For the Lux Forum Twin Cities, the first of Lux’s fall Forums, Minneapolis was unusually warm, but it was a welcome environment for those of us fearing the cold that often consumes the city in the fall months. The full-day event dove deep into the topic of human-centric and resilient innovation, including consumer insights from our Lux MotivBase team. You can see the lineup of presentations here.
One of the key recurring messages that stood out for me is how innovation teams don’t think about the customer enough when developing a product or market strategy. This is as true for B2B as much as it is for B2C companies. The multitude of excuses range from “science knows best” to the ignorant notion that explicit insights from consumers (i.e., market surveys) are sufficient. But, as my anthropologist colleagues will tell you, this attitude limits success.
In the realm of sustainability, this practice manifests as natural cleaning products not selling because consumers implicitly feel that they are not as effective at cleaning, or as marketing that confuses consumers more than reflecting the very real steps a company is taking towards sustainability. Consumer beliefs should always be considered, from product ideation to communication. Lux’s Ujwal Arkalgud gave a talk at the Forum on their formula for making sustainability irresistible.
Beyond the consumer, we discussed flexibility and business model innovation as means for building resilience. Companies can prepare their best for disruption, but that assumes they have an idea of how they might be disrupted – which is often not the case. We’ve written about introducing flexibility from a manufacturing perspective, but there are other ways individuals and teams can embrace flexibility to increase productivity, source new and diverse ideas, and more. Introducing flexibility is by no means the best way to build resilience in every instance and there are a variety of approaches, but it is another tool to consider.
We have three more Lux Forums for the fall that I encourage you to catch if you can (in New York on October 24, 2023, Amsterdam on November 7, 2023, and Tokyo on December 6, 2023). No two forums are the same and each has a unique lineup of talks and speakers.
It’s free to attend – view the agendas and sign up here.