According to the NPD Group’s Consumer Tracking Service, online home improvement sales increased 16 percent over 2010. This recovery may be attributed to the fact that, consumers consider tools to be a necessary expense. In fact, many saved money to make home improvement purchases in 2011 ─ most paying with cash or check. Finally, Baby Boomers are spending more money on home improvement products. In 2011, 31 percent of do-it-yourself (DIY) dollars were spent by consumers 55 years of age and older, compared to 25 percent just two years ago.
Archive for December, 2011
Do any of you remember the 1983 movie, “Yentl”, starring Barbara Streisand? In the movie, Streisand plays a young Jewish girl who masquerades as a boy in order to gain admission to a Jewish bible school.
One of the most memorable scenes from that movie for me was when she was taking the oral admission exam. She failed the knowledge test, but was admitted to the school because the examiner was so impressed by the questions she asked.
Rob Connely, President of Henny Penny Corporation, recently wrote a nice article about how Henny Penny has used questions to create a successful new product development program. Here’s the article:
If You Truly Want to Innovate, Be Willing to Ask Tough Questions
Any organization can hold brainstorming meetings, form committees and plot product roadmaps. It takes a different kind of company to take the next steps of actively pursuing an innovative spirit.
By Rob Connelly, president, Henny Penny Corp.
Nov. 1, 2011
Innovation that directly benefits the customer is a key element to success for manufacturers. Even with the best products, competitive value and outstanding service, no manufacturer can afford to remain static while competitors, technology and customers move forward.
I personally know the value of stressing innovation within the organization. At Henny Penny, we talk about it, we invest in it, and we celebrate it as a company.
To oversimplify, Henny Penny focuses on making excellent products, building partnerships and employees. But every company says this. The key to valuable innovation =- and ultimately success — is commitment. The path to practical, meaningful innovation begins with:
- Asking challenging questions such as, “How can we be more creative, scalable, effective?”
- Eating, breathing and planning for opportunities to innovate — both internally and externally.
- Regularly measuring growth and improving upon it.
David Kelley believes you start to think about things completely different when you think your job is to design the experience of using the device as opposed to designing the device itself. Kelley feels that to captivate an audience you need to build a context around the technology you are marketing and take into consideration how outside factors will affect how your product is perceived. He uses methods of transportation as an example.
Video courtesy of Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner