Here’s an article on the newest iteration of the VW bug. I grew up with the Bug. My parents owned a very cool white version that stayed with us until the fateful night when it was totaled in an accident. What the newest version reminds me is that re-inventing is still an important innovation.
We have a hunger for new technologies. And of course, the new VW is clearly a new technology when compared with its early predecessors. But, because of our thirst for “new” we also have a soft spot for the comeback or the nostalgic reappearance of something that takes us back.
When thinking about your services or products, don’t forget to retain (when possible) that which creates fondness in the minds of long-term customers. Don’t so abandon your past that you forget that, at one point, it WAS the innovation. The trick is to retain that which creates positive energy (from the past) while simultaneously moving boldly into new innovations (for the future).
Here are a few thoughts that can help you find that point of integration:
- Find the spirit of your mission that transcends time, and retain it in every new iteration of what you do.
- When you design something new, retain something from a past iteration that creates a “product narrative” of your history (for example, it’s rumored that the newest Bug’s shape is closer to the original than past models).
- Find the passion again (when re-inventing the service or product, it’s important to reconnect with your original passion for the mission…in do so, you become a fan again and that’s important).
- Talk to long-term customers and ask them what they see as “timeless” (you may not be able to fit all of their ideas into a design–or even want to–but you may be reminded of important values you’ve forgotten about. Tapping their passion, ignites your own).
Good luck Volkswagen!