The World Leaders of Innovation

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When someone says the word “innovation”, who do you think of? Which brands or leaders come into mind?

Innovation makes a company thrive for greatness. So today, we’re going to look at the world’s best leaders, business models, and marketing campaigns and see just how innovation has changed their career from being average to world-class.

According to Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple Inc., “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

Here are our top 12 picks of the most inspiring stories on innovation:

On Leadership

$70,000 Minimum Wage For All Employees – Dan Price


Have you heard of the CEO who gave up almost 1 million of his paycheck to provide all of his employees the minimum basic salary of $70,000 per year? If not, you definitely should check this story out!

Meet Dan Price, the founder of Gravity Payments, a Seattle, USA-based credit-card payment processing firm.

After reading an article on how an increase in pay for those who are getting below $70, 000 can dramatically change their outlook in life and work, Price decided to make the biggest decision of his career: give up more than 90% of his pay, and use 75 to 80 percent of the company’s anticipated $2.2 million in profit this year to give his employees what they truly deserve.

Read more about his story here >> One Company’s New Minimum Wage: $70,000 a Year

Going Green – Elon Musk

Top 12 Inspiring Stories On Innovation

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors is ready to save the world. In a talk he did at Telsa’s Hawthorne, Calif., design studio, he revealed the company’s newest offering that aims to save the world – Telsa Energy.

Telsa Energy offers two products – Powerwall, a home battery system, available at 10-kilowatt hours (kWh) for $3,500 or for $3,000 for 7 kWh and refrigerator-reminiscent, 100 kWh Powerpack, an infinitely scalable, utility-class industrial battery that can power mid- to large-sized businesses.
With these products, we can start using stored sunlight to power our daily electric needs. In fact, during his talk, everything was powered by batteries. Elon is an innovator in it’s truest form.

Read more about this story here

Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg


The Facebook superwoman is changing lives not just by connecting people through the social media network, but also through her words in her latest book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.

Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, also started a community organisation called “Lean In”. According to their website, the organisation is “committed to offering women the ongoing inspiration and support to help them achieve their goals.”

Learn more and join Lean In here >>

Living Longer – Larry Page


Do you want to know how to live longer? Larry Page, CEO and co-founder of Google wants to help you. During one of this talks, Page announced Google’s intentions to launch the company Calico, which aims to research how people can live longer.

In 2013, his plan being a reality. Today, Calico is known to be an independent R&D biotech company established by Google Inc. and Arthur D. Levinson with the goal of combating ageing and associated diseases. The name Calico is shorthand for California Life Company.

Read more about Calico here >>

The rise, fall and rise of Apple – Steve Jobs


If there’s one word to describe Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs, it would be resilient.

The first rise of Apple was when the the Apple 1984 advert was shown in theatres and at the Superbowl. It was their major breakthrough in marketing. It was the point where they were able to make a point: that they exist and that they were going to dominate the tech industry.

After the release of Microsoft Windows 3.1 in 1993 which was slowly replaced by Windows 95, Apple saw a decrease in sales. Steve Jobs was then fired from his own company three years after. The declining market share for Apple didn’t stop there.

In 1997, Apple was almost bankrupt and just when everybody thought it was the end for Apple, Steve Jobs re-joined and first appeared at the MacWorld Expo. It was there he shocked audiences with his special guest, the ‘enemy’ Mr Bill Gates who announced a $150 million significant investment into the floundering company.

Steve Jobs reportedly called a meeting at Apple, and said, ‘You know what’s wrong with this company? The products SUCK — there’s no sex in them.’ Jobs’ decision to throw resources into a new, futuristic computer, and it paid off. The iMac was born and changed the way we market and use computers forever.

Up to today, Apple uses the innovative ideas introduced by Steve Jobs. His legacy is enjoyed by millions of people all over the world today. In fact, some of you may be using them to read this article.

His management style is said to be a perfectionist. Some employees have said they were even afraid to get in a lift with him because if you gave him a boring answer to a question you faced being fired! This man is an innovator whose ideas have truly changed the world forever.

Read more about this story here >> How Steve Jobs Took Apple From Near Bankruptcy to Billions

On Business Models

Drivers History

After seeing how tedious the process was for other lawyers to get more clients, Atty. Steve Esposito decided to do something about it.

His brilliant idea was automation – he created a direct-mail marketing service that aimed to help lawyers find more clients without the need to personally go to public courts to look up recently filed offences.

A few years later, the company shifted their focus to providing auto insurance carriers the same service. According to Brian Wolfson, Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Development, they sell access to a database to auto insurance carriers so they can “price the driver.” Their database, he furthered, covers around half of the nation’s driving population.

Read more about this story here >>

Data Scientists on Call


Need help from a Scientist? Look no further! Kaggle, the world’s largest community of data scientists, offers businesses the help of theirs scientists through their innovative business model.

On their website, Kaggle explained that scientists “compete with each other to solve complex data science problems, and the top competitors are invited to work on the most interesting and sensitive business problems from some of the world’s biggest companies through Masters competitions.”

As a result, businesses get cutting-edge data science solutions to their problems.

