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Module: Tri 216: (304MKT) Contemporary Marketing Issues – (E15/MKGB4014/02)

Liu Yilin

NRIC: S8426970J

Total Word Count: 3693


Innovationis a vital aspect of an organization. Businesses need to embrace theaspect of innovation when it comes to the execution of theiroperations. The Doblin ten types of innovation are especiallyessential in enabling firms to improve their services. Despite theabundance of different types of innovation, not all businesses havebeen able to adopt the issue of creativity in business. The inabilityto adopt innovativeness has seen most companies fail to realize thepotential they have.

Thispaper analyzes the ten Doblin types of innovation. Branding, businessmodel, and customer experience are examined in detail. Branding isexamined concerning Airbnb. Customer experience and business modelare evaluated as relates to Amazon and eBay respectively. Further,recommendations are given on measures companies can take to see to itthat they remain to be innovative in an otherwise competitive market.The application of the suggested methods will help the firms gain acompetitive advantage in the manner in which they conduct theirbusiness.

Table of Contents

Summary 1

Introduction 3

Doblin Theory of Innovation 4

Doblin Types of Innovation 4

Business Model, Brand and Customer Experience 6

eBay Business Model 7

Customer Experience as applied by Amazon 9

Airbnb and its Branding Strategy 11

Recommendations for the Businesses 13

Conclusion 14

List of References 15


Innovationin business is the process of creating practical ideas, processes,and products with the ultimate goal of attracting customers (Spieth,Schneckenberg, and Ricart, 2014). It could mean the implementationof new ideas, creation of dynamic products while at the same timeimproving the already existing services in the organization.Innovation is a crucial catalyst when it comes to growth andrealization of success in the organization (Brikinshaw, et al,2008). Further, it enables the individual company to become moreadaptive to the marketing needs of the industry. Innovation is abroad subject area that goes beyond the concept of inventing idea orproducts (Birkinshaw et al. 2008). It could focus on the change ofthe organization’s business model and adapt to environmentalchanges while delivering better products to the customers.

Firmsmust embrace the concept of innovation as part of the businessstrategy to facilitate the ability to realize goals that have beenset (Brikinshaw, et al, 2008). The management, while working with thetop level executive must create a business environment that createsthe culture of innovativeness among its employees (Birkinshaw et al.2008). Innovative thinking and creativity should be part of anorganization since it is a driving force toward the realization ofgoals that have been set in the firm (Chesbrough &amp Rosenbloom2002). Companies that have adopted a culture off innovativenessbenefit from improved decision-making and problem-solving skills.

Consideringthe dynamic nature of the business environment, it is essential thatfirms become innovative in how they execute their business activities(Bucherer, Eisert, and Gassmann, 2012). Through the same, it would bepossible for the organization to adopt efficient working processeswhile benefitting from enhanced productivity and performance.Innovativeness should be a continuing activity in the organization(Teece, 2010). Establishment of an environment that promotesinnovativeness in the business will be instrumental in facilitatingthe realization of goals set within the firm.

Doblin Theory of Innovation

Doblinhas introduced different types of innovations that are applicable ina typical business environment (Keeley et al. 2013). The innovationtypes are essential in helping firms learn how to maneuver in thecompetitive market to realize high sales. The types cut across allthe fundamental aspects of business making it applicable fororganizations. Further, there is the issue of the fact that theDoblin types are customized to attain the marketing goals of anorganization. Whichever type of innovation a given organizationembraces, the ultimate aim, would be the same. There is a linkbetween the innovation type and the company marketing objectives.

Doblin Types of Innovation

Innovationremains to be a crucial component in any given organization. Firmshave the mandate of ensuring that they execute activities in acreative manner as compared to their competitors. In the year 1998,Doblin introduced the ten types of innovation that firms can embraceto facilitate their day to day running of activities (Keeley et al.2013).

Thefirst type is the business model. It primarily focuses on how onemakes money out of the activities that they are engaged. Forbusinesses, it could entail all activities mobilized with theultimate goal of ensuring that profits are realized. Firms have themandate of identifying activities that have the potential ofincreasing the overall revenues (Keeley et al. 2013). However, suchcan be achieved through the adoption of innovativeness andcreativity. It can be in line with the nature of products beingmanufactured that can attract many customers. Organizations engage inbusiness operations to make profits. Different approaches can beadopted to steer the firm toward the achievement of such goals.However, the ease with which a firm undertakes the venture depends onthe innovative approaches employed. Of fundamental importance is thefact that organizations must introduce strategies geared towardrealization of profit goals of the firm. The organization must createmore innovative ways of improving the organization business model.Through the same, it would be possible to realize profits in theorganization.

Productperformance forms the other type of innovation. It deals with theindividual product features while distinguishing them from theirfunctionality (Keeley, et al, 2013). Firms can focus on designingproducts that differentiate it from other players in the industry.However, this can only be achieved through creativity and innovationin the manner in which the overall production process takes place.The increased level of competition among firms dealing in the sameline of production activities negates the need to come up with uniqueproducts that are more appealing to customers. The products should beable to meet the individual needs of customers. Organizations mustcontinually introduce new products through adoption of availableinnovative means. A firm that introduces new firms while improving onthe already existing ones. Through the adoption of the mechanism, itchances are that customers will have access to new products. It is anopportunity to attract new customers while maintaining the alreadyexisting ones. Firms must strive to make their products new tosurvive the stiff competition in the market.

Customer experience represents the other type of innovation presentedby Doblin. It deals with how the organization interacts with thecustomers as it conducts its day to day activities (Keeley, et al,2013). It could be the way in which the individual organizationcreates a rapport with the customers. It is an essential aspect ofinnovation for the role it plays in fostering understanding with thecustomers. Organizations must ensure that they foster a healthyrelationship with the customers. The manner in which customers aretreated impacts either positively or negatively on operationalactivities of the firm. Development of a good relationship will beinstrumental in encouraging many customers into transacting with theorganization. A healthy relationship can be achieved throughintroduction of incentives that seek to attract many customers intodealing with the firm. Customers enable the organizations to identifytheir strengths and weaknesses (Kotler et al. 2011). Insightpresented by the customer assists the organization to understandsections it should amend to improve the degree of engagement. Theexperience of customers is essential in determining whether they willcome back to the organization to make purchases.

Finally,Brand forms the last type of innovation Doblin has suggested to becrucial for a company in attaining its objectives. It is therepresentation of the organization’s offerings to potential clients(Keeley, et al, 2013). It could further be identified as theoverall image the firm portrays itself in the public. Organizationshave the mandate of ensuring that they have a good image that appealsto the customers. The decision by clients to engage in businessactivities with the organization significantly depends on theperception they have regarding the firm. A good image means that thefirm is reliable when it comes to execution of business activities. Astrong brand is critical in differentiating the organization from therest of the competitors. Further, it serves to breed trust among thecustomers, a move that positively influences customer relations.Branding as a type of innovation promotes the recognition of aparticular organization. Customers want to conduct business withfirms that are known making them feel at ease.

Business Model, Brand and Customer Experience

Theidentified innovation types are of significant importance in enablingthe organization to realize the goals that it has set. Each type hasbeen chosen for the ability it has to transform the manner in whichthe organization approaches its organizational goals. Profit makingis a goal that each organization aims at achieving in the long-run(Kohtamäki, et al, 2013). However, the ability to make profitsdepends on the marketing style of the organization and how best theycan attract as many customers as possible into making purchases fromthem.

Innovativenessis fundamental since it lays the foundation for an efficient andreliable marketing channel that would help the organization realizethe highest profits possible (Tajeddini, 2011). eBay depicts one ofthe companies that has capitalized on the application of anappropriate profit model to increase its earnings (Hasker andSickles, 2010). The company’s means of operation will be analyzedin detail to provide a broader perspective of the organization’sbusiness model. The firm has established itself as a force to reckonwith considering some profits it realizes on a yearly basis. Focuswould be on the innovative aspect of the organization leading to theability to achieve gains in the much competitive online business.

eBay Business Model

eBaycompany has established itself as a reliable channel through whichget to transact business activities online (Shen and Sundaresan,2011). The company has a framework that guides the manner in whichthey conduct their operations through the internet. eBay enablescustomers to sell commodities through the web without physical beingpresent at the site of doing the business transaction (Komiak, etal, 2008). The ease with which the company has made buying andselling of products on the Internet makes it an appropriate choicefor potential clients. The company has made significant profits fromits business activities. The ability to realize the high profits isattributed to the strategy that the firm employs.

