A wave of innovation

December 3, 2010

The word innovation is overrated. People make it sound like everything they do – from grilling a sandwich to backing into a spot – is a result of innovation. Perhaps they’re right in some respects, but doing stuff in a different manner isn’t solely about shaking things up, it’s about thinking like your audience.

Photo from Kevin Spencer’s photostream on Flickr

Or as retailers today would have you think – like your community.

To that end, Black Friday came and went and so did Cyber Monday. And companies like Target, Sears, Borders and others tried to capitalize on the shopping frenzy like never before. As they focused on preparing products and incentives for the hoardes, some also used social media like never before. That’s the type of innovation – in my mind – that’s going to set companies apart going forward.

As in this article over at ClickZ

Yet, although retailers like Target, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Sears promoted deals through Twitter, others – most notably JC Penney – barely made a peep.

That’s not to say that Twitter and social media is the end-all in marketing your product – or even sharing information as more journalists and news outlets are trying to do via these new tools. But the reality is that if you’re not aware of what can be done with the new avenues of communication, you’ll soon be just talking to yourself.

What companies do you think did a great job this shopping season? I think Abe’s of Maine and LL Bean were quite effective. I got a bunch of email from them, but not a bombardment. I also like that some companies reached out to me on Twitter – but I don’t recall getting any notes from the big brands. Mostly it was just local restaurants and smaller organizations like tire stores and such.

In all, I’m willing to share my attention with a company that goes the extra mile to try and reach me and does it in a respectful and moderate way. What methods have worked to get you to buy this year? And what companies do you think have fallen down on the job or just ignored SocMed?