Agencies today identify themselves with different words, like digital, creative, experience and the list goes on. Ultimately though, these agencies are in the business of providing talent and ideas. Recently, Phenomblue along with a few of the brightest minds within the agency industry’s Los Angeles landscape came together at an Adobe Roundtable to discuss the latest trends, challenges and successes within our professional realms. The variety of individuals brought unique perspectives to the table, which at times significantly contrasted one another. Even though the multiple topics drove the conversation in different directions, the conversation ultimately culminated to a single theme – Innovation.
In the consumer realm, the word innovation has been wrapped around everything from the latest Adobe product to cloud computing. But what does the word innovation mean to thought leaders in the agency world? Some shared that there is nothing new under the sun, and that we are perpetually reinventing and improving what already exists. Others went to define the word by referencing the leaders of the modern digital renaissance (i.e. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin). Others pointed to brands such as Red Bull where the brand creates unorthodox means of creating consumer engagement beyond the immediate schema of its business. Others pointed at technological breakthroughs, for example, Apple’s retina display.
All participants agreed that innovation could take place in just about any context and place. It can entail a simple improvement of an existing idea, or even a work process.
For Phenomblue, innovation takes place at the point of convergence between insight, desire and utility. Insights challenge agencies to see the reason and logic behind trends and cultural phenomenon. Creative teams strive to create desire by reflecting on the human experience through design. To deliver utility, the solutions must provide added convenience and enhancements. It is when these three attributes converge that innovation can truly take form. Creativity without utility is useless. Innovation uncovers insights that were not previously evident, and challenges the whole to question what is possible and strive for continuous improvement.
All agencies have different philosophies and mantras that they function by, but there is a common denominator in that we all exist to solve problems and create new opportunities. The term innovation may be overused as of late, and some even believe that the word has lost its meaning and value. However, after attending the roundtable, it’s more clear than ever that the word is still very much alive and continues to serve as a very powerful change agent.