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One Day One Idea: challenge the norms

Why should certain things remain unchanged? Why do we like to say we can’t change things? After having spent so many years in consulting, working for big companies and for the smallest (and nevertheless sometimes the most interesting of all) companies, my judgment has slowly evolved from “why should cope with the forces on the market and get the best out of it” to “we can be the sparkle that initiates the chain reaction and a global shift”.

I found a very concrete example during my latest trip to Bordeaux. It is the example of the brand “Abatilles” a brand of water that rethought the way a water bottle should look like. Their bottle is called “La Bordelaise” and is shaped like a bottle of Bordeaux wine. It’s still water but it’s different; the differentiator is not the price, it’s not the product itself, it’s the packaging.

Norms (a water bottle is either in glass when served in a restaurant or in cheap plastic when bought in a supermarket) was challenged. The result is a bottle shaped like if it were in glass, but made out of qualitative material. The brand went even further and used the sealing technique of a bottle of Bordeaux; it’s not cork but there is a film that you need to tear off to open the bottle.


Advice for your marketing strategy

Organize a Design Thinking session after a few hours you’ll come across some of those norms. Participants will tell you things like “it can’t work”, “it can’t be”. What if it could work? What if it could be? Force the discussion to let those codes and norms emerge and break them. We need people with courage, inspiring others and going beyond the rules. YOU can be this person. YOUR company can fire the initial sparkle. YOU are in charge of making this world better.

If you believe what I’m writing is possible, please share this article and let others by inspired by you. Or just drop me a note and we’ll keep discussing online for the greater good.

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Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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