| Danial Norjidi |
FOR businesses, it is important to know what kind of story you are telling with your products, to know what you are selling, as well as who it is your products are targeted at.
These points were underlined by Keith Tan, a speaker from the Creative Nexus Group in Singapore, who led an “Idea Generation” workshop yesterday at the iCentre.
During the workshop, Tan shared his experience in the fields of creative thinking, problem solving and visualisation as well as design thinking, business design and innovation.
Tan has more than 20 years of teaching, training and consulting experience, having worked his way up to senior academic and consulting positions in a diverse range of expertise within the creative industry.
At the workshop, one of the key areas he touched on was visual thinking and creative visualisation. He highlighted that visualisation is “fundamental” to design thinking and that it has application at every step of the process. One facet of visualisation upon which he put particular emphasis was “storytelling”.
“Branding is all about telling a story,” he said.
He cited Harley Davidson as an example, saying that they do not simply sell motorbikes, but adventure. Another example used was that of Ralph Lauren, on which he said the product may be clothes, but what’s being sold is fashion.
“What is the story behind your business? What is your business trying to achieve?” he asked. “That is the key.”
He also spoke on “idea prototyping”, where he underscored the need to understand that business is not simply about money.
“You have to understand the consumer’s mind – the psychology,” he said, calling it “neuro-marketing” tactics.
Providing an example, he spoke of a company that had developed a new brand of men’s cologne. Hired consultants conducted a study and their research found that men liked the product. However, three months after hitting the shelves, the products failed to sell well.
As Tan explained, this was because the consultants failed to take into account that the users, who were male, were not actually the buyers, who, in this case, were predominantly female.
“The consultants’ research was on the users, but not the buyers,” he said. “There has to be understanding as to exactly who the customers and users are.”
“You’ve got to be careful,” he added. “Who are you doing this for and where is the money actually coming from?”
The workshop, organised as part of the recently launched IGNITE Entrepreneurship Challenge 2014, targeted an audience of IGNITE participants and iCentre incubatees as well as managers, entrepreneurs and members of government, higher learning institutes and private sector.
Speaking at yesterday’s event, the iCentre Manager Jeremy Chua said through this workshop, participants who are joining the IGNITE competition will be able to learn skills to develop innovative ideas that solve day-to-day problems people face.
He also went on to encourage potential entrepreneurs to take advantage of workshops organised by the iCentre such as the workshop yesterday and affirmed that they will continue to bring in both leading speakers and industry experts with vast experience and insights to assist those looking to embark on the journey of entrepreneurship.
Yesterday’s event was held as part of the build up to the iCentre’s upcoming Innovate Forum on “Talking Technology and Entrepreneurship”, which will put the spotlight on utilising emerging technologies to resolve real world issues that create sustainable and successful businesses.
The upcoming forum is set to feature Oliver Tan, the CEO of Singapore-based company ViSenze as well as Darrel Zhang, the Founder of Intraix, while presentations and dialogues with leading Bruneian entrepreneurs are also lined up.
The forum will be held at the Rizqun International Hotel on September 16 and is open to anyone interested in learning more about entrepreneurship or cutting-edge technology.