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Does Innovation Matter to Your Customers? I’ll Give You a Hint

Stop saying it


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Julian Rogers
2 months ago | 4 min read
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Oh, how we love our innovations. Do you know who doesn’t? Everyone else.

Nobody cares about your innovation. Only you. It’s self-serving, and it shows you are disconnected from your end-users or customers.

So stop it. Stop telling us you are innovating. Nobody cares. In fact, it takes you farther from satisfying your customer.

Are you sexy? You might be. Is it because you told me you are sexy? Now substitute the word “innovative” with sexy. Nobody gets sexier by telling anyone they are sexy. You are sexy if you’re sexy — not because you said you were sexy.

The same goes for innovation. Every time you say it, you prove the opposite. You only prove that you enjoy thumping your own chest. Nobody has ever enjoyed “self-impressed.” It won’t create goodwill and it won’t help you sell.

What Your Customers Want

Spoiler alert: Your customers don’t want you to innovate. They want you to solve their problems. If you are not there to solve their problems then there is no need for them to engage you. Do that. Answer the questions your customers have. Solve their problems. Make their issues go away.

How you get there — via innovation, tried-and-true, dart-throwing, Ouija board, whatever — does not matter to them. Just be the solution they need.

New is nice. But new is not new for long. Innovation outgrows its usefulness far sooner than you think. In fact, if your copy is trumpeting innovation, it already has.

A real innovator doesn’t have to tell anyone they are an innovator. It’s already baked in. And they surely do not need to make it a leading part of their brand.

Don’t get me started on disruption.

by Julian Rogers (non-innovator)

P.S., If this article had been written by REM, the title would have been “It’s the end of innovation as we know it and I feel fine.”

If this article had been written by Don Henley, the title would have been “This is the last worthless innovation you will have to spend.”

If Warren Zevon had written this, it would have been titled, “Send innovations, guns, and money; dad get me out of this.”

Do you think I should stop? You are probably right.

If this article had been written by Carly Simon, it would have been titled, “You’re so innovative, you probably think this rant is about you.”

If the Glimmer Twins had written this article, it would have been titled, “I can’t get no innovation.”

If Rod Stewart had written this article, it would have been titled, “If you want my business, and you think I’m innovative, come on honey tell me so.” That’s a callback.

You totally could have stopped reading. This is on you at this point.

If The Fixx had written this, it would have been called, “One innovation leads to another.”

If Tears for Fears had written this article, it would have been titled, “Everybody wants to innovate the world.”

If Satan had written this article, it would have been titled, “It’s a small innovation after all.”

I am long absolved of any responsibility at this stage.

If Crowded House had written this, it would have been called, “Don’t dream it’s innovative.”

If Joe Jackson had written this, it would have been titled, “Is she really innovating with him?”

If this article had been written by George Harrison, the title would have been, “Here comes the innovation. It’s not alright.”

Oh, that last one seems a little forced? Nobody asked you.

If Rush had written this article, it would have been called, “2112: Overture / The Temples Of Syrinx / Discovery / Presentation / Oracle: The Dream / Innovation.”

If Linda Ronstadt had written this article, it would have been called, “You’re no innovator.”

If Fleetwood Mac had written this article, they would have done a lot of drugs, hooked up, feuded, and still somehow made bazillions of dollars.

You think I’m wearing down, don’t you?

If Bob Dylan had written this article, it would have been called, “How does it feel? To be without a home? Like a complete unknown? Like an innovayshunnnnn?

If this article had been written by Coldplay, you wouldn’t admit to liking it.

If Prince had written this article, it would be called, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to innovate through this thing called life.”

Go ahead. Walk away. Nobody’s stopping you.

If Christopher Cross had written this article, it would have been called, “And I’ve got such a long way to go to make it to the border of Mexico so I’ll innovate like the wind.”

If Rupert Holmes had written this article, it would have been called, “If you like saying innovation, and getting caught in the rain…”

If Aretha Franklin had written this article, it would have been called, “I-N-N-O-V-A-T-E. Find out what it means to me.”

Otis Redding is spinning in his grave. And you should have given up long ago.

If Mary MacGregor had written this article, it would have been called, “Torn between two innovators.”

If John Cleese had written this article, it would have been called, “Now go away. Or I shall innovate you a second time.”

If the Starland Vocal Band had written this article, it would have been called, “Skyrockets in flight. Innovation delight.” And it would be much dirtier than it sounds.

Clearly, someone has a problem. But I’m not here anymore. You are.

If Exile had written this article, it would have been called, “I wanna innovate you all over. And over again.”

If Olivia Newton-John had written this article, it would have been called, “Have you never been innovative?”

If you have not stopped reading by now, seek help.

Who else should have written this article?

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