Samsung’s Innovation Success Story
Redwood trees are the tallest of all trees, growing to almost 400′ tall. Their roots are not deep. Instead, they grow wide and close together. They depend on the other Redwoods around them for support and growth. Just like Redwoods, you need partners who can support your growth.
We were there, on the tipping point, dealing with one of our toughest ongoing business challenges – innovation. We could have stayed the course, done the same things, worked with the same types of agencies, and achieved the same results. Instead, we took a new path. One filled with uncertainty and challenge, but also rich with rewards. Looking back, we were uncertain this experience would truly be different than our previous experiences. We were skeptical as this was not the first time we had heard this promise.
We began with a meeting. The Eureka! team sat down with us for our first project planning and immersion meeting. We shared everything so they could get up to speed quickly. Most importantly we worked with them to answer their tough questions, confront our real innovation challenges and identify what’s critical to our project’s success.
“The questions Eureka! asked were rich and fresh.
They made our team stop and think deeply about our REAL situation.”
Deeper Thinking, Better Results
After hours of intense discussion and thinking around how they were planning to help us create next-generation WOW’s for Boomers. they set to work laying out our complete project plan.
The level of thinking they put into this was amazing, and not something we’d seen before.
One thing was for certain, they have done more thinking, research, and development around innovative solutions that make a measurable difference than anyone.
In fact, if you were to add up all the money their competitors spend on R&D, you’d only have about 1/20th of what they spend on R&D. They proved they practice what they preach, which reinforced that we made a great decision.
It all seemed so easy, but we knew it wasn’t. There are no simple solutions to anything these days. New product launches have gone up more than 60% in the last decade – the time to change was long past due.
There were many great paths and options to choose from, but which one was right for us?
Just then Eureka! stepped up and provided additional levels of leadership in identifying what the right solution for us was – which wasn’t as easy as it sounds!
At first, there were many options. Them they narrowed down to the ONE options they were confident would generate the success we needed.
“The level of thinking was amazing, and unlike anything we had experienced with other agencies.”
Choosing from their core technologies and their more than 300 different tactics could not have been easy – but they seemed to make it happen instantly! What was fascinating was all the possible combinations. Sometimes they use all their technologies, other times they use just one or two. Like when they worked with a fortune 500 client who was struggling to create a new product idea to excite a specific target audience for more than a year and a half. This client tried six different vendors, who all deliver the same ideas. One of Eureka!’s first questions to them was “How was vendor one different from vendor two, and vendor two different from vendor three and so on?” The client paused – then answered “nothing.” [This is a great example of how they made us stop and think deeply about all the issues we were facing.]
We did this. We tried different people and agencies., but we didn’t check to see if they were doing anything different or if they were just different people taking our team through the same steps.
Eureka! We got it. If we want different results, we have to change HOW we do things, not just who we do them with. It seems so simple now but wasn’t then.
Eureka!’s passion also set them apart. From the moment we met them, they pushed us. They treated our project like it was the most important project ever and they pushed us to go farther, and explore deeper than we ever had.
They dig into our company, our products, our consumers, our business, our industry, and our vision for the future.
“What we liked most about Eureka!’s approach is that they respected the work we had done, and used it. They only did exactly what was needed to make our project successful.”
They looked in new places we would never have explored. Then they adapted their processes and approaches to our needs – every challenge is different, every solution is unique.
They pulled together just the right pieces we needed to create winning new products that excited Boomers, which is exactly what we needed to do.
But ultimately, what impressed us most about Eureka!’s approach is they didn’t waste our time and they didn’t redo our work. They respected the work we had done and only did what was necessary to make the project successful.
And, one thing was clear – these people were compulsive. They worried about and thought about more details than we knew existed. Was it compulsion or passion?
Without this discipline, without this addiction, they would have led us down a path full of ideas that were off strategy. We would have failed. We would have had fun but walked away empty-handed – with a collection of meaningless ideas that were impossible to make money on. They would have helped us chase fool’s gold.
Instead, they passionately invested in our success, working to ensure our project was built on a solid foundation – one made of steel, not sand. Looking back now, this was critically important, but we didn’t see it. Now, we clearly see how it’s much easier to chase fool’s gold or low-hanging fruit than it is to develop deeply meaningful behavior-changing ideas that make a real difference in our consumer’s lives.
And that was the REAL danger.
We needed REAL change, not fool’s gold. But real change is hard, and it takes real work, passion, and commitment.
