Is Your Company More “Adele” or “Beyoncé” – Continuous Innovation!

 In Innovation, Musings

So, you ask, what do either of these two artists have to do with new technologies, innovation, or your company? Everything! How? And What could your company learn from these two artists? I’ll share 5 traits we can all learn to keep our businesses relevant and our brands growing.

First, let’s consider a few of the powerhouse artist’s common traits.

1.    Technology enables everything about their innovation and creativity from social media to hints of blockchain managing artists rights and fees to the streaming technology services offering their music on demand at the moment they choose to stream.

2.    Their fans can talk directly to Adele and Beyoncé; sharing the love of a newly released song or the disapproval of a costume … there is no doubt how fans feel about them as people, as artists, about their music, their breakups, mishaps, or being left to hang on the stage due to faulty contraptions (Beyoncé).

3.    Both artists maintain active social listening channels and they respond “in the moment” or when needed to manage their brands

4.    They each control their image, the narrative story behind their brands. We follow of their evolution as individuals, as artists, as entrepreneurs, and as innovations.

5.    They both aim to excite, wow, and stay ahead of any trends taking aim at the future and bringing their fans with them into new dimensions

6.    They are both enterprises, with ticket sales, merchandise, song sales, videos, actresses, performers that break cultural walls and transcend language barriers

7.    Each, for different reasons, we’d want to have dinner with, drink wine, break bread over what we would imagine being an incredible dinner conversation. True or not, it’s what we feel.

Not everyone is in love with these two but everyone must agree on the power of their enterprises, their ability to stay relevant and constantly wow us! But still you ask, what does this have to do with my business, innovation and keeping pace with technology. EVERYTHING in my humble opinion!

First, let’s look at their methods of innovating and reinvention.

Adele’s release history is interesting, 19, 21, 25. She releases coinciding with her life’s big shifts, when she has the most to say, leaving us panting for her life-lessons and feeling her pains of breakups and her joy of finding loves. She innovates quietly, disappearing into a commoner’s fabric until she’s ready to come out swinging and belting out songs that in less than a nanosecond she shoots a nanotube of emotion into our brains and we’re hooked instantly like a drug. Like her or not she’s a powerful force with a force to be reckoned with behind her! There is a technical genius to her promotions team reaching the global masses in one set of keystrokes.

Her shows are her, front and center, no bells and flying whistles, ok maybe a very cool rainstorm after she disappears from one stage only to reappear on a new stage where a storm is brewing. She’s sweet, lovable, simple, beautiful and we relate to her because she is like us; a real person persona.

Innovation and creative genius brews like a great slow drip cup of coffee. Over a few years. Then Pow.

Now let’s take Queen Bey, Beyoncé, she’s the ultimate example of continuous innovation. She is constantly teasing us, taunting us with peeks of new projects and at the same time surprising us out of nowhere with projects like her Lemonade’ album and video. Powerful from a powerhouse of an artist. Like Adele, she completely engages her fans, she listens but takes no bull, she responds keeping a focus on her purpose and mission. Where Adele is inspiring and singing life lessons, Queen Bey wants to impact dramatic purposeful change in the worlds humanity issues.

Beyoncé is a powerhouse and has technology powering her every move! Virtually, on stage, in the studio recording… technology is her best booster rocket. She’s swift, tight, unrelenting, a forgiving perfectionist from what I can tell. She engages a multi-generational, multi-cultural audience at every level.

Here are a few lessons we can employ learned from these two incredible artists:

1.    Engagement can happen subtlety or powerfully but know without knowing your customer. Engagement can excite with hooks so tight we cannot wait for the next version of greatness even if it’s 3 or 4 years away. We wait for what Adele will do next and we believe it will be greater than the last.  We know Beyoncé will not let us down. No way! We trust them to deliver greatness. What can your company do to leverage technologies helping to connect with your customers to build this kind of trust?  It takes work, it takes knowing your audience. Artificial Intelligence solutions are great for honing in to know your customer at every level.

2.    Fast does not always win! Both artists are methodical at their crafts. Moving fast is not their motivation. Creating purposefully is! This seems like a no-brainer, however, in a world where workers feel they are working in worthless jobs, see Why It’s Time to Rethink The meaning of Work,  World Economic Forum, something must shift. If your workers feel their work is meaningless your customers may have the same feelings. Your products or solutions appear to be of no value. Create meaning and value to your solutions give your team a purpose for what they are creating and see the engagement of your customers also improve.

3.    Bells, Whistles and Dancing vs. Simple Elegance: they both win but only to their defined brand! I cannot imagine Beyoncé standing still by a mic without moving an inch (but I would watch her if she did). At the same time, I cannot imagine Adele, flying in the air Cirque Du Soleil style (but, yes, I would watch her if she did). We have expectations of these two big brands. Neither of them rarely lets us down, technology failures aside. Simply put, Adele defines elegance, humility, and relate-ability on stage while Beyoncé, well, she’s all bells, whistles, design, dancing and full of surprises. We love them both for what they stand for and deliver each and every time.

4.    Beyoncé and Adele don’t work alone, they have powerhouse teams behind them. How are you empowering your team to represent your brand in every ounce of work they do for your company? What are you doing to develop the team’s skills and to add more meaning to the products you deliver. What are you creating to excite your customers always delivering beyond expectations? Enable your team with better technology tools, excellent training, and space and time to rehearse over and over and over again to achieve great performances. Imagine the possibilities if each and every team member is creating to achieve a powerhouse brand.

#engagement #customerexperience #brand #innovation #technology #AI

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