts label has been required on food packages for 20 years, helping consumers better understand the nutritional value of foods so they can make healthy choices for themselves and their families. The label has not changed significantly since 2006 when information on trans fat had to be declared on the label, prompting manufacturers to reduce partially hydrogenated oils, the main source oftrans fat, in many of their products.

The changes proposed today affect all packaged foods except certain meat, poultry and processed egg products, which are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The FDA is also proposing to make corresponding updates to the Supplement Facts label on dietary supplements where applicable.

The agency is accepting public comment on the proposed changes for 90 days.”

Via: http://www.thedieline.com/blog/2014/2/27/fda-proposes-most-significant-update-to-nutrition-facts-labeling-in-20-years?utm_source=The+Wrap&utm_campaign=586a3a2c8e-The_Wrap_Weekly_03_03_14&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f0d332d430-586a3a2c8e-230013793

Is This Startup Ready For Investment? Via: steveblank Blog

ᔥ Posted on  by steveblank

Since 2005 startup accelerators have provided cohorts of startups with mentoring, pitch practice and product focus. However, accelerator Demo Days are a combination of the graduation ceremony and pitch contest, with the uncomfortable feel of a swimsuit competition. Other than “I’ll know it when I see it”, there’s no formal way for an investor attending Demo Day to assess project maturity or quantify risks. Other than measuring engineering progress, there’s no standard language to communicate progress.

Corporations running internal incubators face many of the same selection issues as startup investors, plus they must grapple with the issues of integrating new ideas into existing P&L-driven functions or business units.

What’s been missing for everyone is:

  • a common language for investors to communicate objectives to startups
  • a language corporate innovation groups can use to communicate to business units and finance
  • data that investors, accelerators and incubators can use to inform selection

While it doesn’t eliminate great investor judgment, pattern recognition skills and mentoring, we’ve developed an Investment Readiness Level tool that fills in these missing pieces.

—-

Investment Readiness Level (IRL) for Corporations and Investors
The startups in our Lean LaunchPad classes and the NSF I-Corps incubator use LaunchPad Central to collect a continuous stream of data across all the teams. Over 10 weeks each team gets out of the building talking to 100 customers to test their hypotheses across all 9 boxes in the business model canvas.

We track each team’s progress as they test their business model hypotheses. We collect the complete narrative of what they discovered talking to customers as well as aggregate interviews, hypotheses to test, invalidated hypotheses and mentor and instructor engagements. This data gives innovation managers and investors a feel for the evidence and trajectory of the cohort as a whole and a top-level view of each teams progress. The software rolls all the data into an Investment Readiness Level score.

(Take a quick read of the post on the Investment Readiness Level – it’s short. Or watch the video here.)

The Power of the Investment Readiness Level: Different Metrics for Different Industry Segments
Recently we ran a Lean LaunchPad for Life Sciences class with 26 teams of clinicians and researchers at UCSF.  The teams developed businesses in 4 different areas– therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices and digital health.  To understand the power of this tool, look at how the VC overseeing each market segment modified the Investment Readiness Level so that it reflected metrics relevant to their particular industry.

Medical Devices
Allan May of Life Science Angels modified the standard Investment Readiness Level to include metrics that were specific for medical device startups. These included; identification of a compelling clinical need, large enough market, intellectual property, regulatory issues, and reimbursement, and whether there was a plausible exit.

In the pictures below, note that all the thermometers are visual proxies for the more detailed evaluation criteria that lie behind them.

Device IRL

Investment Readiness Level for Medical Devices

You can watch the entire presentation here

Therapeutics
Karl Handelsman of CMEA Capital modified the standard Investment Readiness Level (IRL) for teams developing therapeutics to include identifying clinical problems, and agreeing on a timeline to pre-clinical and clinical data, cost and value of data points, what quality data to deliver to a company, and building a Key Opinion Leader (KOL) network. The heart of the therapeutics IRL also required “Proof of relevance” – was there a path to revenues fully articulated, an operational plan defined. Finally, did the team understand the key therapeutic liabilities, have data proving on-target activity and evidence of a therapeutic effect.

