Skip to content

Gaining True Value While Moving Forward

We’d like to thank the All Things Innovation Intelligence committee members for their participation in the event: Gail Martino, Senior Program Manager, Unilever; Michele Sandoval, Director of Innovation, E&J Gallo Winery; Mike Hatrick, Group Director IP Strategy & Portfolio, Trucks, Tech, Volvo Group; Magnus Lindkvist, Trendspotter and Futurist; and Zeinab Ali, Vice President R&D Transformation, Campbell.

Overall, the first quarter, among our committee members, remained fairly consistent in terms of strategy—but not without some disruption and challenges. These challenges included the business environment, labor, supply chain issues and inflation.

These changes could also signal some opportunities, however. Sandoval noted, “Change can drive brands to be more creative, to push and propel business forward from Q4 to Q1.”

Hatrick added that despite economic, political and climate challenges, “People were still buying more and had more income. The news was still mixed.”

Still, in times of change, panelists noted, there perhaps brings some kind of clue about what the economy will bring. Martino cited the economy swings as both “Romeo and Juliet,” a mixture of both exuberance and foreboding, with supply chain, service and cost issues. “Things are uncertain, but it will shake out. Companies must prioritize on what’s important going forward.”

Join us for more in person at FEI in May and virtually at FEI Continued in June.

Campbell’s Ali cited the quarter as a “quarter of choices. Employees were faced with choices to keep the light on, and keep products on the shelf.” Companies had to be resourceful and think outside the box. Choices needed to be made.

As for the present circumstances, our panelists agreed, that the environment is difficult to discern. Sandoval said, “The first quarter strategy bred a lot of creativity and friction. More with less. Innovation was looking at it from a portfolio view, in terms of brands, price, personality.”

Hatrick agreed that brands are doing more with less. “Yet some companies are flourishing. It’s counterintuitive. Adversity is creating success. There is resilience but long term, can we keep pace?”

It’s a difficult to read economic environment, Lindkvist noted. “It’s hard to predict at the present moment,” he said, citing January’s positive signals with February’s inflationary numbers.

Martino noted that in the short term, it was all about optimizing the mix, price, and advertising spend. “Companies still need to plan innovation for this year—innovation in a downturn. What would you be doing now? Leverage the situation, accelerate some things.”

For Ali, it was a quarter where not all innovations were created equal. “There are good ideas and good resources. But ideas will be sorted. Is it going to make a difference for the consumer? Good top or bottom line? Ideas will be choiceful. Brands will focus not on ten things but two things to make a difference for the consumer and company.”

Looking Ahead

As for the future heading into the rest of 2023? As Martino put it, “Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.”

Hatrick noted that brands must, “Remain laser focused. Maybe Romeo and Juliet will survive, creating options for the future.”

“Brands must be thinking now. Planning. Innovating. Thinking about ideas. Identifying problems and how to address them,” said Sandoval.

Lindqvist noted that change is all that is apparent. “There will be new technology, new tastes. There will be playful experimentation.”

“Internally, brands will go on with the past, stay traditional, and go to their library. Past is prologue,” noted Campbell’s Ali.

Join us for more in person at FEI in May and virtually at FEI Continued in June.

Contributor

  • Matt Kramer

    Matthew Kramer is the Digital Editor for All Things Insights & All Things Innovation. He has over 20 years of experience working in publishing and media companies, on a variety of business-to-business publications, websites and trade shows.

