Point of view: Time for research to pivot

Brian Millar
Sense Worldwide

Stan Sthanunathan is the former head of marketing strategy at one of the most innovative companies on earth: Coca-Cola. So when he asked, 'Is research stifling innovation?' in a recent Admap article, I hope there was a collective sputtering into flat whites behind the one-way mirrors in a thousand focus group rooms. The fact is, Stan is right. Conventional research predicts innovation success about as well as throwing somebody in the river predicts whether they're a witch.

The current financial climate demands big, ground breaking innovation. If Apple lost 22% of its market value for not being inventive enough, then every company on earth is vulnerable. In my experience, the challenge is not to have ground breaking ideas. Most companies that I've worked with have tonnes of shiny prototypes lying on every flat surface. The challenge is to bring them to market.