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    Arne van Oosterom's Posts - WENOVSKI design thinkers network

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    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    There Is No Easy Way Out

    Delivering real service doesn't com natural to the Dutch. Companies and governments in the Netherlands are mainly focused on trade. That is what the Dutch are good at. And service-products are treaded the same as commodities.

    And I guess, dropping a service-product from high above on an unsuspected target group creates a save distance from that most difficult of creatures, the consumer, the civilian, the persons. Having a target group seems to solve a lot of problems and Dutch marketeers love to talk at length about them.

    I just don't like the term "target group". It's just an easy way out and has nothing to do with reality. Of course traditional marketing and advertising can't be successful without focusing on a specific target group. Focusing on individuals is way to expensive and far to complicated. But this approach is a one-way street and therefor a cul-de-sac for service organizations. Thinking in target groups fuels the generalization of personal wants and needs and reduces it to meaningless tag-lines.

    People need to be understood. And people are so much more than age, gender, profession or hobby. There is no easy way out. People are complex and full of contradictions. But only while focusing on the reality and complexity of everyday life service organizations are able to ad true value to their services. This approach leads to meaningful and relevant solutions and true service innovation.

    But like I said, providing real service doesn't com natural to the Dutch. Maybe the Dutch are afraid it will disturb the process of doing business, making money. Actually having a real two way conversation with costumers never even occurred to most managers and marketeers. Simply because it is time-consuming and expensive. And time and money are a rare luxury. They are usually spend on buildings, hardware, paying employees, discussing internal company issues, producing spreadsheets and having lots and lots of meetings.

    It is going to take a whole new breed (or generation) of managers, political decision-makers and maybe even companies to get the Dutch competitive on a international level in the service industries of the future.

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008

    World's Largest Innovation Box

    Felloforce's Challenge Board & Innovation Box is growing. Currently they have 75+ brands connected, like Shell, Nokia, Starbucks, Unilever, Apple, Virgin, Yahoo, Pfizer etc.

    Take a look...