The Transformation Begins
The catalyst – the ignition – an amazing and intense three-and-a-half-day working session with the Eureka! team to create and explore new possibilities. We didn’t know what to expect but we were excited by the possibilities and we were brimming with hope and anticipation. Eureka! – or “ah-ha…I’ve found it!” is what they help clients discover – and it’s what they were prepared to help us discover. For some, this means a radical new invention that will take 10 years (or more) to bring to market. For others, it means an ingenious – or fresh – solution to a long-time problem. For us, it was both. We were certain of this. We were not certain about what was to come, but we knew it was going to be different. We had hopes, but not a real understanding of the changes we were about to go through.
“We had no idea of the changes we were about to go through”
The night arrived, we had a fantastic dinner, followed by an energizing group discussion, that ensured we were all aligned and clear about our mission. Then it was off to rest. We spent the next day creating hundreds of idea sparks and outlines that had the potential to excite consumers. Some were closer in, some created whole new market opportunities for us.
By 5 pm, we were amazed by everything we had accomplished – and we were less than a third of the way through! We had 150 idea outlines and we were exhausted.
“I did not believe MY team could come up with this many, top-quality ideas! My engineers were engaged, my marketing people were on board, and we were aligned and excited!.”
Clearly the Eureka! approach made a huge difference! It was disciplined and highly effective, but still enjoyable. Most importantly, it was empowering. It allowed us to explore more areas and at much deeper levels than we’ve ever been able to explore before. Best of all, each idea outline had a disciplined focus on the things consumers value and will pay money for! Elements like:
Capturing our dramatic difference! Telling our consumers why they should care about our new offering and what new benefits they will experience. And this is a big one because it’s linked to our success and profits. We get this right, we win. We miss it, we lose. Or, telling the simple story about how our new idea works instead of leveraging our brand name for credibility. Consumers are smart and their trust is at all-time lows… we needed to help them see it, feel it, touch it if we were to be successful.
That night after a refreshing break, we discussed each idea’s potential and most importantly, its consequences. We built more new ideas and eliminated the ideas that were not unique or that were off strategy. Then we rested and reflected.
While we were off, the Eureka! team kept working on our ideas – transforming them overnight into more developed concepts we could review and strategically discuss the next day. This level of deep exploratory is necessary because they didn’t want us to feel “stuck” with a collection of ideas that were simply OK.
They also didn’t want us to be stuck with ideas THEY loved – they knew we needed ideas WE loved.
“All the things we had to think about and consider were amazing..but Eureka! made it easy!”
“Eureka! knew we had to LOVE our ideas if we were going to make them happen!”
It All Comes Together
We went idea shopping. We reviewed all of our top ideas – including the new ones the Eureka! team came up with overnight. Amazing! It was simply amazing how much progress we made in so little time.
We were free and empowered business leaders. Our sole mission was to think about the future…. where were we heading and how were we going to get there? How did these opportunities fit and if they didn’t fit, what should we do? Just because we can doesn’t mean we should. This was fundamental business leadership, and it was exhilarating!
After eight to nine hours of vigorous discussion and debate, we had our top ideas and a sense of accomplishment, alignment, and unity.
Eureka! guided us to better decisions – helping each step along the way.
They forced us to work with written ideas – a method that’s proven to help you think more deeply. They kept focused and “in check” when it came to discussing each idea. And, they pushed us into new places we would not have otherwise discovered.
“We easily accomplished in 3 days what would normally take us six months of politically correct meetings to get done..”
“We would have thought of MAYBE 10% of these ideas using othe approaches.”
Now, The Real Work Begins
Now it was time for us to lead. To set to work exploring and learning. Eureka! could have given us really fast research results while we were all together, but had they done that, all of our thinking would have stopped. We would not have seen the numbers and made a decision, which is not what we needed to do. While they were working on the research, we began our discovery process. We spent about 100 days investigating, learning, and prototyping our new ideas. We incorporated the research from Eureka! into our work, so we knew we were working smarter, not harder. But, they didn’t change our mission.
We were passionate excited and ready to make a difference, and by then we were on our way to success.
“Our Eureka! Experience was amazing. A remarkable investment we’re sure to make again in the future!”
more effective than brainstorming
Years of helping established companies innovate
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We’ve Been Helping Companies Invent Big Ideas and Non-Obvious Solutions for 35 Years
Because most of our work is confidential, we donated our time to a non-profit to run a session on their behalf for a win: win – they got some brainpower and you get to see a bit behind the scenes of what a session is like.
This session was filmed in May of 2016 as part of the Innovation Engineering Conference.
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