marketing new products Tag

Urban Outfitters' Kent State FiascoLast week we talked about DiGiorno's careless Twitter mistake. This week in faux pas news was Urban Outfitters, who sold a "vintage Kent State sweatshirt" dyed with what appeared to be patterns of blood splatters and bullet holes. (I doubt anybody a reminder why this displayed incredibly poor taste, but just in case, the reason millions took offense was the 1970 Kent State massacre.) Of course, Urban Outfitters said the resemblance to blood and bullet holes was due to the unique dyeing process and natural wear of the fabric, but backlash was swift and severe nonetheless. Pictures of the garment and angry comments poured across social media and the story made headlines just about everywhere. You know the saying "there's no such thing as bad publicity"? It's a lie. In the world of new media, publicity isn't about how many people are talking about you, it's about how people feel about you. And people aren't feeling warm fuzzies about Urban Outfitters right now.

I'm thrilled to host a small series of blog posts by Jeanne Bradford, a innovative leader with a track record at AOL, Cisco and Apple. Jeanne is a brilliant new product marketer and manager. She shares her wisdom and advice for accelerating innovation in today's business environment.  B. 

Social Technology: The New Secret Weapon for Accelerating Innovation & Speed in Product Development

By Jeanne Bradford Never has it been more important to innovate on an accelerated timeline. Yet many companies are stuck in the myth that you cannot achieve both innovation and speed in new product development.  This is not true! Our research has found that you can get both by tapping the collective minds of your employees and your customers to ideate faster by using social technologies.  Many companies use social solutions in marketing and customer support, but they can also apply them to the product development process to increase both innovation and time to market. The most important aspect of applying social technologies to product innovation is the ability to create a “community” of technical thought leaders where they can share, build upon, and develop ideas. However, you need a methodology to prioritize and implement these solutions. You can apply social communities internally to harness the innovative thinking and problem solving across the company. You can also use them as an ideation and collaboration platform with your customers. For geographically dispersed organizations, social solutions are a superior method for gathering, evaluating, and managing internal ideas.  And there are several third-party social collaboration tools that are available from companies including Spigit, BrightIdea, Communispace and Innocentive, to help you collect and manage the new set of data that comes with social innovation. While similar to the concepts of Open Innovation, broader research demonstrates that applying social technologies can extend throughout the entire product life cycle.  The use of community can add value to innovation and accelerate product delivery beyond ideation to product design, testing and early feedback. The application of new social technologies in the product development space is a new approach for companies, and we see it becoming an increasingly important methodology. TCGen conducted a benchmark study to identify what companies are applying social technologies to product development and to identify emerging best practices.  Here are the key takeaways: