Some of the biggest breakthroughs in history have come from innovators implementing a contrarian approach. Leaders who have experienced the pinnacles of success have dared to zig while everyone else zags. Doing the opposite, running toward the thing everyone is running from- is critical to stand out from the crowd.
Most markets are flooded with me-toos and wannabies. This is a clear profile we do not want to be.
If we face the same challenges as the industry at large, we are a part of the system average. It is time to reinvent.
One of the examples is marketing in the beauty industry. The old formula of success was
1 – Hire an anorexic supermodel
2 – Photo-enhance pictures taken
3 – Run a bunch of very expensive ads
4 – Hope for the best
Dove decided to go against the grain of the industry. Instead of digitally edited fashion models in its ads, Dove decided to applaud real women with ads that celebrated inner beauty. This video got 64 million + views and resulted in an exponential growth of the brand since then.
Dove won because it did everything possible to stand out instead of blending in.
Instead of struggling to fight our way to the front in a stampeding herd, try turning the other way. By freeing ourselves from the expectation to conform, we have taken a fundamental first step in adopting “Doing-the-Opposite”.
It is an all new perspective by just thinking “contrarian”. It can help us find new directions. A good exercise is to
1 – List all the things we are doing now
2 – What our industry does
3 – What our competitors do
Brainstorm a 180-degree opposite approach. Explore the unchartered territory that is beyond our comfort zone, we may find a formula for growth and reinvention that is both powerful and unique.
To truly take great leaps of innovation, we need to be willing to loosen the grip on the concrete realities of the here and now and venture into the unknown.
To test how comfortable we are in going out of the comfort zone, one question we can ask ourselves
“Did we refuse to adopt an idea, product or service when it is new and innovative, and it shows promise.”
If the answer to this is “Yes”, this is an indication of us not going beyond the comfort zone. When we exercised 1,2,3 as above, 18 months back, Stylumia was born.
The fundamental approach of Stylumia is to keep consumer at the centre and “Pull vs Push” – Do the Opposite…
Just like in Dove’s example, it is not the question of Doing the Opposite for the sake of it. We are all here to serve consumers in a unique way sustainably. It is an alternative path that enables every Fashion & Lifestyle Brand and Retailer globally to be driven by consumer pulse. Artificial Intelligence for fashion makes this possible.
Today we have a number of leading brands, retailers and entrepreneurs adopting us on an ongoing basis, both in India and abroad. We extend gratitude to them for trying something new and potentially revolutionary in nature and keeping faith in us through the journey so far.
The success stories coming from them give us a lot of fulfilment and increases our responsibility to excel more so. Fashion Trend Insights delivered Real-time to these brands have made a positive impact. Last week an entrepreneur and client travelled all the way to our Bangalore office to share their success story: increasing their revenue by 4 times in last 6 months and reducing his inventory by one-third.
Article by Ganesh Subramanian