eBayhas focused on putting the cash they earn to viable investmentactivities. Unlike typical businesses that do not invest in a varietyof potential ventures, eBay stands out when it comes to the overallconcept of making profits. For example, the company has been seen togrow its earnings through acquisitions. It bought Skype and later onsold it to Microsoft Corporation (Vitzthum and Konsynski, 2009).The decision by the corporation to acquire firms and sell them toother companies serves as an opportunity for them to increase theiroverall profit margin. Another example of the acquisition was thatdone for PayPal which was estimated at $1.5 billion (PayPal 2013).

Thecompany will soon be publicly traded, and this could serve as anopportunity for the company to make huge profits from such a move.eBay focuses on the need to invest on the available finances thatthey have. Because of the same, chances of the organization makingprofits are significantly high.

eBaymakes profits through its 10% listing fees (Yuan, et al, 2011). Thecompany enjoys a wide market share meaning that the chance of themmaking profits remains to be high. Through the funds paid, thecompany has the opportunity of making substantial amounts of profits.The situation is further enhanced by the fact that people across theglobe are using the company to transact a variety of businessactivities. Most of them have chosen eBay as a center of making andselling their commodities. Each of the individuals who transactsbusiness activities has to pay the stated fees. For example, eBay hadits overall revenue increase to $17.9 billion the previous year(Sachin and Bose, 2016). It is an indication of the fact that thecompany is making significant income from the activities that theyare conducting.

eBayenjoys the fact that it is a market leader in the activities thatthey perform. The strategic move of establishing itself as a force toreckon with when it comes to execution of their business activities(La Rocca and Snehota, 2014). The company capitalizes on the factthat most of the customers have chosen to transact their businessactivities through the services that they provide. It works well forthe company when it comes to increasing their overall revenues andthe profits at a greater extent. For example, customers opt totransact business activities through eBay because it is a trustedleader (Bucherer, Eisert, and Gassmann, 2012). As many consumerscontinue to transact through eBay, so does the profit marginincrease. It is achieved through the fees that the clients have topay for them to have their products advertised on the companywebsite. The adoption of the business model as a strategy works wellfor the company as attested by the increased revenues earned by theorganization (Ignatius, 2011).

Finally,eBay capitalizes on the most recent strategies to conduct theirbusiness activities. Technology has enhanced the manner in whichbusiness operations are executed (Ussahawanitchakit, 2012). It hastaken advantage of the same to improve services. Customers preferbuying and selling goods through the internet because it is fasterand reliable. eBay has resorted to creating an environment that meetsthe individual customer needs (Teece, 2010). Through the same, ithas been possible to realize a high client subscription thattranslates to increased revenues for the organization.

Customer Experience as applied by Amazon

Amazonhas introduced strategies that aim at enhancing the experience ofcustomers who opt to engage with them in business. Plans presented bythe company all aim at improving their engagement with theircustomers while increasing their loyalty. For example, the companyrecently introduced the 0.16 cent market strategy (Zott and Amit,2008). The approach sought to refund customers for purchases theymade after the prices had fallen. For example, if a customer bought acommodity and the price dropped, the difference would be credited totheir account regardless of the amount. The strategy means that thecompany is sensitive to the customer needs and does not focus much onthe concept of profit making.

Thecompany has taken the initiative of reaching out to the customers,calculating the difference in the prices and transferring the fundsback to the account of the client. The adoption of such a strategymeans that the customer has been saved a great deal of not losingtheir finances (Johnston and Kong, 2011). The benefit of such amove is that consumers are likely to increase their engagement withthe company. It a strategy that makes Amazon stand out from the restof the firms. Through the strategy, Amazon is relaying a message thatit is engaged in an honest business that is founded on integritywhile putting the needs of customers above everything else. Therefund creates a difference regarding the perception the customershave in the company.

