Author:Suzanne Allers

Human Stories, Not Big Data, Are The Heart Of Innovation

Innovation is one of those words that you hear everywhere with lots written about how to do it most effectively.  But when faced with the task of innovating, it can be a bit daunting to know where to start. Often the first place to start is to get data on your customer or market.  Data feels safe and reliable in the uncertain world of innovation - often the bigger the data, the better. There is no doubt that Big Data is incredibly useful and increasingly sophisticated analytics allow automated connectivity of big data to guide smart, fast decision making at a strategic level.  But too often we see clients who are awash with data and still don’t know where to go next when designing their products or services. The problem is that while...

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6 Surprises From 6 Months With Alexa

At Untapped, we use a lot of different research techniques to help clients find out how people actually use and integrate new products and emerging technologies into their lives, and what attributes and features can optimise their experience.  So, it’s interesting to reflect on my personal experience of this integration process with one of the “technologies of the moment” – the Amazon Echo. All the predictions point to Voice Assistants being at a tipping point where they are about to become ubiquitous in our lives ( Some research even estimates that over 50% of consumers in Germany, UK and France already use voice assistants. It’s now been 6 months since I got an Amazon Echo.  While the voice activation feels both more instinctive and immediate, these are the surprises about how I’m actually getting...

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5 Ways to Harness Trends Without Force-Feeding

Last month, I attended the Food & Drinks Trends and Insights Conference in London, where a wide range of food industry leaders spoke about current and emerging category trends and the challenges facing the industry. There was, of course, great discussion on new trends – Hawaiian & Pacific Food, protein, new meats, white whisky, mead and seaweed - to name a few.  But there was also one fundamental question being asked: How do you get the balance right between being trend-led or consumer-led? In other words, how do you prioritise the right trends (the ones that will stick) and translate them into products that consumers really want, instead of foisting them towards the consumer in the hope that they will embrace the trend? At Untapped we see Future Forecasting and trends understanding as...

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Insight or Diagnosis: Are you innovating with your consumer?

Last week, we had the pleasure of joining an open innovation workshop organized by Astrocyte Consulting, looking at how to drive patient engagement in healthcare.  This sector is embracing the need for a meaningful shift towards more customer focus in its innovation (see Tim Mustill’s recent blog “Are we really, truly embracing patient centricity?" It was an inspiring session, with experts from different areas of health and pharma sectors discussing the challenges of driving “patient-centric” innovation and sharing early case studies of success. As Untapped, we shared the principles of how we approach consumer-centric innovation and found that many of the core ideas were very relevant to the challenges.  We talked about how we use Story Thinking to keep the consumer as hero through the journey to a better outcome.  This is...

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Decoding Habits: Can Neuroscience Help us Build Better Product Attachment?

Later this month, entrepreneurs, innovators, designers and marketers will gather in Stanford for the 2016 Habit Summit.  Thought leaders in consumer psychology, design and behavioural science will help delegates try to figure out how to build consumer habits and design engaging products.  There’s plenty of established wisdom in this area from psychology and behavioural studies – take for example, the best-selling book “Hooked” from one of the keynote speakers, Nir Eyal.  This powerful model shows how successful habit-forming products such as Facebook are those that take consumers repeatedly through phases of Trigger, Action, Reward and Investment. At Untapped, we are always looking at both the science and art of innovation.  So we were intrigued to read in NewScientist about recent studies that are decoding the brain circuitry associated with habit formation....

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generation z

Natural Born Creators: What Innovators need to know about Gen Z

Cultural observers and marketers have started to shift their attention away from Millenials to the generation that is coming after them: so-called Gen Z. Roughly defined as those born between 1995 – 2010, this influential group has high spending potential and a radically different view of the world and their place in it. This is a generation that has grown up in times of economic and global uncertainty. As a result, they feel less entitled and tend to take a pragmatic view that you have to create and take opportunities for yourself. So while marketers try to define how to reach this new audience, what should innovators know about Gen Z?   They have instinctive understanding of technology and expect immediate and continuous connectivity These are the first real Digital Natives, many of whom...

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world book day

World Book Day – 5 Lessons for Innovation

March 6th is World Book Day, when hundreds of children celebrate authors, reading and stories. Many venture to school dressed as their favourite story character with improvised costumes and props. Reading and story-craft workshops take place instead of normal lessons. This reminds us of how central stories are to human experiences, and how powerful they are in connecting with people. So, even if you don’t want to dress up, here are 5 lessons that stories can give us to help us innovate: 1) Stories Connect with the Head and the Heart. Data, facts and models do not There are some fantastic, beautifully-illustrated factual books for children that they can pore over and learn from. But no child on World Book Day is going to come to school dressed as a fact from an...

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fuel innovation

Could you fuel your innovation by re-awakening great technology?

January sees one of the most tense and eagerly anticipated events in space exploration as the European Space Agency (ESA) attempts to bring the Rosetta spacecraft back online and set it on course to rendez-vous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.  The probe was originally launched in March 2004, and has since been on an epic journey through the solar system before being put into hibernation in June 2011 to preserve energy. Once revived, scientists will attempt to make it land and “piggy-back” on Comet 67P as it makes its closest approach to the sun, revealing new insights about comets – which are probably the most primitive bodies in the Solar System and preserve the earliest record of material from the nebula out of which our Sun and planets were formed. So what has this...

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