 
 

Related Content

light bulb shining at a side angle
disruptive innovation

The Road to FEI24: Mark Slavens

With FEI 2024 coming up in June, All Things Innovation’s Seth Adler had the opportunity to discuss self-disruptive innovation concepts with Mark Sla…

football chalk game plan
innovation strategy

Innovation Principles, 6/7

Development strategy (i.e., Game Plan) is a set of choices within applicable constraints and trade-offs that defines our development approach and posi…

explorer in a cave
behavioral insights

Applying AI to Anthropological Research

Agile research and methodologies are of primary importance to the innovation discipline, as they promote a more versatile, rapid, adaptive approach to…

innovative entrepreneurship

The Benefits of Innovative Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship and innovation are closely linked concepts but also distinct and separate stages in business. Defining both is helpful from both an o…

innovation principles

Innovation Principles, 5/7

Gross Profit Margin and Net Present Value are two primary profitability indicators for evaluating an intended entrepreneurial offering. Even if suffic…

innovation principles

Innovation Principles, 4/7

The front end of innovation is a distinctly iterative endeavor based on human-centered, design-thinking principles. It could be represented by a spira…

innovation mindset

Winning the Innovation Strategy Game

We know that having a creative mindset can fuel innovation, and that fostering a culture of innovation is also important to get the job done. Yet ther…

innovation leadership

Taking Next Steps with Innovation Talent

As we head into the new year, taking the next steps with innovation talent remains an important question to explore. With the competitive landscape in…

innovation team

PIE: Get Your Slice of Success

How can someone really stand out and succeed as a corporate innovator, get the most exciting projects, or secure a promotion? This is a question I enc…

digital transformation

Shaping the Future with Disruptive Technology

As we head into 2024, innovation of all types, most especially in technology, will continue to disrupt, transform and impact our lives, from the workp…

innovation team

Keeping Your Innovation Career Resilient

With the rise of technology, such as AI, impacting workers and workplaces, it’s safe to say the future of work is evolving—in innovation and in ma…

innovation principles

Innovation Principles, 3/7

The main premise behind an integrated end-to-end continuum of innovation and new product development is that a holistic understanding of sequential de…

Generation Z

Shaping the Next Generation of Innovation

Generation Z is in a unique position as they are often viewed as one of the first to be shaped and influenced by technology such as the Internet, soci…

innovation principles

Innovation Principles, 2/7

Successful innovation endeavors are built on creative tension between key enabling entrepreneurial trade-offs associated with four must-have constitue…

artificial intelligence

The Impact of AI on Innovation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is having a profound impact and influence on a broad range of industries. From healthcare to publishing to industrial fie…

innovation mindset

Unlocking Business Growth Through Innovation

The business world is changing quickly for innovators and there is a growing and ever-present imperative to keep up. Business model transformations an…

product innovation

Innovation Principles, 1/7

Imagine a case where a company’s growth depends on an innovation involving complex cross-disciplinary technologies such as electro-mechanical hardwa…

innovation mindset

Sustaining the Self-Disruption Journey

The adage “disrupt or be disrupted” may not necessarily always mean the same thing to the same companies. Even the original architects of disrupti…

digital transformation

Playing the Game of Disruption

At FEI, Angelina Carvajal, Strategy & Innovation Partner, Sr. Dir. (Optum Advisory), UnitedHealth Group, had a chance to share her thoughts on disrupt…

breakthrough innovation

Breaking Through Challenges to Problem Solve

While it’s important to learn from best practices from large and innovative enterprises, it’s also valuable to hear from the startup community. At…

external partnerships

Powering Innovation’s Long-Term Play

Ishan Jaithwa, Manager, New Growth Areas, Cummins Inc., sat down with All Things Innovation’s Seth Adler at our studio at the FEI conference. Jaithw…

product innovation

Design Thinking Faces the Pace of Change

Seth Adler of All Things Innovation recently caught up with Prapti Jha, T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, at this year’s FEI co…

ideation

Opening the Doors of Innovation Perception

Seth Adler of All Things Innovation caught up with Cory Sorice, SVP and Chief Innovation Officer, Masonite International, during this year’s FEI con…

innovation culture

Beyond Innovation Theater

At FEI, All Things Innovation conducted a special roundtable, bringing cross industry, cross disciplinarians together to talk about transformation and…

technology

Supporting Data with Design Thinking

At FEI, All Things Innovation conducted a special roundtable, bringing cross industry, cross disciplinarians together to talk about transformation and…

