Keeping a bad idea
True, it is easy to be a general after the battle and if we knew where we will fall, we will sit down first. And the bigger the money is in the game, the harder is to admit to ourselves that we made a mistake. But the market doesn't care for how much money we spent and how hard we were working on it.
The worst thing we could do is to ignore the fact that we made a bad decision. What's done is done, now we must find a way to minimize the damage. But do we know in which phase we have made an error? When the countdown to the disaster started? Actually yes, we do know that - in the first phase, while brainstorming.
The problem with brainstorming is that most of sessions conclude prematurely. Firstly, because we tend to jump on the first idea that sounds good, and secondly, we have no patience to spend more time on exchanging ideas and if arguments are good enough the idea is accepted. Now you are most probably asking yourself where's the catch. If the idea sounds fantastic, and, God gives, arguments are good enough, of course we will jump on it.
Let's take a look at some arguments: a) with this we will follow trends b) nobody did it before c) our competitors already made it.
Those are all very good arguments, indeed. But you forgot one very important thing that most probably turned you from the track and caused you to make a bad decision. You forgot who you are.
If you are new in the market or one among equals then the idea to follow trends is a good idea. But if you have already established yourselves or are seen as a strongly positioned brand with a clear vision, then the idea to follow trends should be considered very carefully because it may change the perception of the brand. For example, imagine the new Burberry line in trendy bright colours, or the new and cheap Rolex model, and you will get the picture.
Playing on the nobody-did-it-before card is a good idea for a newcomer and a reputable brand alike. It will make the newcomer to stand up from the crowd and cement the well-known brand in its position as the company that manages to surprise us over and over again. The fact is there are not many things that somebody already didn't make in this way or another. So, the execution, but first of all the idea for that new product must be exceptional.
That leads us to the argument No3: Our competitor already have it, we must have it too. Go for it only if you are hundred percent sure that your product will be hundred percent better. Otherwise you are in a danger to be seen as a one that follows, one among equals.
In the world of business, Olympic Games are held every day, 365 days a year and Pierre de Coubertin's motto "Citius, Altius, Fortius" (Faster, Higher, Stronger) is to be followed if we want to stay in the game. Keep striving for great, watch your steps along the way, and next time when you think you have a good idea check does it fit your image, and then decide. ■