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Innovating the obvious

How innovative can you get with a shoe box? Rectangular, a roll of tissues wrapping the shoe inside, bright external design, it’s all been done before. And yet, Puma decided to rethink the box. So this is a story not about the design of the shoes but the outer package. In the process, the company saved a tremendous amount of money on transportation, shipping and handling and distribution costs, apart from building a sustainable shoe package.

It’s about innovating where there seems to be no need at all. This is the problem. We accept anything current as the gold standard. The client wants to launch a new product? Come up with a multimedia campaign. Build a website. Go social. The only innovation is how and where we choose to communicate. But can we do something uniquely local? Change the way people perceive the product or service the first time they hear about it? Those are the questions that rarely come up because there is always the pressure of deadlines and turnarounds. Besides, selling an idea that seems radical is always difficult.

True innovations come when we ask questions like – Can I change the way people use their shampoo? Or combine sharing and rental cars. Or make a vacuum cleaner where the dirt doesn’t get stuck in the bag?  And then get the not so obvious answers. These are not just ideas, they are solutions that build markets

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