transformational innovation

Achieving Transformational Innovation

At FEI, All Things Innovation conducted a special roundtable, bringing cross industry, cross disciplinarians together to talk about transformation and…

innovation leadership

Setting the Strategic Direction

A chief strategy officer (CSO) is increasingly becoming a more relevant element to a research and development team in an organization. An innovation t…

objectives and key results

Playing Moneyball for the Win

In the popular baseball movie “Moneyball,” the character Peter Brand (played by Jonah Hill) highlights the “epic failure” of MLB leadership in managin…

innovation talent

Putting Together Your Innovation Team

As the community’s recent Innovation Spend & Trends Report indicated, innovation teams are not working in a bubble, or at least not as much as they…

innovation strategy

Generating Innovation Through Ideation

Ideation is often confused with innovation, along with other related terms regarding the creative process, such as brainstorming or design thinking. W…

talent

Managing Talent to Drive Innovation

With the economy producing mixed signals, and companies often in a state of flux, managing innovation talent has never been a more challenging and imp…

ambidexterity

Balancing Innovation with Ambidexterity

Innovators have long been tasked with being a flexible part of an ambidextrous team, as part of an organizational cog that can easily pivot and manage…

disruptive innovation

Defining Disruptive Innovation

Disruptive innovation is often a phrase used to make a splash in the business world. Some may debate that the label has been applied carelessly at tim…

humanize data

Diving Into Humanity-Centric Innovation

With the continued emergence and evolving development of artificial intelligence, there rises a question of how humans and AI can work together more e…

human resources

Tapping Into the Innovation Talent Pipeline

In the last few years, the pandemic and a range of other economic factors have influenced the talent recruitment, development and retention practices…

human resources

Ignite a Culture of Innovation

From the successes to the failures, from the breakthroughs to the breaking points, the innovation community knows all too well that fostering a cultur…

business innovation

Innovation During A Downturn

Whether you believe the USA is headed toward or already in a recession, there are signs of a slowing or reversal of economic activity. Of the 15 metri…

failure

Striving for Successful Innovation

In the quest for innovation, there is often a fine line between success and failure. The road to success is not always clear, easy or convenient. Howe…

equity

Innovation Diversity

Black, Indigenous and People of Color have always been leaders in innovation and it’s time for us to put that at the forefront. DEI, or Diversity Eq…

innovation culture

Fostering Innovation

When you start to talk that way and lead that way, people do feel more psychologically safe to support change and support innovation that’s happenin…

breakthrough innovation

Breakthrough Innovation

While the rest of the industry relies on iterative change, Alex Moyes explains the breakthrough innovation happening at Dominion Energy. “So Dominio…

innovation culture

Control The Sails

Although the world was affected heavily with change in the last few years, not much in the business world has changed as far as topics and issues go….

innovation culture

Innovation Culture

Innovation starts with the employees of an organization. As we know, the people that work for a business are some of its greatest assets. In today’s…

innovation culture

Interaction Innovation

We are at a time in history of incredible change and technological innovations, such as the rise of machine intelligence, and companies who keep doing…

sustainability

Humanity-Centric Innovation

Humanity-centric innovation is the idea of solving the biggest problems facing humanity in an economically viable way. Pete Dulcamara, Chief Scientist…

uncertainty

Certain Uncertainty

Life is uncertain in every way. It’s always interesting to meet new people and try new things. On the other hand, attackers may sometimes appear out o…

strategic innovation

Strategic Innovation

Any new concept or technological advancement will continue to change and advance. Landlines were commonplace before smartphones. Remember those? What…

partnerships

Innovation Intelligence

It seems that innovation is one of the biggest buzzwords in business now. To sustain growth and be competitive in the marketplace, companies in every…

constant change

Innovation As Constant Change

The key strategy to a successful business is to know when they are being innovative or are just transforming their status quo according to market tren…

business transformation

Innovation versus Transformation

Many people think digital transformation and innovation are one in the same, but according to Hatrick, while they are closely related, there is a diff…