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May, 2009:

“We put the ‘no’ in innovation”

My wife handed me a full page ad today of Post cereal’s ad campaign that started I believe last month.  The headline:  “Innovation is not your friend.”  The tag line:  “We put the ‘no’ in innovation”

Certainly an attention grabber.  It certainly caught me off guard on first glance.  And I don’t think anyone will be clamoring to steal that tag line from them.

But there is certainly something to the campaign.  We live in a world of innovation, innovation is taking place everywhere around us:  genetics, new sources of energy, the web, sneakers that blink, sneakers that roll, beer that tastes like it has lime already in it…  While innovation is great and the right thing for many companies and products, is that always the case?

Too many times we see companies fall into the trap of innovating to create the next new thing that they lose sight of what got them where they are.  Worrying too much about what is next rather than concentrating on their core competency and ensuring that they maintain their competitive advantage  simply (or not so simply).  Sometimes, remaining the best in your space and at “what you do” needs to be the focus.  

I’ll always be a believer in being on the outlook for new markets, new features (that add value), new technology trends and understanding what could disrupt your business.  At the same time, focus must remain on the core, this campaign speaks volumes to how companies need to remain focused on the core knitting.  Just in the time its taken me to write this post, I like this ad more and more.  And it is just a bonus for Post that I don’t believe anyone is going to try to mimic this campaign.  How ironic. An innovative ad campaign saying ‘no’ to innovation.