One hobby I enjoy in my free time is brewing my own beer. The obvious benefit is a fridge consistently full of beer, but what really makes it fun is experimentation. When I first started home brewing I would get kits from the local brewery supply store and follow the recipe. The results were good beer, but nothing truly unique. Once I gained a little experience I started to experiment more. The results became mixed. Some beers tasted great while others were great learning opportunities. Currently I have two kegs in the fridge. One is the best beer I’ve ever made and is based off a recipe from a local brewery. The other keg contains the weirdest beer I’ve ever made. I’m personally not a fan of it and it has been described by others as “not bad” and “very interesting”.   

As family and friends visited this past holiday weekend I offered them a choice between the good beer and the weird beer. To my surprise everyone was wanting the weird beer, some people even drank multiples. At first this didn’t seem logical to me, but I came to the conclusion.

I think people are very thirsty for something different even if it isn’t better.

Our data suggests that the best predictor of purchase is a weighting of 60%Predictor of Innovation Success purchase intent and 40% uniqueness. Please don’t ignore that 40%. It feels like the weird ones have been winning more often lately and the trend could be coming to your industry if it is not there already. So as you are leading innovation in your organization, please consider trying something weird. It could be a strategic focus on the more unique ideas in your pipeline or it could be a change to your systems and how you innovate.

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