Seeking innovation? Follow the Law of the Opposite | Inquirer Business

Seeking innovation? Follow the Law of the Opposite

/ 05:01 AM October 18, 2019

Innovation has two elements—novelty and commercial success. Novelty without commercial success is an invention. Commercial success without novelty is me-too. One tool in planning a novelty is applying the so-called law of the opposite.

The law of the opposite states that to be successful, one should go in the direction opposite that taken by most others. And there are several models that prove this tenet.


The opposite of soda with lots of sugar is called Zero, hence attracting lapsed consumers.

The opposite of a struggling learner is an intelligent one and Ahead Tutorial is targeting those who want to get ahead, the bigger segment of noncustomers, instead of those who are a little slow on the uptake, which is a much smaller segment.


The opposite of boring is interesting and this is seen in the colorful and expressive characteristics of Belle de Jour planners for career women who use printed planners to slow down their fast-paced lifestyle, instead of using the digital alternative.

The opposite of grading quality of answers is grading quality of questions, thus Markprof Foundation’s annual marketing leadership boot camp for graduating university student leaders increases mindfulness of students on critical thinking by asking the right questions.

The opposite of extrovert is introvert, giving online clothing store Hinhin reason to launch a clothing line designed by an introvert for introverts and in this fashion, attracting an unoccupied white space in the market—shy, quiet girls who like dreams and read stories, hence the use of vivid storytelling—each product has poems, campaign editorial has a story, even the blog aspect mimics long-form magazine content.

Innovation makes the marketplace alive and a place to find inspiration, with innovators challenging assumptions and paradigms of existing players, attracting new customers to new category, while changing the velocity of existing players. But innovation must have a target market—often the unserved and underserved noncustomers (known as market-driving strategy) that create new sources of revenues and profit, and a basis—solving pain points, exploring unoccupied market space and improving company operations. —CONTRIBUTED

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TAGS: commercial success, innovation, Law of the Opposite, novelty
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