Innovation is More Than Buzzwords.

We’ve seen it over and over again. A lot of industries get hyped by a bunch of buzzwords, yet do nothing that even closely resembles them. Innovation is no different. Everywhere I look, companies are making Innovation announcements on the most ridiculous things, in a desperate attempt to cramp in as many buzz words as possible. And our dramatic headline addiction is fueling the fire.

How many times this week have you read something that goes like this,

“Company X announces the launch of first of its kind innovative new product/service Y.”

Yet, many of these were never heard of again beyond the original headline. Public relations agencies are pumping out announcements after announcements as companies attempt to bend the perception of reality with messages aimed to convince the market that they are ‘innovative’.

It’s time we wake up and smell the roses. Forget your addiction to 140 character news, and start reading the actual contents, and hold the brand accountable for the claims they make. It’s the only way we are going to separate the hype from the reality. Yes, there are great people out there doing real innovation. But there efforts go unnoticed, usually because they don’t feel the need to run PR to tell the world how awesome they are. They are just awesome. 

In my line of work, just for this month alone, here are the buzz words you should be critical of:

  • Innovation
  • First of its Kind
  • Blockchain
  • AI (Artifcial Intelligence)
  • Customer-centric
  • Omni-channel
  • Digital Business
  • IoT (Internet of Things)

This has been going on for decades, and the buzzwords constantly change. But as an audience, it’s our duty to hold the brand accountable for their promises. Otherwise, this kind of behaviour will continue.

So next time you read the headline full of buzzwords, make sure you read beyond the headline and remember the brands that make bold claims. Cause if you don’t, those that are doing real innovation suffer the consequence of unmet hype.

© Scott Bales 2014. All Rights Reserved.