Apple gets innovation. Your brand? Eh, not so much.

Let’s take a quick look at Apple, a company likely to have a very Merry Christmas.

Today Apple is clearly one of the most respected brands in the world, with consumers literally lining up for each new product introduction.

The vast majority of their products are sold at full price.

Their market value is nearly $300 billion.

Two-thirds of Apple’s profits comes from products that didn’t exist 8 years ago.

Think about that last fact. Like any successful company, Apple wins with consumer and investors because of many things they do well.  But the fact that they consistently win on innovation is the most telling.

Some companies think innovation is about hiring really creative people.  Others think they can just say they are committed to innovation and it will magically happen (I’ve worked for two of these companies).

Innovation only happens by doing the work. And that takes more than committing the resources–though many companies fail to even get that part right.

It’s about ruthless experimentation. Letting remarkable trump “me too.” Celebrating failure. More doing, than saying. Defying gravity. Shipping.

So, what percentage of your company’s profits this year came from products or services that did not exist 5 years ago? Okay, how about 10 years ago?

Hmmm.  I guess we have something to add to our New Year’s resolutions.


Author: stevenpdennis

Steven Dennis is a trusted advisor and thought-leader on customer-centric strategic growth and innovation. As President of SageBerry Consulting, he applies his C-level executive experience to drive growth and marketing strategy for multi-channel retail, e-commerce and luxury industry clients. He shares his ideas and wisdom regularly in the press, as an industry speaker and through his popular blog "Zen and the Art & Science of Customer-Centricity"( Prior to founding SageBerry, Steven was Senior Vice President of Strategy, Business Development and Marketing for the Neiman Marcus Group. As a member of the Executive Committee he drove the company's major growth initiatives, multi-channel marketing programs and customer insight agenda. Before joining Neiman Marcus, Steven held leadership positions with Sears, including Acting Chief Strategy Officer, Lands' End acquisition integration team leader, Vice President-Multichannel Integration and General Manager-Commercial Sales. Earlier in his career he was with NutraSweet and the global management strategy consulting firm, Booz & Co. Steven received his MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University. In addition to his consulting work, Steven is an executive-in-residence at the JC Penney Center for Retail Excellence at SMU’s Cox School of Business, President of the DFW Retail Executives Association and serves on the Advisory Boards of Invodo Inc. and Nectar Online Media. He is also active in the social innovation and education reform arena as a Partner and member of the Board of Directors of Dallas Social Venture Partners. He is currently co-leader of DSVP's investment and engagement with SMU's Center on Communities and Education "School Zone" initiative in West Dallas.

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