We were honored to attend and speak on marketing and innovation in regards to entrepreneurial success at the annual Brand & Marketing conference in Zürich, Switzerland, hosted by the Swiss Marketing Association. An association of marketing pioneers, founded 75 years ago, that fosters the development of a market- and brand-oriented management approach with events, publications, education programs and corresponding research.
On March 16, 2016, more than 600 participants from a variety of industries and well-known Swiss companies gathered at the picturesque location of the Dolder hotel with its beautiful view over the city of Zürich for a full day of thoughts, perspectives, and more on branding and marketing.
To speak to this year’s theme of “Marketing & Innovation: Key Factors of Entrepreneurial Success,” our CEO Erich Joachimsthaler traveled to Zürich – accompanied by Roland Bernhard, Fabian Heimgartner and Pascal Mueller – to share his ideas and approach to innovation from a customer perspective. His enthusiastic speech about “how to unleash the power of innovation” excited and awakened the audience.
“What is the big elephant in the room?” he asked in the beginning of his talk. Erich explained the two main problems many companies are struggling with — the underestimation of the digital revolution and the inside-out innovation approach many companies had been using in the past (e.g. Nokia). He tied up his insights about the empowered customer to the ideas of the preceding keynote speeches from Prof. Tomczak and Christoph Brand from Tamedia Digital who both explained that the key success factor to innovation lies within customer insights and consumer needs.
Erich ended his lively speech with the conclusion that the only thing moving faster than technology is consumer expectations. Innovation is about improving people’s lives and therefore it is customers, not companies, becoming more productive. To return to the road of success, companies have to start focusing on customers’ needs and start establishing a true customer-centric innovation approach.
The day continued with numerous keynote speeches, with speakers from a broad variety of backgrounds. They all shared one common aspect: Digital innovation is a key for success — and while companies are aware of it — most of them still have no solution at hand to tackle this issue. Our takeaway: Listen to your customers and their needs to begin this transformation.