A very future looking presentation was given by Marie Wolfe of Unilever on how she acquires tech startups to work with Unilever. The process was interesting and novel to a CPG company in itself, but more informative were three insights about how we are resistant to change.
Using the childrens analogy, she spoke of resistance to change about how we face resistance on things that are new to us. Key for driving (and not preventing) innovation!
The other trend was that of possibilities - they can paralyze, and in a decision space where we overwhelm consumers, we need to see how to best differentiate.
Another thrill came from how to continue to retain the ability to try things out - this helps to make accidental mistakes that can be lucrative (Coca Cola, Penicilin and Viagra came up as apt accidental discoveries).
And most importantly, similarly to a techonological adoption curve, the tip was to understand that even amongst people there is an adoption curve, and the key need was to recognize who can early adopt to a concept that can change the company.
Sourabh Sharma, Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on @sssourabh.