Bold entrepreneurship is based on knowing how to blend those ideas which create new synthesised ways to solve certain needs
Of all the different ways to start a new venture, possibly, the ones that want to address a need by blending different ideas are among the most attractive, as well as the boldest and most ambitious.
Two Blending Options
There are certain movies which the sequels were better than the originals, indisputably one of them, “The Godfather Part II”.
This situation also happens with new initiatives that are copies of something discovered in other markets, sold in different channels and/or positioned to other audiences.
There are key elements that, alone or together, need to be considered:
· Ideas take things that do not normally exist together to conform a new, previously unknown concept. This is blending!
· The product or service answers to a new need or an emerging need -one that nobody attended so far. This is surprising!
· The brand promise shows a clear functional and an out-of-the-ordinary emotional benefit that is lasting over time. This is deeply amazing!
The risk of this approach is that the venture could end up being the MiniMe of the original.
It’s a drink sold in pharmacies as an energizing tonic, and was the origin of Red Bull. Actually, Krating Daeng is a popular beverage in the Eastern world that combats fatigue and keeps people awake.
Red Bull's success lies in blending ideas that allowed the creation of a new product category, namely “functional foods”, a beverage that refreshes and energises at the same time. And without going into detail, it was supported by a consistent and coherent brand, both in its functionalities and in the experience it encourages to be lived. Red Bull gives you wiiings!
A beautiful one in a million story!... Though then came the Danone dairy and plant-based products.
Blending as Part of a Process
Blending is a process in itself within a broader creative process. While creativity and process may sound like an oxymoron, becoming an entrepreneur, entails that our minds merge ideas that aren’t usually connected, creating sense of structure.
The whole process and its blending step are summarised in the following graphic. To make it simple, we use the acronym ABCDE™.
Following this process -implicitly or explicitly, is a good starting point for a new venture which could give answer to new needs, create a new category and improve the chances of success.
To Make It Simple, Let See Some Examples
Eco-Friendly + Wheels + Suitcase = Samsonite Ibon Wheels + Suitcase + Traveling with Kids = Samsonite Dream Rider
During more than a century, Samsonite has been focused on innovation and design. However, it was Bernard Sadow who only 50 years ago blended suitcases (8th century BC) and wheels (5th millennium BC). In any case, back to Samsonite, they are pioneers in developing new solutions to help make travel more comfortable, also for parents and kids.
Mobility + Effectiveness + Sustainability = Free2Move Carsharing
It simplifies and guarantees mobility providing an electric shared car service to meet its customers travel needs. The idea behind the scene is that they make vehicle use more effective, while taking care of the environment. They provide mobility, not cars.
Light + Art + Plants’ Metabolisms = Studio Roosegarde’s GROW project
Studio Roosegaarde’s GROW consists of a design-based light recipe which shines vertically across 20,000 m2 of farmland with leek in The Netherlands. It’s based on photobiology light science technologies which have shown that certain recipes of blue, red, and ultraviolet light enhance plant growth and reduce the use of pesticides by up to 50%. It is also designed to blend in with the landscape and avoid creating any sort of pollution.
Apparel + 360 Economy = MUD Jeans Leasing
MUD Jeans is concerned about and committed to the 360 economy. To this end, they have developed a jeans rental service on a monthly payment basis.
The lease contract lasts for 12 months, after which the customer can keep the jeans, exchange them for new ones or return them. When the jeans are returned, MUD Jeans starts a process of manufacturing new ones from the old denim, keeping the fabric in a closed loop.
Dairy Milk + Plant-Based Alternatives= Live Real Farms Products
It’s new brand developed by Dairy Farmers of America which combines dairy milk with plant-based alternatives in what it calls the “first-ever blended beverage of its kind.” New Dairy Plus Milk Blends feature 50-50 blends of lactose-free dairy and almonds or oats. The beverage comes in five varieties: almond, almond unsweetened vanilla, almond sweetened vanilla, almond chocolate, and oat.
Blending ideas offers a wealth of new opportunities. By combining one with another then another, it builds an endless source of new products and services -BTW, this is the basis of lateral thinking.
This leads to concepts which are new ways to serve people. Under a branding perspective, a new venture based on blended ideas not only creates meaning, but also value.
By Cristián Saracco
With over 30 years of international experience his focus is on catalysing company conscious growth through people, brands and experiences. He is a Founding Partner of Allegro 234, Member of The Flow Collective, the Medinge Group, and the Editorial Committee of Branders Magazine.
He holds a Ph.D. in Corporate Communication and Strategic Knowledge Management, an EMBA and surprisingly is Industrial Engineering.