Innovation is critical to brands, but not always well understood

Innovation is an important ingredient in brand life-cycle. It can be the foundation of original brand concepts; it can be vital to the development of the brand and to the on-going production of new products and brand extensions.

What is innovation?

Innovation does not just apply to physical products and tangible developments, but also to new processes and new ways of doing business. The growth of digital and electronic media has led to the introduction of whole new ways of working, of communicating and dealing with customers and how brands deal with the world in general.A thorough understanding of the innovation process should now be intrinsic to an organization’s business logic. innovation if fundamentally two elements: creativity plus application. Creativity does not leap out of thin air. It is rooted in a body of knowledge that comes from experience, education and training. The catalyst is inspiration which may be generated by necessity, nudges or direction from others, or by applying techniques to provide relevant stimulus.

Once concepts or ideas are generated, we need the application or implementation stage. Without this the concepts are pointless and wasted.

Application may have many stages, but three are fundamental. First comes selection: identifying and sorting the ideas with potential from those without. Next comes development: concepts rarely spring fully formed and need work to turn the raw ideas into useful and applicable entities. Finally we need commercialization which will build upon the needs, benefits and impacts upon the wider world.

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