I've written before on the importance of innovation because I read Seth Godin's Poke the Box. It's something I force everyone to read. Just ask my interns. :)
I am even guilty of forgetting to think outside of the box and I am a creative person! My entire business is founded on developing new & exciting strategies for each individual client. And it's fun! But sometimes, I forget that I have to be innovative for myself and my own business too.
Just the other day, one of my clients was telling me they spent their weekend helping their son come up with an invention for the school's Invention Convention.
“Did your school have one of those?” he asked.
I laughed at the immediate and vivid memory of my invention convention back in the sixth grade. I was in middle school and my science teacher was the beloved, Mrs Coffey. She was really great. Every student had to come up with an invention that solved a problem. This, of course, is also exactly how products are made. But, I digress.
It was that year that I invented The Self-Esteem Machine [see below].
I mounted a mirror on the back of an old shoe box. I inserted my trusty cassette-tape recorder into the box flush against the side so you could use the buttons. So, the whole point was that you sit in front of this contraption, gaze longingly at your self in the mirror, and then, you are showered with countless compliments ranging from, “You look great!” to “Have you lost weight?”
It won't surprise you to hear that The Self Esteem Machine was one of the most popular inventions at the Invention Convention. Why? Because it solved a really significant problem – a lack of self-confidence. :-) Oh – and it was also really, REALLY funny!
Liz Tip: Test your service menu and/or your product line. What problems are being solved? How can you harness that in your branding and marketing strategy? If you could create a new product for your business, what would it be and what problem would it solve?