Therapeutics IRL

You can see the entire presentation here

Digital Health
For teams developing Digital Health solutions, Abhas Gupta of MDV noted that the Investment Readiness Level was closest to the standard web/mobile/cloud model with the addition of reimbursement and technical validation.

Digital Health

Diagnostics
Todd Morrill wanted teams developing Diagnostics to have a reimbursement strategy fully documented, the necessary IP in place, regulation and technical validation (clinical trial) regime understood and described and the cost structure and financing needs well documented.

Diagnostics IRL

You can see the entire presentation here

For their final presentations, each team explained how they tested and validated their business model (value proposition, customer segment, channel, customer relationships, revenue, costs, activities, resources and partners.) But they also scored themselves using the Investment Readiness Level criteria for their  market. After the teams reported the results of their self-evaluation, the  VC’s then told them how they actually scored.  We were fascinated to see that the team scores and the VC scores were almost the same.

Lessons Learned

  • The Investment Readiness Level provides a “how are we doing” set of metrics
  • It also creates a common language and metrics that investors, corporate innovation groups and entrepreneurs can share
  • It’s flexible enough to be modified for industry-specific business models
  • It’s part of a much larger suite of tools for those who manage corporate innovation, accelerators and incubators

P.S. if you want to learn more abut the IRL and other tools, we teach a 2-day class for corporate innovation, accelerators and incubators. Info here

Link to Original Steve Blank blog post:

Is This Startup Ready For Investment?.

 

Intenciones y capacidades del emprendedor y empresario

Por Federico Hernández Ruiz*

Crear valor + Captura de valor = Estrategia

Crear valor + Captura de valor = Estrategia

Los emprendedores y los empresarios comparten una característica muy especial: su capacidad para hacer e iniciar.

Iniciar para ellos no es problema. Después de muchos años de trabajar con empresarios y con emprendedores me he dado cuenta que ambos tienen esa capacidad que muchos desearían. Iniciar es como ese momento que describen los artistas al enfrentarse al lienzo en blanco, o los escritores al ver la hoja. ¿Cómo iniciar? Qué debe ser primero, qué debemos de tener o contar para iniciar.

Para muchos esta pregunta puede llevarles años. Hacen planes, desarrollan investigaciones de mercado, crean un plan de negocio y para otros se convierten en ese sueño inalcanzable donde iniciar está muy lejos y además cuesta mucho dinero.

Para los emprendedores y para muchos empresarios ese no es el problema. Los emprendedores y empresarios tienen ese poder de comenzar con lo que hay, con lo que tienen a la mano, con esa idea hecha ímpetu y se arrancan. No hay tiempo que perder. Nada ni nadie los detendrá.

En ese momento los emprendedores y los empresarios que han arrancado, tienen la claridad en el objetivo y la visión se convierte en misión. Todo ha quedado alineado con un propósito y tal vez esa condición sea la más importante. El contexto que crea el propósito hace que todas las acciones creen las condiciones necesarias para actuar. Ese primer equipo lleno de ímpetu y ganas, hará todo lo necesario para resolver cualquier imprevisto. Todo el equipo sabe que no hay reto infranqueable. En ese momento el emprendedor o empresario sabe que cuenta con su equipo y ellos saben que cuentan con claridad en el propósito.

Aquel momento inicial finalmente termina y la empresa avanza, enfrentándose a nuevos retos; los mismos que presenta cualquier organización.

A través de los años he visto ese enfrentamiento entre el emprendedor y su empresa. Pareciera como si aquella persona que inició ya se le hubiera pasado el ímpetu y ahora estuviera tranquilo y enfocado con los retos del día a día. La verdad es que no es así. Aquel empresario debe tomar los retos cotidianos como nuevas pequeñas empresas o comenzar a tratar de acomodarse en ese nuevo estatus. Puede dejar de ser el pequeño negocio y pasar a ser una empresa con vida propia, más allá de su fundador; o bien se estanca y se paraliza en muchos sentidos.

