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Why Your Brand Needs Innovation

You probably invest a lot of money protecting your brand, because it’s a point of differentiation between you and your competition. But what happens when the category you exist in starts to change around you? And while the brand loyalty you’ve built among your users is strong, their presence is diminishing.

That’s when the notion of innovation becomes a strategic priority for most organizations. Innovation, though, is a term that is widely used and is often ambiguous. Even though organizations acknowledge that to maintain growth, innovation is essential, most organizational teams don’t know how to execute it, strategically.

You may think that innovation has to be disruptive in nature to be a true innovation, like Apple’s iPod or Dyson’s vacuum, but disruptive innovation requires a massive appetite for risk, which most organizations avoid. There is, however, the alternative “small i” innovation, focused on delivering incremental results.

Small i innovation combines leveraging existing assets with applying fresh inspiration to spot new opportunities within existing markets.  Two examples of incremental innovation are TD Canada Trust’s mortgage vacation, based on the customer insight that sometimes people just want to take a break from their payments, and Molson Canadian’s new Wheat beer, based on the insight that consumers want to try fresh, new flavours with a brand they trust.  By understanding user needs, both organizations built a product that evolved their brand through relevant innovation.

Innovation focused on growing your brand can easily be applied through a few simple steps: focus, exploration, insights and ideas. It’s a simple formula that has successfully grown market share for companies like Reckitt Benckiser, Revlon, Molson-Coors and TD Bank. Now, what’s stopping you from building your brand through innovation?

This article was written for Coastal Trademark Services by Colleen Reitzel, Director at Happen. Happen specializes in Insight, Innovation, NPD, Brand Positioning, Strategy, Technology and Commerce.