There have been a number of times in my career when I’ve recommended big marketing ideas that were not approved – only to appear a few years later, often by a competitor.
Some may grouse “better late than never,” others may rationalize the “timing wasn’t right,” but whatever your view of these opportunities missed, it’s important to learn from them. And never, never stop looking ahead for the next big one. “Too early for breakfast” and other after-the-fact bromides kill innovation. And marketing is nothing if not innovation.
I’m thinking it might be a good strategic exercise – perhaps a line in a brief – to ask yourself “What product innovation would be great for product or category growth, but maybe a little too early for its time? And why?”
I’ll try this out on my next assignment and report back as to its value.