CREATIVITY 2.0: INNOVATION AS A WINNING STRATEGY
The formula is not unknown: without innovation, it’s unlikely that your business will achieve a competitive advantage. “Think outside of the box”, “leave your comfort zone” and the striving for challenges are the main lessons that Lucas Conte, Head of Strategic Planning at Saatchi&Saatchi IT, and the young Luca Ferrari, co-founder of Bending Spoons, left us last Monday night, 4/12.
The two companies might seem very different from each other: on one hand a well-established advertising agency, a “new-born” (since 2013) mobile app developer on the other. But their common denominator lies in the values they promote: persistence and hard work, passion and openness are the key elements to build a strong marketing campaign and achieve brand recognition.
BENDING (THE) SPOON: “DON’T INNOVATE FOR THE SAKE OF IT, BUT TO DEAL WITH REAL LIFE PROBLEM”
As “Matrix” suggests – the movie from where the Danish brand name comes from – for Luca Ferrari nothing is impossible. Challenges are just part of the game, and as it’s stated in the company Manifesto, they are “climbers”.
“Tough challenges and difficult problems are exciting to us, and we see them as a means to reaching our full potential. We’re incredibly ambitious: we left our comfort zone behind, when we started this journey”
Luca insisted on the importance of innovation in the stimulating and changing tech world, but he deeply criticised the misconception of this word today. “Innovation is not just a product or a label; it comes from solving problems with a different approach, or by improving already existing mechanisms”. What are the means to foster it? “A culture in which there’s openness to change and to embrace new solutions; this is why the newest “spooners” are given the freedom and responsibilities to bring forth their ideas”.
CREATIVITY: HOW TO CHANGE THE PERCEPTION OF TRADITIONAL CATEGORIES
For Saatchi & Saatchi, creativity is just the best mean to provide greatness to its clients. “Business has to be unusual”, said Lucas Conte. “(…) We need to get rid of a conservative approach to advertisement”. Saatchi & Saatchi’s winning strategy is all about creativity as a tool to achieve diversification: it’s changing the perception of categories, not talking about the products its clients are selling, but providing customer experiences.
Despite “in the Italian market, the traditional means – “product promoting” television ads- are still driving the market”, the company has still been successfully able to fuel an old-fashioned brand like Motta. “We needed a sassy ad, something that could revert the boring clichés of the perfect breakfast”. So, they decided to (literally, by using an asteroid) destroy and reinvent them; after the initial shock – and the first heaters-, the web started to be overload by “Buondì” memes, Italian TV talk shows, radio and social were talking about it. “At the end, it was the public that asked for another victim”.
AN INDUCTIVE APPROACH TO INNOVATION
While for Lucas Conte creativity is about diversification and providing unique experiences to his clients, Luca Ferrari gave a different answer. Probably influenced by his engineering background, he believed that you should “…be creative, but always compare creativity to numbers: every idea must be tested scientifically.” At Bending Spoon, randomness is king: it’s more useful to exploit analytics and data to test which is if the functioning idea among several, rather than developing just an idea. In other words, go for an inductive approach.
AND WHAT’S THE ROLE OF FAILURE?
The two representatives agree: without failure, there’s no success. Embrace innovation: risk is embedded in every action, and the only way to be safe is just not doing stuff. “In Italy there’s fear of failing” stated Conte. But failing is just part of the learning process.
Written by: Priscilla Greggio
Edited by: Giulia Mattioli