In early August, a few short days after I joined Hotwire in Spain, Apple made Wall Street history in becoming the first publicly-traded company to achieve a $1 trillion market capitalisation. Although my taking a new job and Apple reaching a financial landmark were unrelated events, in my mind I made a connection.
That connection was innovation. Specifically, how a well-told innovation story boosts value.
Apple has built its success with consumers and investors on the back of innovation. It has used its inventiveness and technological prowess as a key differentiator in the marketplace. So too have the likes of Amazon and Tesla.
These leading companies are just the tip of the iceberg. Many others, large and small, rely on innovation, and the skilful telling of their innovation story, to build business success.
Today every business is a tech business
It’s not only companies with tech in their DNA. In today’s world of disruption and rapid digital transformation, you can argue that every business has become a technology business.
Companies from sectors spanning health, banking, automotive, food, luxury goods and more now realise that innovation is fundamental if they are to survive and thrive. Clear and effective communication of their innovation strategy is an essential element of building value.
My entire professional life has, through choice, been linked to innovation and technology. It’s truly a fascinating area. And in Hotwire – an ambitious agency with specialist expertise in helping brands discover and communicate the value of innovation – I have found the perfect place to hang my hat.
We are proud to work with some of the most innovative companies in the world and want to help many others communicate their innovation story to stakeholders in the optimal way. There’s no doubt that doing this delivers a positive impact on an organisation’s reputation and value.
Winning the war for talent
The ramifications extend far beyond share price and market cap. Organisations with a reputation for innovation have an edge in the war for talent because they are an attractive proposition for the brightest and best employees.
Every year, Fortune magazine publishes its ranking of the world’s most admired companies. It’s noteworthy that in the 2018 list Apple occupies the number one spot, with Amazon and Google-parent Alphabet completing the top three. All are innovation-led businesses.
What’s up with Spanish companies?
From my perspective here in Madrid, I wonder why the only Spanish company to appear in the Fortune rankings is Inditex, owner of Zara and other fashion retail brands, which occupies 54th position. What’s up with Spanish companies? Are they failing to communicate the value of their innovations?
Naturally, here at Hotwire we’d be delighted to help companies from Spain and elsewhere improve performance and build value through talking tech.
The potential benefits of a change in focus are incredible. Take Domino’s, the pizza delivery business whose share price has shot up 100-fold in a decade, in part because it has repositioned itself as a tech company that just happens to be in the pizza business. Or British American Tobacco which in the last five years has pivoted to become the world’s leading e-cigarette company.
Making innovation integral to corporate values
Any brand in any sector can attempt to tell an innovation story. But only those that make innovation an integral part of their corporate values will survive in an environment dominated by technology.
And only those that communicate their innovation story in a powerful, authentic way will create real value. Whether they’re traditional tech companies – or not!