Imitate to Innovate

January 28, 2011
Less than a minute

An interesting concept, and one that is explored on Mintel’s trend analysis website Inspire, that imitation and innovation are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The cliches give us clues to the importance of imitation – talent imitates, genius steals; imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But beyond that, it is important to see how ideas can germinate over time; they can become embedded in the consumer mindset; visual clues are referred to over and over again to trigger feelings of comfort, reassurance, happiness…

Have a look at the video below: it shows how modern, popular culture is influenced by the past; but it also shows how that which we think is innovative and new (3D animation in films, seamless computer generated imagery) relies on the past to propel it forward.

Maybe there’s never anything so easily distinctive as a ‘new’ idea – but that is no bad thing. The challenge is using the past as a springboard to the future. How can we learn and develop our own products from everything that has gone before?

Simon Moriarty
Simon Moriarty

Simon is the EMEA Director of Trends, responsible for content, client servicing and commercial support across the region.

Related articles
March 20, 2024
In the ‘Insight to Impact with Mintel Consulting’ series, thought leaders on our Marketing Intelligence team expand on research and insights identified in…
February 16, 2024
Download Mintel’s 2024 Omnichannel Marketing Trends for FREE and browse the Mintel Store for more media and marketing research. Head over to Mintel’s LinkedIn to let us know what you…
December 20, 2023
Millennials (spanning ages 27 to 43) are currently the largest generational segment in the US, making them one of the most critical for marketers to win. Nevertheless, a feeling of…

Download the Latest Market Intelligence