Learn more about Kaggle here >>



If in the past, renting a limo means having to go through a tedious process, the times have surely changed.

Uber is an American international company that developed and operates the mobile-app-based transportation network in the US and 56 other countries. The app allows users to arrange for limousines and taxicabs with one click using a smartphone.

Users will only need to download the app, register, input their location, and click the search button to see if any cabs / limo are available near the area. Users can also check the location of their driver while on the way to them using GPS. Payments can be done using the payment system within the app (using credit cards).

Now, anyone can have a kick-ass ride anytime, anywhere! Read more about this here >> Lessons From Uber: Why Innovation And Regulation Don’t Mix

Air BnB

When you want to travel on a budget, the best way to go is Air BNB. What is it?

Airbnb is a website for people to rent out lodging. It has over 800,000 listings in 33,000 cities and 192 countries. It has said to have disrupted the hotel economy, because the business model offered a way for the travelers to enjoy their vacation without spending too much on a room they’d only use to sleep in.

What you can spend in one day in a hotel, you can spend on almost three days on AirBNB. Learn more about their business model here >>

On Marketing Campaign

Food for Thought – McDonald’s


If there’s one company that strives hard to success in content marketing, it’s McDonald’s.

Dubbed as the “best example of content marketing EVER” by Jay Baer of Convince & Convert, McDonald’s Canada launched a campaign to answer all questions from their customers regarding their food. This campaign was later rolled out all over the world.

With over 450 questions received per day (including some really nasty ones), McDonald’s has built a reputation of a brand that’s transparent and honest. We’ve all heard the rumours about McDonalds food, so McDonalds thought they’d tackle this head on by offering consumers to ask the giant anything they wanted to real honest answers.

Joel Yashinksy, CMO of McDonald’s Canada said in an interview that, “If you have a good story to tell, tell it. But you have to do it in a way that’s authentic, and you have to have that conversation with the customer. You can’t just preach to the consumer these things that you know are true. You have to engage them so that they can come to learn it and believe it and build that trust with you.”

Read more about this story here >>

Smart Shopping Cart – Hellmans

Always undecided on what to cook next? Hellmans smart shopping cart can help you.

Hellmans, the market leading brand of mayonnaise in Brazil, thought of a very clever way to help their consumers decide on what to cook next using proximity technology, whilst at the same time, increase their sales by introducing the Hellmans Smart Shopping Cart.

As soon as the consumer passes by a shelf, the smart shopping cart displays a unique recipe and suggests the ingredients to buy, which includes a Hellmans product. When the customer isn’t interested in the recipe displayed in the screen, there are hundreds more available in their database for the customer to use. A custom map can also be used by the smart shopping cart user to find the remaining ingredients of his preferred recipe. It’s nice to see brands using technology to solve everyday problems that enhances the user experience.

Read more about this here >>

Billboard Shelters – HomePro DIY


HomePro, one of Thailand’s biggest DIY brands had 1 goal. To position themselves as a people centric business. In 2014 HomePro collaborated with BBDO Bangkok to create a campaign that is creative and innovative as well as socially responsible – “The Other Side” campaign.

The goal was to help solve the perennial problem of homelessness in Thailand, For this campaign HomePro used more sturdy material for their billboards enabeling them to re purpose them as homes for those who are less fortunate than the rest of us. The front side of the billboard showed their advertisements, while the back side were installed with practical fixings such as shelves, rods, hooks, lights and mirrors.

Read more about this here >>

Recycle for a train ride – Antarctica Beer


“Hand me your empty beer cans and I’ll take care of your ride home.” Sounds good? Apparently, for the carnival-goers at the Rio Carnival in Brazil, this is an awesome idea, which is why the Beer Turnstile marketing campaign worked like a charm.

Developed by advertising agency AlmapBBDO to promote AmBev‘s Antarctica beer, the campaign invited carnival goers to keep their empty beer cans with them until the end of the event, so they can use it as a “ticket” for a train ride back home.

As a result of the campaign, “the turnstile saw around 1,000 users per hour, 86 percent higher than usual traffic. The number of drink driving incidents that evening also dropped 43 percent,” according to Cool Australia.

Targeted Test Drives – Orca Chevrolet


You’re running late for the most important meeting of your life when suddenly your car breaks down. Unluckiest day ever? Maybe not thanks to Orca Chevrolet!

Agency Monumenta’s “Rescue Drive” campaign for Brazilian Chevrolet dealership became a hit because it did one amazing thing: it positioned Orca Chevrolet as a savior during the worst days of their potential customers.

In partnership with towing companies, a brand new Chevy Cobalt was sent together with the truck whenever someone called for help. Talk about right place right time marketing. These guys took it to a whole new innovative level.

Read more about this here >>

Innovation is one of the things that keeps any business ahead of it’s competitors. It fuels the company to think outside the box and create things with meaning. With innovative ideas, virality is almost always guaranteed.

So today, let me ask you, how will you push yourself beyond the limits to produce a campaign that’s not only compelling but also innovative? Are there any other leaders or campaigns you think we should add to this list? I’d like to hear your ideas, so please comment down below.

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