Lo cierto es que no siempre el emprendedor y el empresario están preparados para darle seguimiento al crecimiento de la empresa, en consecuencia la empresa no ha construido una estructura que aproveche el talento de su fundador.

Mucho se habla de la poca movilidad que tienen las grandes empresas y todos reconocen la extraordinaria dinámica que pueden ejercer las pequeñas empresas. Esto no es otra cosa que la manera en que se conciben y se recrean los espacios, el contexto en el que se desenvuelve la empresa, su fundador, director, gerentes y empleados.

Aunque se habla de esas diferencias, en México se hace poco para cambiar las cosas. Muchos de nosotros al ser los fundadores creemos que por haber llegado a donde estamos no debemos dejar el poder. Pero también nos frustra mucho que la empresa no crezca al ritmo que creemos, que no tenga la fuerza o estructura necesaria para tener un mayor impacto en la industria. Nos gusta ganar muy bien y nos dedicamos a crear una distancia enorme entre lo que nosotros ganamos, nuestras habilidades y conocimientos vs. el lugar donde se encuentra el equipo que dirigimos o que nos acompaña. Esa distancia en realidad nos paraliza de sobremanera, se convierte en un lastre que no nos deja avanzar mejor. Eso sí, nos recompensa haciéndonos creer que tenemos el poder y que todo depende de nosotros. Nos justificamos y creemos que sin nosotros nada podría suceder.

Cierto es que muchos de nosotros como emprendedores y empresarios somos muy buenos para iniciar, arrancar y dar ese gran paso. También es cierto que esas habilidades no son las mismas para dar continuidad a la empresa, gestionarla, administrarla y se requiere que las desarrollemos. Ahí, justo ahí se genera un gran dilema. Dejamos de lado ese ímpetu característico por un bien mayor o bien no soltamos a pesar de frenar inconscientemente el desarrollo de la empresa.

Visto así la respuesta no es sencilla. Por lo menos emocionalmente no es sencilla y racionalmente puede ser que no haya información interna que nos ayude a tomar la decisión. Si quienes dirigimos no estamos capacitados para soltar el control, entonces no habrá plan, información o capacitación que nos haga cambiar de opinión. Más aun, sabemos que somos exitosos y por eso estamos donde estamos.

La verdad es que esas características para emprender y hacer nacer una empresa son muy valiosas dentro de la misma. Son el sentido que necesitan todas las empresas para mantenerse ágil y veloz frente al cambio, dispuestos para innovar.

Como empresario dejar la gestión general no significa soltar la empresa, significa que podemos seguir siendo los líderes y visionarios exigentes de mejores resultados.

Para mí, el principal reto que tenemos como empresarios es nuestro ego, es pensar que lo podemos todo y que sabemos como resolverlo y aún cuándo así sea, el tiempo no nos alcanza.

Apoyarnos en un equipo talentoso, bien preparado y capaz de representar nuestros intereses se hace cada vez más necesario. Disminuir la distancia intelectual y de preparación entre nosotros y el siguiente escalón al mando es fundamental.

No es raro encontrar empresas que facturan millones de dólares. Donde el empresario lleva a cuesta toda la operación y sus subalternos son un conjunto de ejecutantes sin voz ni voto. Cuando este empresario falta o tiene que ausentarse, la operación entera decae. Difícilmente saldrá adelante. En cambio, si aquel emprendedor o empresario, entendió que el valor está en su pasión, su conocimiento y su entrega para crear y resolver cualquier empresa; y que su equipo está a la altura para establecer un diálogo cierto y confiable, entonces ese empresario logrará trascender su momento, creando una estrategia clara, consistente, capaz de conquistar espacios y mercados que tal vez no había considerando antes.

Muchos consultores al trabajar con los empresarios se enfrentan a esta situación y hablan de la importancia de una estrategia y con mucha razón. Otros hablan de la importancia de mejorar la operación continuamente, lo cual también es muy necesaria pero que el empresario piense y acepte en cómo va a estructurar su empresa para soltarla un día, o incluso consideré venderla en un futuro es otra cosa.

No querer soltar o vender nuestras empresas puede ser un síntoma de nuestra cultura en la que no nos gusta soltar por obtener un sentido de éxito, de poder y reconocimiento por el que pensamos que solo deben ser nuestras, de nuestras familias, pero de nadie más. La realidad es que debemos dar un paso hacia adelante y retar la manera en la que nos venimos conduciendo para competir en nuestra región, país y por qué no, en otros mercados internacionales.

Retarnos de nuevo para lograr una empresa en donde se encuentran bien integradas la pasión con la administración es lo que nos hará imparables. Si logramos tener un equipo que juegue unido con un mismo sentido, con claridad en su razón de ser y objetivos, reconociendo que su motor radica en su capacidad creadora, entonces sí, la estrategia y la táctica construirán una identidad única. Una identidad auténtica capaz de entregar a sus clientes y  consumidores los productos y servicios que valoran.

México necesita de muchos emprendedores y empresarios. También requiere que las empresas actuales sean más competentes para ser generadoras de riqueza, creadores de valor. Pero sobre todo requiere que todos sean capaces de integrar y desarrollar las fortalezas que les hacen falta. Dejarse ayudar o acompañar hoy, más que nunca, se hace necesario. Apoyarse en centros de talento como lo es la comisión de consultores de Coparmex en Querétaro es actualmente una necesidad que no puede dejarse pasar. Este centro con sus asociados, nos ofrece alternativas para ampliar nuestra visión y el número de oportunidades.

No perdamos de vista nuestras capacidades y dónde y cómo aportamos valor a nuestra operación. Reconocer que hay mejores alternativas, más creativas, rentables y eficientes requiere de madurez y ambición.

Los emprendedores y empresarios en México tenemos un gran reto en frente. El país, nuestras regiones y familias nos están demandando mejorar. Mejorar no solo es que llevemos más dinero a casa. Mejorar significa crear las empresas y organizaciones que darán cauce al país por mucho tiempo.

El reto está en nuestras manos.

D.G. Federico Hernández Ruiz

Socio fundador y Consultor en Identidad estratégica en asimetagraf y representante para la CGTFL en México de Duraznos, Nectarinas y Ciruelas California a demás de ser miembro del equipo Set4Success.

Como consultor se destaca en la creación de sistemas de identidad especializado en productos de consumos. Su trayectoria cuenta con más de 25 años de experiencia y ha colabora desde grandes transnacionales hasta pequeñas y micro empresas. Algunas de éstas son: Kellogg’s, Heinz, La Perla, Bimbo, Grupo Pando, entre otros.

Para conocer más de asimetagraf y Set4Success y sus propuestas, favor de entrar a: http://www.asimetagraf.com  http://www.s4s.com.mx
o envíale un correo a
federico@asimetagraf.com síguelo en Twitter en: @idocare4design

 

Para contactar a Federico y conocer más sobre su trayectoria, entrar a: http://www.linkedin.com/in/federicohernandezrui

To Lure Customers, Appeal To All 5 Of Their Senses Via: Stuart Leslie @ fastcodesign

STUART LESLIE, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER OF 4SIGHT INC, OFFERS SIX TIPS FOR PACKAGING YOUR PRODUCT AND CAPTURING CONSUMER ATTENTION.

WRITTEN BY Stuart Leslie

We know that consumer purchase decisions are often made quickly and subconsciously, but there are opportunities where it’s possible to influence a consumer’s perception of a brand. People often make buying decisions by using all five of their senses and once product designers discover what each of these sensory influencers are, they can develop packaging that strategically speaks to consumers at each stage of the decision-making process. It’s ultimately about designing a complete experience–one that supports the brand every step of the way.

