Innovating under the Latin influence
Innovation is the life blood of any successful business; without it, companies cease to offer brands, products, services and experiences that delight their customers. Eventually, companies that don't disrupt themselves with their own innovation get disrupted out of existence by more innovative players. But finding great new ideas and turning them into products and services that customers love is no easy task. Just ask any entrepreneur, top executive, marketer or anybody with the word "innovation" in their title.
The technology revolution has opened up the world to infinite possibilities of how to make just about any product, service or experience better and more relevant to people. There has never been a better time for innovators. Now anybody with a great idea, smarts, creativity and hustle can literally disrupt an industry. While this is an incredibly exciting time in the world, it is also a time in which the world is changing faster than anybody can adapt to it.
For marketers, this is a very sobering reality. Just go to any marketing conference and you'll find countless talented marketers racking their brains trying to figure out how to successfully market in the noisy and crowded social media world. In this rapidly changing environment, untapped sources of powerful yet easier to grasp innovation opportunities are at a premium.
It turns out that in the U.S., there is also another force that has changed our society and which also offers up countless innovation opportunities. This force is the huge Latino wave that has had a profound influence on how Americans see the world, live their lives and choose what they buy. This Latino wave is creating a gold mine of potential innovation opportunity that has not been mined that much. It is the opportunity to innovate by infusing brands, products and experiences with the Latin inspiration that Latinos and mainstream consumers love to give your business an unfair advantage.
So how can marketers capitalize on the tremendous Latin inspired innovation opportunities?
It starts with getting under the Latin influence. Most of us have been influenced by the growing Latino culture and presence in our society but many times we don't consciously realize it. To truly get under the Latin influence is to immerse yourself in the Latin world and fully experience it to the point that it inspires great innovation ideas that can propel your business. Start by going to the Latino neighborhoods in your city, experience the food, go shopping, walk around, notice how people interact with each other.
Go to a museum and experience the art, speak with Latinos and try to befriend some of them. If you are lucky, you'll get invited to a BBQ with a Latino family. Enjoy a great time with delicious food, a couple of beers maybe, Latin music and interesting conversation with your Latino hosts. Then, take it further and book a trip to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia or to whatever is your favorite Latin country. Take it all in again.
I can promise you that you will enjoy getting under the Latin influence; you'll discover a world full of life that is stunningly beautiful, flavorful and passionate. After you are done with this experience, you'll probably not want to live without it. You'll be inspired by the beauty, the flavors, the colors, the people and the experiences you had.
It will be almost impossible for you not to come up with ideas for new products or new ways to enhance your current products after these experiences. You'll be surprised at how Latin inspiration can be applied to many different consumer categories that don't seem obvious at first.
If you are struggling to come up with innovation ideas, look to the biggest cultural wave that has changed this country in recent years for inspiration. You'll be surprised and delighted by what you find. Then run to put on your innovator hat and use all your new Latin inspired ideas to get an unfair edge over your competition before they do.
Are you under the Latin influence yet?
Arturo Nava Arturo is the managing partner of Marketealo, a strategic marketing and innovation firm that creates and markets Latin-inspired brands. He is a forward thinking and passionate marketer, brand builder, innovator and entrepreneur with 11+ years experience leading teams to grow top consumer brands in the food & beverage, consumer products and mobile industries in the multicultural and mainstream market. www