Isn’t it a shame how good creative ideas for products or marketing campaigns are often smothered by the politics and bureaucracy in big companies? If I’m ever worn down by an never ending conveyor belt of IT, Compliance and Risk people who have an endless list of “Why Nots”, I look to the graduating students in product design at The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) for inspiration.
For the last few years I have been a judge (for Service Design Network UK) looking at the top four projects that the finalists have created. We select a winner based upon their 10 minute presentation (makes me feel like a Dragon in the Den) and their business and marketing plans.
This is raw product design talent. It is a hot-house of creative marketing development ideas. I am always overwhelmed by their enthusiasm and drive.
This year I saw:
Lizzie and her Tempting Tastebuds. Lizzie made a remarkable leap to reach her idea. Having seen a Marks and Spencer competition to design a special picnic – she came across an article entitled “Chemotherapy is no picnic”. Further research revealed such treatment suppresses people’s appetite. So it prompted her to design a range of highly nutritious meals that could be eaten in small amounts. She researched the recipes and designed a whole selection of packaging and a marketing campaign to go with it.
Daniel and his Hermitage luxury portable hotel rooms. Daniel had spotted a trend for increasingly high end luxury hotels. But what happens if the remote lake you want to visit does not have any accommodation? Hermitage is an idea for a portable luxury unit that is helicoptered into the desired location. I was particularly impressed with his self produced TV advert which in my opinion was of broadcast quality.
Fi and her Make/Work matchmaking service for suppliers and producers. Fi had identified a problem faced by people who make things (clothes or just about any product you can think of) being able to easily source local raw materials without hours of Google trawling. Her Make/Work website brings the two together very easily. And Fi has personally created a huge network of contacts. The idea is highly franchise-able.
Phoebe, Flora, John and Luke and their Dementia Dog. The team built upon the principle of guide dogs for the blind and developed the dementia dog to help bring routine into the lives of Alzheimer’s sufferers. Not only have they created a Dementia Dog Website and a full business plan but have even secured investment funding to trial their idea for real.
It was a close call but we awarded the prize to the Dementia Dog project. Talking to the graduates afterwards over a beer, I was again taken by their creativity and passion. I wish them all well deserved success in their careers.
Me and Dr Gordon Hush with the finalists
When they encounter their own never ending conveyor belt of IT, Compliance and Risk people who have an endless list of “why nots”, I hope that their ideas and ambitions prevail.
Over to you: What’s the best new idea you’ve heard about for a new product or service? Or have you got any funny stories about how you have persevered against the “why nots”? Please leave a comment and share your experiences.