The average brand or product manager tends to be in the job for 2-3 years. They pick up the reigns of a successful or struggling brand and aim to keep the ship steady. During the years of the global recession, many have simply managed brands to survive the quarter, taking the tried, tested and safe route. Little change. No risk.
This culture of conservatism has led to bland communications and weak product offerings which any competitor could easily knock tomorrow.
A little bit of experimentation can lead to great shifts in how people respond to your brand, interact with your product or engage with your organisation.
Coca Cola works with the investment framework 70/20/10 where the brand invested 70% in marketing and content that they knew always worked, 10% in experiments and 20% in better versions of these successful experiments. Many other marketing teams have taken this strategy on board - taking measured risk and trying out new things.
In 2013, one of the most popular videos on YouTube was from a soap brand - Unilever's Dove. As of January 2014, it has received over 65million views.
This was not Dove's first attempt at this execution, in fact the brand team took the risk with 16 previous versions, tested them with the public on YouTube and only on the 17th version did they strike gold. They accepted the first few might fail - that's life.
They didn't view this as waste, but as a saving that they didn't have to create more work.
Experimentation is tough because to justify something to those who allocate budget is often based on a binary decision - will it work or will it not work. Unfortunately, very little can be predicted in this unpredictable world.
So what will your 10% be in 2015? What will you experiment with and scale up?
If you are unsure of the answer, we might be able to help. Get in touch.
Pic credit: markus spiske