Amazonintroduced the “Amazon Prime” program to improve the overallcustomer experience (Griffey, 2012). The program is designed insuch a way that the clients pay $79 monthly and get a free 2-dayshipping. The strategy is effective since the company enhancessatisfaction among the customers since they get the perception thatthey have been given free shipping (Amazon, 1996). Even though theclients have to pay for the service, the general notion is that thecompany has offered some level of discount. The benefit of thestrategy is that it enables the company to build a good rapport withthe clients (Griffey, 2012).

Further,customer experience is enhanced by the strategy since it targets thebit most customers feel sorry about. Customers do not like the entireissue of paying for the shipping charges. They would be delighted ifthe company decided to ship the products to them without charges.However, through the adoption of the strategy, customers get the ideathat they are enjoying the free shipping incentive. It is aninnovative strategy on the part of Amazon because in the long-runcustomers get to pay for the shipping even though they are assured ofno charges being levied in the two days (Klaus, 2013).

Arecent survey conducted regarding the Amazon Prime program indicatesthat members enrolled pay twice as much as the non-members (Griffey,2012). It is a reflection of the fact that the company is gaining attwo fronts. There is improved customer loyalty while the company hasencountered an increase in their overall revenues (Nasermoadeli, etal, 2013). The application of Amazon Prime program is a practicalinnovation that endows Amazon with the ability to create a goodrapport with the customers.

Customerexperience at Amazon has further been enhanced by the fact that theorganization has stayed true to its traditional values (Sashi,2012). With the increase in competition among firms, it is essentialthat companies embrace values that differentiate them from otherfirms. Clients get attracted to a particular organization because ofthe values that they practice on a daily basis. It is the values thatdefine a particular organization. In regards to the same, Amazon hasbeen innovative in creating and nurturing appropriate traditionalvalues that seek to differentiate it from the rest of the firms. Forexample, the company is known for providing quality services to theclients. The need to consistently meet the needs of the customers hasbeen a traditional value at Amazon. Because of the same, the companyhas been able to improve the overall concept of customer experience(Gentile, Spiller, and Noci, 2007).

Airbnb and its Branding Strategy

Airnbis an online company that enables individuals to find and rentvacation homes at a stated fee (Guttentag, 2013). The companyestablished in the year 2008 has continued to improve the manner inwhich it conducts its activities through innovation. Branding hasbeen the type of innovation applied by the organization to attractclients into enrolling for its services. Despite the existingcompetition in the industry, the company has emerged as a force tobeat when it comes to attracting customers into sourcing for theirservices. Airnb has adopted different brand strategies to improvetheir position in the market (Guttentag, 2013).

Airnblaunched a TV campaign as the first brand strategy to help sell theorganization’s services to potential customers (Nguyen, 2014).Using the phrase “Never a Stranger”. The company Chief MarketingOfficer, Jonathan Mildenhall decided to cast a white female whowanted to travel around the world. It is a strategy that has beeninstrumental in marketing the company (Nguyen, 2014). Because the TVcampaign capitalizes on the aspect of an individual feelingcomfortable in a new environment, the strategy is effective since itis in line with the business activities executed by the organization(Nguyen, 2014). It was an innovative idea since it enables theorganization market itself in a way that it can be relied upon by thecustomers who wish to travel in different parts of the world.

Strategicpartnerships with more established brands is an approach that hasbeen adopted by Airbnb. The company has formed a partnership withfirms such as American Express and KLM. The decision to form apartnership with the identified companies was innovative for thebenefit it confers the organization when it comes to confirmation ofits credibility. Customers engage with businesses that can be reliedupon to deliver quality services (Kingsnorth, 2016). Because thecompany was recently established, it could be difficult to getimmediate customer approval. The branding strategy was essentialsince it put Airbnb at a better position when it came to themarketing of its services to clients. The partnership established in2015 has been useful in ensuring that Airbnb attracts many customersinto hiring their services.

Further,Airbnb recently decided to introduce a new logo as part of their newbranding strategy. The new logo named “Belo” serves to encouragepeople to rent rooms and add the same to their listing. Those whowould wish to have the logo printed on their shirts can do so withease. The branding strategy is essential since it serves to attractmany customers into hiring services offered by the firm. It is aninnovative idea since the logo serves to create a sense of belongingwhile enabling individuals to connect with each other. People want tofeel comfortable in engaging in a particular business activity.

