R&D

The rise of the LAB. How to drive innovation through rapid R&D

The concept of the innovation lab and the sudden resurgence in innovative and disruptive ideas in retail is a welcome trend which behemoths like Nordstrom, M&S, Walmart and Tesco have embraced successfully.

Econsultancy has today published a 60+ page best practice guide which acts as a ‘how to’ for brands who want to create their own in-house lab, emulating the successes of others employing lean/startup methodologies and rapid R&D techniques to innovate within their businesses.

The report, ‘Innovation Through Rapid R&D: Best practice guide to running your own in-house lab is written exclusively for Econsultancy by Joylab’s CX Director Fergus Roche, who works with brands on omnichannel development.

Marketing is becoming the new R&D

Google’s Chief Economist Hal Varian coined the phrase “marketing is the new finance”.

Varian foresaw great advances in ways to satisfy people’s needs, better matches between buyers and sellers, and a more robust advertising environment due to the availability of vast quantifies of rich, real-time, highly available “big data.” His predictions today ring truer than ever.  

Now, the information-rich environment enabled by the net is transforming marketing into something more. Specifically, marketing is becoming the new research and development (R&D).

Marketers now have immediate access to consumer behaviors and reactions across multiple channels and media. This empowers them to take a leadership role in determining consumer preferences, meeting customer needs, and helping match supply with demand. In other words, driving the business. 

Unilever doubles down on digital, tries to get ahead of the consumer

As a general trend, brands have been allocating more and more money to digital advertising. Every year, budgets generally grow as brands become more and more comfortable with the internet and what it can offer.

But one brand, Unilever, isn’t afraid to grow more quickly than most. According to AdAge, the company is doubling its investment in digital this year and isn’t concerned about “getting ahead of consumers.” In fact, that’s precisely what it wants to do. As the company’s CMO, Keith Weed, sees it, the consumer goods company’s investment in digital is necessary for long-term growth.