// what do you think?


Never chase a market leader. Instead start a new race.

Ignore the rumors and stop chasing Apple. Forbes has a good post on innovation. The irony is that the minute you say we want to innovate like Apple, you are no longer innovating. You’re iterating.

Innovation Beyond Apple - Forbes.com

When it comes to innovation, many executives in the consumer goods industry are chasing Apple. Who can blame them? While most retailers spent the holiday season slashing prices, Apple reported record earnings by enchanting audiences with iPhones. Now, as retailers try to re-engage consumers this year, executives are trying to replicate the “Apple thrill.”

But focusing exclusively on product innovation is a mistake for most companies, say executives who gathered recently at Berglass + Associates, my company, to discuss innovation. The attendees included Richard Dickson, general manager, Barbie, and a senior vice president at Mattel ( MAT - news - people ); Melisse Shaban, CEO of Chrysalis, an incubator company for emerging brands; and Bill Brand, executive vice president of programming, marketing and business development at HSN.

Sounds much like my advice I included in two posts: Chase your Customers not Your Competition

Now that we’ve moved past The Tipping Point it’s time for everyone else to play catch up. Everyone else will want to replicate the successes other companies – and in many cases their competitors – have had. The problem is that most of these new efforts will be based on 2009 examples.

2010 is a different world than 2009.  Most companies that try to play catch up this year will be playing catch up to the wrong people. They’ll be playing catch up to their competition.

While my advice was geared towards social media use it’s perfectly applicable to any strategic decision. Never chase a market leader. Instead start a new race.

But if you really want an Apple love fest, I suggest heading over to Louis Gray and Chris Saad’s EdgeTheory Podcast (?)

louisgray.com: EdgeTheory: Apple’s Closed Approach in an Open World

In advance of all the fun and fury that will be sent Apple’s way this week, as many are expecting new hardware from Cupertino on Wednesday, EdgeTheory conversationalist Chris Saad and I talked about how Apple can be so successful with its closed, proprietary, approach when we tend to promote and hope for openness from companies we do business with on the Web.

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About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

  • http://www.louisgray.com/live/ Louis Gray

    Now now, an Apple love fest? You're looking in the wrong place. :)

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    Yeah, sure Louis.

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