Innovation can be a great way to get noticed and advance your career. But “new” for the sake of “new” may not bring you the success you are hoping for. Sometimes, innovation needs to be more subtle, more invested … more long-term. Check out the new electric Volkswagen Golf for inspiration on how to do it right.
The all-electric Golf is not necessarily new, but it is new to the American marketplace. Herein lies the first lesson. You may not have the most original idea in the world, but if you can take your idea and introduce it to a ready audience, then you may very well have a winner.
The Wright brothers get all the credit for flight, but what about the guys who took culture from props to jet engines? Theirs may not be household names, but these guys redefined what it means to travel, to fight and to reach for the stars. And there is still plenty of room for improvement.
Both aeronautics and rocketry are growth industries. Society at large may never learn the names of all the innovators who will make “The Future” our reality, but they will innovate nonetheless. They will succeed. They will fail. They will take risks and make changes and turn “new” into average. Then they will do it all over again. These people, too, are innovators. They may not be swinging for the fences during every at-bat, but Ted Williams and Wade Boggs are just as important to baseball as Babe Ruth. The same can be said of sequential innovators in every business.
Further, VW has a specific – and simple – goal. They need the attention of the American consumer in order to gain a foothold on market share in an incredibly competitive marketplace. Better still, VW understands there’s no need to get weird just to get attention. The electric Golf looks pretty much exactly like the gas-powered Golf. And it operates along similar parameters.
It may not stand out, but the Golf excels at the one thing that it does differently. It’s an electric car that doesn’t lose much in performance when compared to its gas-powered counterpart. In other words, it brings a very desirable benefit to the table without sacrificing much, if anything. So, instead of being defined by what it lacks, the Golf is defined for exactly what it can do for its buyers. PR doesn’t get much better than that.