Moving Beyond the Buzzwords


by Briana Campbell (@MsMatchGirl)


As a digital agency – a digital innovation firm – the Z-team are certainly no strangers to creating innovations that disrupt the status quo. Perhaps that’s why this article on creating disruptive retail experiences caught my eye a couple of weeks ago.

Kingshuk Das starts off his piece by asking a very basic question:

Have you wondered why we linger in an Apple store, playing with shiny screens, but never set foot in a Sony Style store (which, incidentally, has its devices locked behind glass doors)? Why are one company’s stores a multi-billion dollar business while the other doesn’t even show up in their annual report?

In a former life I worked in fashion and beauty, and I spent a lot of time figuring out not only how to get people in the front door, but how to make them linger – to play – so to speak – in order to get a few more dollars out of them. But also to ensure that they had a good enough time that they would come back.

Of course, markets are different, but the rule of thumb is the same. Be it customer or client, they want to be engaged, want to be welcomed and want to feel like there is a secret being shared with them. It’s the same from makeup to electronics. Create a playground and people will play. Have a fun, useful product, and they will buy.

Take a click over to Fast Company and read the full article, to learn more about how Das feels that a disruptive new retail experience can be created. I’m more interested about how we can take these steps, these processes, and apply them to our digital agency world.

In my opinion, to create a truly meaningful, disruptive, innovative experience, we need to look beyond the rules as we know them, written or just quietly acknowledged. As people who call ourselves innovators and thought leaders and gurus, we need to be better and smarter and quicker. We need to be leading the charge, instead of hiding behind buzzwords.

So, how can we think beyond the buzz and create new experiences that will make users truly engage? Can we throw away terms like “social media” and “gamification” and “casual gaming” and focus instead on creating tools and experiences that are truly different?

I’m not saying throw out what those words mean, of course (if those phrases hold any true definition anymore, anyway). I’m saying that in order to create true innovative and disruptive experiences, we need to drop those words from our brainstorming lexicon (and maybe innovation and disruption, too…). We need to find the words that convey what we’re actually hoping to achieve. We need to speak with clarity and then make those ideas happen.


What suggestions do you have, for us as people or for the industry as a whole? Leave them in the comments.