As I sit at the MIDO show, I cannot stop thinking of Steve Jobs and the Walter Isaacson bio I recently read. Jobs built his companies and his entire career while changing multiple industries all on his belief in “thinking different” and making sure his product was perfect and “inspired”. Microsoft is the great traditional company, but Jobs always felt it lacked innovation. Apple “inspired”. And it all started and ended with Product.
I keep thinking of this while at our industry’s largest event here in Milan. I continue to stress the importance of a luxury strategy to set an office/retailer apart from the competition. Nowhere is this strategy more on display than at MIDO.
The traditional areas of the show are like Microsoft. Great companies but not necessarily stimulating. The busiest area of the show is like an Apple conference – it’s the trend/luxe pavilion. It’s where the buyers want to be; there is a different energy level that motivates abstract thinking. Why? Because the best retailers know they need to set themselves apart and the way to do this is with Product. The exhibitors feel the same way. To “think different” and offer inspired, unique Product is THE winning strategy – otherwise you find yourself in a price war or “race to the bottom”.
Steve Jobs intuitively knew this from day one. And the companies and retailers in our industry that also know this are the ones succeeding in today’s tough economic climate. Are you ready to “Think Different”?