DEEP Innovation … Innoday 2016

April 12, 2016 at Istanbul

DEEP = Discover + Engage + Energise + Pull    

“Innoday” is the leading day of innovation ideas, inspiration and implementation in Istanbul. It’s great to be part of it again, kicking off and hosting the day, at a time when VUCA world – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous is never more true – but at the same time, change brings incredible opportunity – to see things differently, to think different things.

This year’s theme is DEEP, which stands for discover, engage, energise and pull … it’s all about taking ınnovation from the consumer perspective – more insightful, more useful, more profitable.


Discovery is the first step of innovation journey. Discovery is about finding new opportunities and new ideas. It is searching for lies beneath the surface, beyond what consumers tell us. It is about connecting dots that have not been connected. It is the magic moment (I hate that phrase ” aha moment”!) when you notice a need that is not articulated by the consumers, or sometimes even the consumers are not aware of. Empathy leads to discovery – reading, listening, observing, or simply just living the consumer life. Discovery leads to problem solving, imagination and invention.

Key innovation tools include: customer insight, design thinking, problem solving.


Innovation is everybody’s job.  We need to engage everyone across the value chain to be able to generate value at the end of the innovation effort. The whole team, and organisation, should be engaged around the discovered truth so that the optimum solution embedding technical feasibility and business viability can be created while staying true to consumer truth to ensure desire. It is about engaging technologies, and partners, to design and build better solutions. The ultimate engagement happens with the consumers – whether its through co-creation, purchase, or ongoing partnership.

Key innovation tools include: concept design, lean development, new business models.


Problem solving and invention turn into innovation when commercial value is generated. That is why we need to energize the team and consumers to make it a success at the market. At the heart it is about energising the customer, bringing ideas to life, made human and practical, inspiring and aspiring. Whilst most innovation still focuses on products, and to a lesser extent services – the most fertile ground for innovation is to go deeper – to innovate the channel and sales approach, the business model and pricing model, and the consumer experience.

Key innovation tools include: inspiring propositions, storytelling, customer experience design


Even the best solution for a consumer requires support to be a success in the marketplace. We need to invest into the innovation to make sure the consumers are aware of it. We need to tell the right and relevant story to put our solution into the consideration set of the consumers And we need to make sure the product is at the right place once the consumers are convinced to try it. Pull is the right set of messages and activities across the journey from awareness to trial, advocacy and building fans

Key innovation tools include: brand activation, native storytelling, raving fans.

Here is a brief summary of my opening keynote:

We also have some fabulous guests to help us on this journey of DEEP innovation, exploring each aspect of the DEEP journey. They range from user experience innovator Amber Case who has just launched her new book Calm Technology, to Ramon Vullings who is the cross-dressing ideas DJ (his words) and focuses on helping you take the best ideas from unusual places and apply them to your own world :

Amber Case – We are all Cyborgs now!

Ramon Vullings – Not invented here!

Simon Harrop – Dare to sense

Tanyer Sonmezer – The innovation pirate

Yildiz Holding is a Turkish market leader with wide range of chocolate and snacks, imitating the concepts of global players then delivering them cheaper. How things change. Now Yildiz is devouring global brands itself, from Belgium’s Godiva Chocolatier for $1.3bn to Britain’s United Biscuits for $3.2bn. Now with 53 plants in 10 countries, and a portfolio of billion-dollar brands like McVities and its Jaffa Cakes, Yildiz is ready to take on the world with a new collective strategy and name, Pladis.

However success requires change. In Yildiz’s case they want to double their revenue in four years. But securing a significant return on acquisitions requires more than just operating the existing businesses. It’s all about “fusion” … mixing up the new portfolio across markets, to combine brands and products, capabilities and channels. Kraft’s acquisition of Cadbury quickly gave us Philadelphia cheese with a twist of Dairy Milk, Ritz sandwiches and KitKat ice creams … Fun products, but the real money is in simplifying the complex product ranges through the lens of a small number of more powerful consumer-centric brands, then taking them as innovative ranges in new and relevant ways to the world’s fast growth markets.

Another example of this shift in power, and power of fusion comes from India … Tata Group have done a fabulous job in reenergizing the Jaguar and Range Rover brands, encouraging new concepts and editions to reach out to new audiences, from the female-friendly Evoque, to the streets of Shanghai. Whilst Tata has stayed loyal to the origins of the brand, giving new life to British carmakers, it has added the vision, networks and drive to win in new markets such as Brazil, China and India. Tata doesn’t just look west, having this month made a huge investment in Xiaomi, the Chinese tech superbrand that is outthinking Apple in emerging markets, and has created  $45bn value in just 5 years.

Download my keynote from last year “Building the DNA of Global Brands”

Yıldız Holding CEO Murat Ülker recently explained how Godiva, DeMet’s, United Biscuits and Ülker brands will come together under the new global brand Pladis. He also said that they can secure their places in markets where they are the leader and afterward they can open in other markets around the world where there are various advantages. “We see this as a great opportunity,” Ülker said.

Today, Yıldız Holding is active in 14 countries, has 77 plants, 300 brands and more than 1,000 sales points, and Ülker said that they have accomplished their dream of becoming a global brand. “Our family has grown considerably. We are a family of around 50,000 people. Further, our group will grow by 10 percent this year, but now we want to focus on our main job – biscuits, chocolates and sweets. We want to become globalized, so we need to reorganize our business. Our aim is to unite our power and combine our companies under one brand to become a leader in the sweet snacks market,” Ülker said.

The company’s structure has been renewed and reorganized, and they have separated regions of the world and distributed these regions among their CEOs. Yıldız Holding Food Group CEO Mehmet Tütüncü will be responsible for Turkey, the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia; Godiva CEO Mohamed Elsarky for America and Japan, and United Biscuit CEO Jeff van der Eeems for the U.K., Europe and Africa.

Executive Assistant Cem Karakaş said that the total turnover of the group was $12 billion in 2015 and $5.2 billion of this was obtained from the brands that will be under Pladis. Yıldız Gıda had an income of $8.2 billion last year, and the total number of employees at DeMet’s, Godiva, United Biscuits and Ülker is around 26,000. “We plan to increase the turnover from 3.5 billion pounds [$4.99 billion] in 2015 to 5.5 billion pounds in 2018 with a 17 percent increase and earnings before interest, depreciation and tax from 343 million pounds to 900 million pounds with a 26 percent increase,” Karakaş said

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