Brand strategy & innovation
Successful innovation starts with asking: WHY?

Innovation is costly and ineffective if a brand has NO clear understanding as to WHY to do it.

There is so much information on- and offline about innovation that it is hard for brands to know where to begin. The innovation process is important but the very first question to answer is WHY to innovate. 

So, do we know WHY we are innovating?
When the innovation challenge is not clear a pre-scoping session with an expert can bring clarity. Together we examine the ‘situation to be improved’ looking at the whole commercial chain of ‘go to market’ and stakeholders involved. 

Think of all touch points
The product is only one opportunity for innovation. Often overlooked related aspects are concept, positioning, marketing and point of sale and additional services.

The pre-scoping session allows brands to understand that in many cases they are solely thinking about the brand as a product, instead of as a sequence of actions and manifestations.  

Articulating the WHY to innovate
An analysis of the problem encompassing different touch points and stakeholders involved with a brand supports a better diagnosis about the WHY, and moreover defines the innovation question to address. 

Remember innovation is about improving a current product/brand situation, therefore take the time to carefully and thoroughly define your WHY before jumping into an innovation process. 

Would love to hear your questions or thoughts about this posting. 

People research for innovation

The success of the output of an innovation process highly depends on the quality of the input. If we keep on using the same market research tools, we will get the same (boring) answers, which have proven in many cases, not to bring any inspiring nor interesting information for innovation.   

I strongly advocate for contextual people research. Methodologies and tools that involve understanding people’s lifestyles, needs over time, technology devices and its use in their daily lives. A thorough, not extensive!, ethnographic systematic approach that unravels people various needs, and more over, touch points with brands in order to provide inspiring and surprising insights for innovation. 

The communication of the research findings is as important as the research. The information should allow the audience to empathize with consumers and to be inspired by the information provided. Visualizing the information and integrating it in a format (such as posters, videos etc) allows teams to embrace it and make easy use of it.