At my company, we developed the 4sight Sensory Lab, pictured above, to uncover these answers. Here, for example, cold beverage drinkers known to prefer their drinks not simply cold, but chilled to the perfect temperature, are taken through a progression of exercises that mimics the various points of contact that consumers have with a product.

We identify which bottle shape, size, color, material, and texture promises that sense of cold refreshment at first glance. As the test subjects move closer, details such as condensation and frost become evident and when they are handed several bottles, each chilled to the exact same temperature–but made of different materials, textures, shapes and finishes–they provide feedback on which one feels like just the right cold.

In the Sensory Lab, our process helps us ensure that at each stage of interaction with a brand, consumers receive the right information, enabling them to see, feel, hear, smell, and taste the value of the product. Here, we’ve identified the six stages that lead to a first purchase or a repeat purchase:

THE FIRST GLANCE

Image: Pom Wonderful via Flickr user Fruitnet.com

This is the first impression at a distance, seeing the product in someone else’s hand, on the shelf, or across the room. It’s the first visual promise of what a product will do for your senses. For Pom 100% Pomegranate Juice, the distinctive profile of the bottle featuring those fully rounded spheres, allows the distinct dark red color of the juice to catch the attention of a shopper. It promises a bold, robust taste. A new entry into the tequila segment, SX Tequila chose a distinctive, curvaceous bottle with smooth lines and frosted texture to communicate the sense of a smooth-tasting, chilled beverage.

THE INSPECTION

Here, consumers take a closer look and this is where details begin to hint at tactile sensations. Flowing details etched into the structure of the Aquafina water bottle strongly suggest the refreshment that the product provides.

Image: Flickr user Sheep R Us[/caption]

Orangina, meanwhile, promises its fresh orange flavor through a dimpled finish on the bottle that suggests you are consuming straight from an actual orange.

THE PHYSICAL INTERACTION

Next, consumers make that first physical contact and combine the visual with the tactile experience. When grasped, the gentle curvature of the Febreze bottle and the angled spray head convey the soft and pleasant aroma that will fill the air. The smooth, diagonal neck on the new Miller Lite Bottle promises a refreshing flow of beer while the bold taper from the neck to the body provides a strong and confident grip for the hand. Adding the texture of the hops etched in the glass provides further engagement.

THE OPENING

When the consumer makes a physical step towards consumption or use of the product, there’s another opportunity to solidify your brand’s perception. When the foil cover is peeled off of a can of San Pellegrino, it offers the sensation of actually peeling fruit. It also incorporates a crinkling sound, which adds to the sensory experience at opening.

CONSUMPTION OR USAGE

The point at which the product is consumed or used and here, all five senses can be at play.

A smooth metal tip on Clinique’s Even Better Eyes product provides a refreshing and reviving cold sensation on the skin. For Gerber Good Start, the designated scoop holder on the side of the container provides for a clean usage experience and preserves the product for future consumption, as fingers do not contaminate the powder.

THE COMPLETION

There’s another opportunity to create a pleasant user experience when the product is disposed of or put away for later use. Wrigley 5 Gum incorporates a lock feature and embossed details to convey a secure and clean resealable pack. The Oreo cookie package also utilizes the sense of sight with a resealable film to promise lasting freshness. Once the film is replaced after each usage, it recreates the look of a fresh, unopened package.

In The Sensory Lab, we’ve gleaned significant insight into how the five senses influence consumer decision-making at six pivotal points. Incorporating a similar approach in your design process will help insure your package effectively communicates key brand attributes at each and every point of influence.

[Image: Shopping via Shutterstock]

Here is the link to the original article: http://www.fastcodesign.com/3024657/6-tips-for-making-a-powerful-first-impression?partner=newsletter