University of Phoenix
Innovation, Design, and Creativity for a Competitive Advantage OI/361
Milton C. West
January 20, 2011
Organizational Impact Paper
Organizations today use creativity and innovation to change the products and services they provide to accommodate market demands. Companies may have difficulty with changes if there is no consideration for a competitive advantage or plans to transform and adjust their company to accommodate the demands for innovation of products and services for consumers. Organizations will conform to changes or transformation to achieve an economical advantage in business for innovation or it will fall behind its competitors. It will then be known as an organization of past success and current market absence. This paper will evaluate the impact of innovation, strategy, process, product, and services on three different organizations American Family Life Assurance Company (AFLAC), Microsoft, and Nike. American Family Life Assurance Company (AFLAC)
The impact of innovation can be evaluated by looking at how organizations react or interact with the changes that are necessary. Commonly known as Aflac, the organization was founded November 17, 1955 by three brothers from Columbus, Georgia, (AFLAC, 2008). Aflac has been operating for more than 50 years, and is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States, and provides insurance protection worldwide for more than 40 million people (AFLAC, 2008). Internationally, Aflac targeted Japan, entering the insurance market almost 30 years ago and writes business for two-thirds of Japan, ensuring one in every four Japanese households (Best Review, 2003).
A definite marketing strategy that contributed to Aflac rising market was their well-known pekin duck. An individual could not travel far without meeting a stranger who could easily identify the duck icon and mimicking its tagline, “Aflac!” The market tagline was created in 2000 by the Kaplan Thaler Advertising Agency Group and recognized by nearly 90% of Americans; the pekin duck is an international icon and has done wonders for the organization (Best Review, 2003). For Example, after airing Aflac’s first duck commercial in January 2000, the organization rose practically overnight and became one of the most recognized brands of insurance in the market (AFLAC, 2008). The company advertised for six days and received more hits on their website for all 1999 and sales increased by more than 29% that is more sales increase during the first two weeks of the year than two previous years combined (Best Review, 2003). Aflac would never have experienced such success without the demands granted by innovation. Able to differentiate their competitor’s products, Aflac enforced an important marketing strategy in 1986, when the company expanded from rural to the metropolitan areas (AFLAC, 2008). The company used more independent insurance brokers rather than exclusive producers to sell their insurance and they recognize that brokers had already directed major medical coverage, other financial services, and could represent the organization with an excellent distribution channel (McCoy, 1996). Aflac offers a number of different services and products, including life, dental, vision, and supplemental health insurance such as cancer, hospital, accident, and disability.
Microsoft was found in 1975 and has become the world leader in software services, applications, and solutions (Microsoft, 2011). The organization leads the way in creativity, innovation software, hard ware products for individuals and companies, and offers products such as financial management tools, networking, web browser, and desktop (Microsoft, 2011). Almost every organization within an industry uses Microsoft products and often use customize applications to accommodate better that particular organization (Microsoft, 2011).
One strategy that has enable Microsoft to stay ahead of the innovative curve is the development of the a new software computing called Microsoft surface that responds to hand movements, is capable of identifying genuine objects, and can use barcode tags (Microsoft, 2011). The surface computer with a 230-inch display in a table-like form provides effortless interaction with digital content through hand touch movement and physical objects (Microsoft, 2011). This product is revolutionary because of future possibilities and innovations that will come from it, and will show the next generation a profitable outlook that will allow every user to remove and improve communication barriers, encourage social interaction, gain customer loyalty, and provide a unique shopping experience (Microsoft, 2011). Microsoft envisions that with the innovation of technology, surface computing will be available and used at all levels of government, organizations, and industries.
Nike, athletic shoes was found in 1962 by Phil Knight, who saw a gap and a need in the market of athletic shoes (Nike, 2000). Nike had a profound change on its marketing strategy and product when it introduced the Air Nikes, featuring Michael Jordan with the “Just Do It” slogan and “Bo Knows” commercial, (Nike, 2000). These innovative styles made the Nike shoes more recognizable and popular to consumers worldwide (Nike, 2000).
Nike could modify its products and services through its innovative marketing strategy taken from evaluations on customer benefits and needs, whereas the product succeeded innovation technology with fashions that cater to customer satisfaction on a global level (Nike, 2000). Nike currently seeks out innovative ways to create advance athletic products and methods to speak creatively to the market because the success of Nike is based on marketing strategy that weighs current factors and trends (Nike, 2000). If Nike continues the innovation of new marketing ideas for their services and products, the organization will maintain their current role of innovative leadership with products, developments, and revenues in the athletic sports-wear industry (Nike, 2000).
Based on the information given from the three above organizations it has been determined that innovation can either make or break an organization. Innovation is inevitable in organizations today because businesses have to make preparations for an innovative market by focusing their efforts on current market strategy, process, product improvement, and services. The three organizations discussed above used innovation and creativity to change the products and services they provide to accommodate the market demands. As the organizations indicated above, innovation is an important advantage for business growth and profitability and an important contributor to the business strategy to gain a competitive advantage. .
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