In a year like 2020, the future looks incredibly bright in 2021 and beyond – for everyone.
Fjord Trends 2020 is the fourteenth in a series of Accenture Interactive annual reports. The Fjord Trends 2020 report leverages feedback from the company’s network of designers and creatives and examines emerging trends to anticipate business, consumer behavior and society. Of the seven trends listed in the report, the second is do-it-yourself innovation. This trend is meant to become part of the new normal in our post-pandemic world, but what does that mean for consumers?
What is do-it-yourself innovation?
Often in a challenging situation, people enter combat or flight mode. However, some know that the challenge at hand is not about life or death. This is usually a situation that requires life hacks. Technology and devices, combined with quick thinking and creativity, offer a solution. A temporary standing desk when working from home can be an ironing board, for example.
Do-it-yourself innovations can be felt at the worker and company levels. People who work from home who were quarantined during 2020 have started turning passion projects into small businesses. In the meantime, large organizations need to determine their role in innovation. What will your approach be to innovate and empower others?
Key to effective do-it-yourself innovation
What makes an effective DIY innovation? The answers vary depending on the organization and on an individual level. However, there are key areas where innovation can be created, nurtured and shared among all.
There are two aspects of technology that play a big role in do-it-yourself innovation: platforms and devices.
Devices, the latter of the two, are the tools needed to get the message across to the audience. Smartphones, laptops, desktop computers and tablets are some of the technologies that drive innovation.
It’s easy to come up with a couple of platforms where they can creatively share their message. There are social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, video platforms like TikTok, and e-commerce solutions like Shopify that enable broad reach for audiences. You can sell your products while supporting social causes that are important to you.
In a COVID-19 landscape, many of these platforms were reused to meet customer needs. The lack of live events has allowed large organizations to partner with influencers and create streaming events such as concerts and gaming performances that audiences anywhere in the world can see and reach. Making a fulcrum of this type is certainly born out of necessity right now. However, the popularity of these pivot points and their ability to reach shows that certain forms of DIY innovation, such as the amplification of streaming services, will stay here.
Large companies and do-it-yourself innovations often find the balance first. The DIY innovation is nimble and has a tendency to be scratchy. A large organization has the resources to create a do-it-yourself innovation. To ensure this is achieved, they need to prioritize co-creation and develop an ecosystem approach.
More third party platforms can be created and designed within an ecosystem approach. This allows other parties, such as e-commerce sellers, another area in which to offer their offers and services. In return, the large organization becomes part of the do-it-yourself revolution. Your business will be seen as innovative because it responds to consumer needs and provides the tools necessary to bring their innovations to life.
Many people have become entrepreneurs out of necessity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fjord Trends 2021 study uses a great example of a gym publicist. This publicist is unemployed as gyms and fitness rooms are closed for public safety reasons. However, the publicist is not satisfied with waiting for it. Instead, the publicist uses the knowledge from years of representing fitness brands and available technology resources to launch an online training platform.
There are other examples as well, including quarantined people who started sideline activities that flourished unexpectedly. There are also those who always dreamed of becoming business owners and finally making the leap and gig workers generating multiple sources of income to freelance full time. In 2020, more than 3.2 million employer identification number (EIN) requests were made, showing Americans are starting small businesses in record numbers.
The do-it-yourself aspect of innovation is clear at this time. Many of these small businesses start in modest spaces, from a bedroom to a garage. At its core, entrepreneurship helps solve problems and meet needs.
What do people need right now? What types of products and services can make their lives easier? What distinguishes a small company and what sets it apart from the competition? All these and other questions must be answered by the entrepreneur in the coming year in order to make 2021 a year of DIY innovation. Small businesses need to come up with a business plan that states what their company can do (doable) unlike other companies. The solution should be one that inspires a “Eureka!” Moment – an innovative solution for everyone.