Create Innovation – NRF 2018

The wrap-up of Retail’s Big Show, NRF 2018, has given us the opportunity to discuss people and ways that technology can unlock better experiences.  Today, we’ll explore what it means (and what it doesn’t mean) to have an innovative culture.

Create a Culture of Innovation

Technology is unlocking growth and experiences we never dreamed possible just five years ago.  Retailers and brands are faced with a challenge; how to meet the needs and expectations of today’s customers, while creating innovative solutions and products to keep you in the game for years to come.

I have worked with companies who say they prioritize innovation but are only looking for the home run.  I have talked with others who think about new product concepts, yet don’t realize that the experiences with their consumers are where the innovative opportunities lie.  Likewise, I have worked with some brands who have woven innovation into the DNA of their culture and have created a recipe for innovation success.

From listening to some of the 2018 NRF panelist and comparing my experiences, here are a few things to keep in mind when creating a culture of innovation:

  • Innovation is not something you do every few years, it is a system ingrained in your organization, constantly being fed and refined – Sometimes the concepts will be winners, and others will be duds, and your organization has to be OK with that
  • Before you start adding the cool stuff, make sure you have your basics covered
  • Take smart risks
    • Develop KPI’s ahead of time
    • Communicate to all those who have to execute so there is alignment
    • Stay off the side lines; you don’t have to have it all figured out at once
    • Start – start with the consumer journey and map backward looking for pain points and ways to solve them creatively

Above all, when creating a culture of innovation, remember to reward fortitude and determination.


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