Commentaries
2:41 am
Wed June 29, 2011

John Malmo: Innovation is Born of Knowledge and Common Sense

Commitment Makes Every Job Better, by John Malmo

Memphis, TN – Anything you read about business today includes the word "innovation." So what is innovation? Is it so-called creativity? Is it magic? Or just dumb luck?

A recent newspaper story about Charles Wurtzburger, who founded Cleo Wrap in 1953, exemplified innovation. Due to his innovations Cleo flourished for more than a half-century. In the fifties Cleo grew because Wurtzburger saw the benefit of selling wrapping paper by the roll instead of the sheet. In the seventies he was the first to sell coated papers rather than traditional tissue wrappings. Then he seized a timely opportunity to lock up his key vendor at a bargain price. Finally, realizing Cleo needed to do its own printing, but didn't have the capital to do so, he sold Cleo to a company that did. And he ran Cleo for ten more years.

Wurtzburger knew every phase of his business. He stayed close enough to his users to know how they used his products. So he knew how to keep improving them.

Know who buys what you sell. Why they buy it. How they use it. If you know that, innovations are just common sense. Just make it better, easier, or cheaper to own or use. No magic. Just knowledge and common sense. That's innovation.


John Malmo is a marketing consultant who concentrates on helping business owners grow their businesses with effective marketing. To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or ask him a direct question, go to AskMalmo.com.


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