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Innovation is the Key to Brand Relevance


To stay competitive and keep ahead of the game, companies need to embrace change.

Advancements in technology and shifting customer desires are challenging how companies manage their brands. A product or service that was ideal yesterday may not be relevant today and even obsolete tomorrow. So, how can your brand innovate to stay relevant and competitive?

First, let’s be clear about what innovation is.

According to economists, innovation can take two forms in business: product innovation and process innovation. Product innovation is the introduction of something new – take the introduction of the Apple iPod and Pepsico PET bottle as examples. Process innovation is a new way of making or delivering goods or services. ZocDoc is a good example of process innovation – it’s a free online service that allows patients to book doctor appointments online.

In the world of brand strategy, we need to look at innovation in much broader sense. Innovation can come in many shapes and sizes i.e., a new purchasing model (Groupon); to a new strategic partnership (Nike and Apple to form Nike+); to a new service (HBO Go) or to new category rules (Square).

Let’s take a look at Square. On Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies (2012), Square was launched by the founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, and can be best described as a disruptive force set to transform the exchange of money for goods and services.

Structured as a small phone plug-in, Square allows small businesses and individuals to process credit cards anytime and anywhere. According to Fast Company, Square allows people with an easy, cost effective way to take payments for products or services, promoting business growth and added jobs.

Now you may wonder, how does this type of thinking apply to my company and what can I learn from this example?

Your business may be well established, growth is consistent and your current customers seem to be happy, so where’s the need?  Or perhaps you feel your company is too large and it would be difficult to embrace change. And then there are the skeptics who are reluctant to even consider change. Establishing a culture of innovation is not always easy.

This is when it’s advantageous to have an expert third party come in, develop strategic exercises that inform discussion and provide unbiased jurisdiction over the participants. The output from one session may shed light on some important ideas that have the power to transform a business and pave a path for future success.

At BrandingBusiness, we host collaborative workshops with key executives that promote interaction and create an environment in which team members from different disciplines work together to generate new ideas.

One step in the right direction can create a huge difference over time. Take a moment and ask yourself, “Does my business need to embrace a culture of innovation to help stay ahead of the competition?” What you learn may surprise you.