Understanding that brand investments aren’t easily captured by traditional performance marketing metrics, many companies launch brand tracking studies to understand awareness and perception with their consumers, gaining actionable insights on the impact of their brand work, and ultimately using the data as a key indicator of business health.
Evolving Disruptive Innovation
Yet, we must evolve the way we innovate, thoughtfully yet with speed, to capture market and consumer trends. In a research post on the subject, “Why is innovation so important for brand growth?” by Kantar’s Nicki Morley, the author looks at the topic of why it’s so important to evolve the way we innovate. Morley details three key points about the process of disruptive innovation:
- Apply imagination to go beyond the obvious: “The origins of success lie in imagination focused on the why behind the what to unlock new ideas, insights and opportunities to drive growth.”
- Cultivate empathy to win hearts and minds: “We must cultivate our empathy with other people’s desires and motivations in each context, and apply that understanding to identify unstated tensions, learn from the exceptions rather than ignore them, and craft new solutions for problems that people take for granted.”
- Learn at every step of the innovation journey: “To do so, innovators need to adopt an agile development process, enabled by fast and effective consumer research, and then evolve the offering based on the feedback to make sure the final innovation reaches its full potential.”
While the rest of the industry relies on iterative change, Alex Moyes explains the breakthrough innovation happening at Dominion Energy. “So Dominion Energy…we are a large, multistate utility…we believe in an “all of the above” approach to energy – everything from nuclear to natural gas to utility-scale solar, we’re integrating a lot more stationary storage and batteries…so we are seeing groundbreaking innovations happening almost every day.” In All Things Innovation’s “Breakthrough Innovation,” Moyes discusses with Seth Adler fostering breakthrough innovation and embracing change.
Driving Growth Synergies
The synergies between brand and product innovation to drive growth are clear, yet there remains questions of how to spark both drivers in a clear and consistent manner. Gaining insights remains a key point of differentiation to set the stage for innovation and brand growth. ChatGPT also gleaned several other helpful tips to keep brand and product innovation at the forefront:
- Utilize customer insights: Customer insights are the key to driving brand and product innovation. Use surveys, focus groups, interviews and other methods to collect feedback from customers about their needs and wants. This will give you an idea of what your customers think about existing products and services, as well as ideas for potential new products or services that could be developed.
- Leverage data: Analyzing data can provide valuable insights into consumer behavior which can then be used to inform product development decisions. By gathering information on current trends in popular culture, industry-specific topics, competitor activity and more, brands can gain a better understanding of how best to innovate their offerings for maximum impact with their target audience.
- Experiment with new technologies: Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) or virtual reality (VR) offer unique opportunities for brands to create innovative experiences that stand out from the competition while still delivering value to consumers in meaningful ways. Consider investing in research around emerging technologies so that you can leverage them when developing new products or features down the line.
- Keep up with industry trends: Staying abreast of developments within your own field is essential if you want to drive product innovation successfully; keeping track of competitors’ activities is also important too so that you don’t miss any opportunities they may have uncovered before you did. Researching what people are talking about online – through social media monitoring – is another great way to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to uncovering potential areas where your business could be innovating further.
Navigating the Innovation Journey
What does it take to be a true innovator, especially during a journey that leads to product and brand innovation growth? Someone can have a disruptive or innovative idea that has the potential to change an entire industry, but few know how to put this idea into action. The innovation journey comes with many ups and downs, and how an innovator navigates these challenges is often the difference between success and failure.
Nevada Sanchez, Co-Founder and Vice President of Core Technology at Butterfly Network, will discuss these topics at FEI through the lens of his own experience as an innovator of the world’s only semiconductor and software technology to supercharge the hand-held point-of-care ultrasound device, the Butterfly iQ+. He will discuss the development and evolution of the chip that powers Butterfly, fundamental skills and lessons he learned throughout his journey, and tips for success for future innovators. He will also discuss the future of Butterfly and the increasingly important role of AI in innovation and new technologies, specifically within the medical imaging landscape.