October 2, 2012

Eight Categories of Innovative Ideas

Covalent Marketing set out to study Marketing Innovation and it has taken us down a brilliant path of finding what is remarkable in our world.  Instead of just collecting these examples, we wanted to organize and share them with you.  These remarkable ideas can serve as inspiration for those seeking to think about challenges in new ways.  In our hopes of serving marketers we have organized the FIRST 115 innovative ideas into eight categories. Trust me when I state, that if you look at just a couple ideas in each category, you will be infused with innovative creativity.   What’s more, we are creating an eBook for you to have that makes it easy to share these across your organization.

And we’re not done yet.  Since publishing the first 115 a few short weeks ago, we’ve amassed more of them and will be frequently posting them, providing a surfable and fun way for you to continually get your dose of active new ideas from which to generate your own new great ones.


Build it and they will come doesn’t work anymore, if it ever really did in our lifetimes.  Beautiful design and applicable function need to synthesize into a form useable and accessible that embeds itself in our lives. Artful Utility is the intersection of these principles in innovative ways. Big data in a portable medium, bikes that grow with children, your medical data in lovely jewelry are a few of the examples we found that represent Artful Utility.


The concept of making something new again isn’t news.  Reduce, recycle and reuse aren’t innovative concepts, but the way you apply them can be and it is something that should infuse our lives. We found thirteen examples of innovative Re*newal that should provide marketers ideas on how to help people help our society. Waste not, want not is applied in driving via sunlight, knowing where your wool comes from and boxed water.   And mushrooms, let’s not forget mushrooms.


Data is an essential and growing part of our lives. Marketers must consider how, when, what and why data is collected and then figure out innovative ways to apply that data to serve and engage their customers. Think about knowing the performance information on an athlete, how often a specific parking spot is taken and detecting the possibility of cancer without stepping into a hospital.


Oversharing is a cornerstone at Covalent Marketing; we are a highly communicative team; we believe sharing is caring. With that, we created this category and hunted for innovators that are finding ways to give to everyone – friends, family, communities and strangers. Play games for good, a brand that listens to their customers and the average person can become an investment hero.   Find new ideas about how to share here.


We want brands to be more than the products or services that they deliver; we want to know what they stand for and to experience them serving the greater good. Social good doesn’t mean large scale change in the world, sometimes simply impacting one person in a positive way can have a ripple effect. A favorite example of ours is Tides Loads of Hope. It is relevant to the brand and the act of having clean laundry can make the day of a displaced person.


This innovation is not catering to our brains sensibility, but to the senses our brain controls. We love touchy, smelly, tasty, feely innovations.  We know that decision making is only occasionally based on rational things and marketers need to address our senses; so this is one of our largest categories.  Blend your own Coke product, smell your coffee as you walk past an advertisement and travel through a sensorium with this fun category.


We admit this category is our favorite – RETAIL! Retailers are battling for the attention and loyalty of the consumer. Innovation in the retail industry means going beyond price wars and a good selection. Consumers are looking for innovation in access to luxury, payment options, gender wars and being catered to with customization.


This category is all about interaction. Innovate beyond the digital world and have customers interact with our very real 4D world. As with most innovations this is only limited by our imagination. Kinect, Urbee, Nokia, Mercedes, a 3D model of your baby and printing your lunch are just a few of the examples we have found.



Have fun – and let us know your favorites, we’ll respond with more of what you find interesting and helpful.