Living our values: forward thinking [1/7]
In this short blog post series, I would like to share the InSites Consulting company values, the values our team members live by every single day to make a difference for our clients. Every single one of our values offers a way to differentiate ourselves and our business, to stand out from the rest and to guide our team and clients to the future. Let’s kick it off with ‘Forward thinking’.
“My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.” – Charles Kettering
If there is one certainty in the current economic uncertainty, it is that change is here to stay and is accelerating at an ever-increasing pace. New business models are arising and old ones are being destroyed ruthlessly. More than ever, businesses and brands need to anticipate upcoming change and transform their current ways of doing things accordingly. Companies need to be prepared to change all the time, moving from a static approach to a more continuous and dynamic one: the moment they stand still and lean back, someone will come after them. Keeping a close eye on the future or, even better, crafting that future, are essential conditions for survival and long-term success.
Examples abound. Just think about Kodak that failed to predict how digital photography would transform its market landscape and to supply suitable answers to that, despite having invented the core technology used in current digital cameras. Nokia is a great example of a company which is thinking forward and acting upon it. It shifted its business activities from wood pulp and paper production in 1865 over electricity generation and tires to mobile technology. At the same time, it is currently facing a hard time to re-invent itself again, taking market leadership for granted. Nokia was the world’s largest vendor of cell phones from 1998 to 2012, but is now suffering under Apple’s and Samsung’s dominance in the smartphone market. Tesla is redefining the business model surrounding the entire automotive industry, not only by manufacturing high-performance electric cars, but also – or even more so – by tearing down our current assumptions on buying, servicing or ‘fueling up’ cars. Zappos transformed consumers’ mindsets when it comes to shopping for shoes. By enabling consumers to access the largest possible warehouse of shoes and offering free ‘shipping back’ facilities, they managed to take away shoppers’ perceived needs for in-store trial sessions before actually buying shoes. It resulted in phenomenal growth figures and Amazon acquiring Zappos for $1.2 billion in 2009.
Our brand promise is to help our clients get to the future first, enabling them to craft strategies and business models in an ongoing manner. It is our firm belief that consumers are in a unique position to help organizations realize this goal. If companies start ‘hard listening’ and collaborating with consumers, all the answers are out there. The ultimate key to competitive differentiation is to start co-creating these answers and giving back faster and better than anyone else.
That is where we come in, as an agency. It requires our embracing and laying the foundations for that future. Our vision of the future is that brands will increasingly act as consumers and vice versa, with an ever-decreasing gap between the consumer and marketing worlds. Translating that vision into daily actions brings us to our ‘Forward thinking’ company value, described below.
Ever since 2005, we have been investing in a continuous stream of R&D activity through our ForwaR&D Lab, being at the forefront of method innovation allowing consumers to become part-time marketers and brands to become part-time consumers. Evidently, we are thrilled to be among the most awarded and innovative agencies of the world as a result of the energy we have invested. Our focus on marketing thought leadership embedded in our best-selling and awarded books should help our clients to better deal with tomorrow’s marketing reality. We work hard to have our team members breathe innovation, day in day out. Their core reason to be part of our team is to learn new things and to be able to contribute to an exciting future. Luckily we are not alone in this endeavor. Through co-creation with our clients, consumers and partners, we all contribute to that same goal, driving relevance and strengthening solutions and moving from insights to foresights.
One concrete example of thinking forward is the yearly InSites Consulting congress, created for and by all employees. This year, the number and quality of congress submissions surpassed our wildest expectations with 82 submissions involving 86 contributors. With our congress theme ‘Level up’, all of us are looking forward to co-create the future of our industry together in September in Barcelona. Visión progresista !