Mobile innovation: How three organizations are riding the “third way of innovating”
In an increasingly fast-paced, consumer-focused global economy, mobile innovation has resulted in massive industry disruption. According to the American Enterprise Institute, 88 percent of 1955’s Fortune 500 companies are gone. Though many people are familiar with incremental versus radical disruption, the “third way” of innovating is all about the “power of little ideas.” Many of today’s most effective organizations are engaged with this approach, which, according to MIT lecturer David Robertson, “improves the value of a core product by innovating around it.”
Organizations today may go the way of bygone Fortune 500 organizations if they focus on a single radical disruption or incremental improvements to a core product. Instead, Robertson is a firm believer that the most effective approach is a “portfolio of innovations that support the customer and what they need,” which can lend years of competitive advantage. The following are three real-world organizations that are adopting Third Way innovation principles to develop disruptive mobile business strategies:
Thanks to VineSleuth, wine-loving consumers can type or speak their requests to Wine4.Me, an innovative app that acts as an in-store wine adviser. Shoppers are able to specify their requests around price range, flavor profile, food pairing or other requirements, and then access a curated, brand-agnostic list of wines and recommended pairings in seconds. VineSleuth leverages some of the best advancements in mobility and machine learning to deliver a product that’s aligned with the needs of today’s customers — information on-demand, in response to their own terms.
Some of the things patients with dementia need most — motivation and the restimulation of happy memories — are not necessarily best served by pharmaceutical therapies. The power of immersive media experiences in reducing symptoms among dementia patients is just one factor that spurred the development of SimpleC, a company focused on media-based therapies for individuals with cognitive impairments.
Highly personalized therapies delivered via a mobile app may include a combination of “familiar songs, pictures and voices backed by psychosocial records and support networks.” For one elderly patient, a tablet full of images and audio recordings culled from his career as a pastor reignited memories and helped rekindle a connection with his son. SimpleC’s results are highly effective, with adopting care facilities reporting a 60 percent reduction of symptoms and a 95 percent reduction in need for sedative drugs.
3. City Furniture
The furniture industry is quickly going digital, and City Furniture has managed to ride the wave of digital transformation with a series of customer-focused mobile experiences. The largest furniture retailer in Florida recently launched three mobile apps to 400 sales associates in a total of 27 showrooms to assist with sales, payment and finance. Associates have full information to over 8,000 stock keeping units, including full product images, colors and unique client profiles.
City Furniture’s decision to embrace the third wave has led to happier customers and boosted revenue, including 5 percent higher average purchase orders and 18 percent growth in home warranty service sales. CIO and CFO Steve Wilder writes the organization is far from done embracing mobile innovation and has recently implemented a solution that allows clearance merchandise to appear online within minutes, potentially saving City Furniture over $1 million.
Mobile innovation: Are you prepared for the Third Way of opportunity?
The difference between organizations that fall from the Fortune 500 into bankruptcy and timeless brands such as Bernhardt is an ability to innovate around a core product to meet the needs of an evolving consumer base. Both startups and well-established organizations can take lessons from organizations such as Wine4.Me, SimpleC and Bernhardt. Though these companies might develop disruptive products and incrementally improve their offerings, they instead focus on providing a suite of options that improve the lives of their customers.
The Third Way is often applied to describe mobile technology, the IoT, and artificial intelligence, but brands that succeed at gaining competitive advantages are the ones that apply the right cutting-edge technologies and deliver seamless, convenient mobile experiences to customers.