Big brands are good at mainstreaming tech, says Tracey Follows on innovation

Ahead of Marketing's session on 'Innovation: Start-up State-of-Mind' at Advertising Week Europe on the 25 March, we asked futurist and Marketing columnist Tracey Follows about the difference between big bang innovation and small agitators. Join us to hear from the innovators behind Red Bull, Grazia and Unilever.

Big bang innovation: futurist Tracey Follows discusses innovation
Big bang innovation: futurist Tracey Follows discusses innovation


Despite the seeming focus on small, start-up innovators, futurist Tracey Follows believes the best innovation comes when a society has "big bang" innovation beside smaller players that "agitate".

Monopolistic innovation

In a preview of the Marketing ‘'Innovation: Start-up State-of-Mind’ event at Ad Week, Tracey discussed the concept of monopolistic innovation, in which big companies can actually do big disruptive work if they’ve managed to take a land grab in their sector.

She said; "Conventional wisdom will say that it’s the larger firms, the big organisations that are responsible for incremental innovation and the small entrants to the market that bring the more revolutionary innovation.

"But one of the more interesting debates that is happening at the moment is around monopolistic innovation."

Mainstreaming innovation

However, she went on to say that more regulated, government assisted societies meant smaller innovators were more likely to be able to flourish.

Alongside big businesses, which are good at "mainstreaming tech and innovation  innovation" to the benefit of society, smaller companies could agitate, creating the optimum balance for innovation.

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