Further,the company has adopted technology to help improve on their brandstrategy. For example, it launched an app that would help potentialclients gain access to the services they are offering. With thetechnological advancements witnessed, it is critical that anorganization embraces methods that are being used by other firms.Mobile phone applications have become a common branding techniqueemployed by firms. The adoption of such a move was beneficial forAirbnb in improving their overall brand strategy. The company hassince then started introducing app features that can be used byclients (Rea, 2016).

Thebenefit of the brand strategy is that customers have the opportunityto provide feedback regarding the services that are being offered. Itis an innovative idea that helps the company attain its marketingobjectives. Considering the increased competition witnessed amongorganizations that conduct businesses online, it is crucial that afirm adopts a strategy that endows it with a competitive advantage.Airbnb sought to do so by adopting various branding strategies. Thehighlighted strategies explain the fast growth of the firm in therecent years after its launch.

Recommendations for the Businesses

Innovationin business is a crucial component for the ability it endows theorganization with the realization of the identified goals (TsaiandYang, 2014). However, most firms have not been able to adopt theconcept of innovativeness since they continue to rely on old methodswhen it comes to execution of business activities. Nevertheless,there are various ways firms can improve their innovativeness. Thefirst method that can be employed is increasing investment in thegeneration of ideas. Organizations must embrace the concept ofinvesting in ways that can generate viable ideas that can improvebusiness operations. For example, hiring staff skilled in ideageneration can serve as a vital tool in promoting the creativity ofan organization. Ideas are brought into the organization by personnelwho have the ability to do so. The benefit of such a move is that aculture of innovation in the organization would be high. Generationof ideas will be a common occurrence making the firm outdo itscompetitors.

Amazon,eBay, and Airbnb have invested heavily in ensuring that they applyinnovativeness in the manner in which they conduct activities.Unfortunately, the firms have been unable to employ innovativenessefficiently in conducting their business operations. eBay has beenapplying the business model as its type of innovation. The companyrelies on listings, acquisitions, technology and market leadership toenhance its business operations (Teece, 2010). The company needs todiverse its business model to increase the profits that are made. Forexample, eBay can invest heavily in advertisement and capitalize onthe availability of social media platform to inform the public of theoperations of the organization. eBay can embrace advancedtechnologies to bring the services closer to clients. The companyneeds to ensure that the systems they use are safe and does not putclients at risk of encountering fraudsters. It would boost confidenceamong clients on the safety of selling and purchasing items online.

Amazonhas adopted the concept of traditional values, the Amazon Primeprogram, and the 0.16 percent market strategy to enhance customerexperience. Evidently, such strategies are being employed by otherfirms (Zott and Amit, 2008). For example, organizations havetraditional values that guide how they conduct activities. Amazoncould diversify the approach they use in promoting innovativeness.For example, concerning the Prime program, the company can introducea different incentive to boost customer experience. It could includecreating similar programs with different subscription prices (Zottand Amit, 2008). Further, the company can conduct a marketing surveyamong customers and get their opinion regarding the services they areprovided with. It would be an opportunity to identify areas ofweaknesses that can be addressed.

Airbnbhas focused on branding to promote operations. The company isintroducing new methods to enhance its brand strategy. However, thecompany can try the techniques that have been employed by other firmsthat have been in the market for many years. The company wasestablished in August 2008 indicating that it has limited experiencein branding methods. The organization can borrow ideas from otherfirms and improve on their strategy. Further, the organization canadopt social media to advertise its services to the public. Theadoption of the scheme will enhance their overall branding strategy.


TheDoblin styles of innovation are varied, and each has an impact on thewellness of the organization when it comes to marketing. Branding,customer experience, and the business model are significant styles ofinnovation that impact positively on the firm. The adoption of suchstrategies by Airbnb, eBay, and Amazon, would serve to put thecompanies in a better position concerning marketing. With theincrease in the degree of competitiveness among companies, adoptionof appropriate innovative strategies would be helpful in theattainment of long-term goals. Organizations must, however, identifytheir strengths and weaknesses to understand the best strategy toemploy. Such a move would help the organizations focus on a commongoal that is feasible and achievable. Firms must work towardmobilizing the available resources to promote their innovativeness asthey introduce new products and services to the market.

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