1.WHAT TO DO BEFORE INNOVATING
Before innovative ideas can be added to a brand, it is important to know the identity of the brand. What is the public’s impression of the brand? How do customers view the brand? What is the corporate perspective on the brand? Once a company knows the identity of the brand, it becomes easy to determine if the innovative ideas fit into the strategic plan. In addition, it becomes easy to identify ideas that do not fit into the brand identity.
Branding and innovation seem to be contradictory in nature. Branding is establishing a relationship with customers based on a consistent, thematic message. Through the repeated process of giving customers what they expect, they begin to identify a set of specific characteristics with a company. Innovation, on the other hand, is about giving customers the unexpected. By giving customers something new, the company builds excitement and interest. A company that focuses solely on brand is in danger of becoming stagnant and out-of-touch. A company that focuses solely on innovation may have a hard time establishing connections with customers. Finding the balance between the two requires careful planning and consideration. How can your company be sure that it is balancing your brand with innovation
2.ADVOCACY AND SCREENING
Not all ideas are worth implementing. Advocacy and screening help evaluate an idea and measure its potential benefits and problems. From there, a decision can be made about an idea’s future.
One of the biggest advantages for the joint processes of advocacy and screening is refinement. If the idea has potential, discussions and arguments help enhance it. The study in Innovation: Management, Policy & Practice mentions how this stage prepares an idea for upper management, which can call for a different approach. Because idea generators don’t always have the skills to advocate for their ideas, managers working with the idea generator can facilitate, encourage and support the person.
3.INNOVATIVE IDEA GENERATION
Innovation can be relatively simple, or incremental. Adding new colors to an existing product line, offering a product in a new shape or introducing a new flavor are all small innovations that can have a big impact on a brand. (Think about when Lego introduced their pastel colored building blocks. Suddenly a new generation of girls was able to identify with the building sets and didn’t have to share with their brothers
To be successful, innovation must be carefully cultivated within the structure of a strategic plan. Having a strong, well-written strategic plan will provide entrepreneurs with the framework necessary to maintain their corporate identity. Establishing a strategic plan also reduces the risk of short-term profits at the expense of the company. It allows the company to use innovation as a tool in a long-term plan to increase market share, increase profits and build long-lasting customer relationships. By thinking long-term about the effect innovation has on a brand, the brand can grow and adapt while generating change.
The experimentation stage tests an idea, such as with a prototype or pilot test. Researchers in Innovation: Management, Policy & Practice carefully note that “Experimentation does not test an idea’s objective merits, but the suitability for a particular organization at a particular time.” Some ideas “might be ahead of their time or beyond the present capacity of the company … [they] may be set aside into an idea bank or idea library for development at a later time.”
Experimentation can remain continuous or exist in spurts, as advocates and screeners reevaluate an idea. Sometimes, experimentation leads to new ideas due to information that is gathered on the results and the overall feasibility of the original idea. Time is crucial in this process; individuals must be given adequate time to run the experiments. As refinements and evaluations occur, they must be given enough time to reflect on the experiments.
Commercialization aims to create market value for an idea by focusing on its potential impact. This step makes the idea appealing to the audience, such as by packaging an idea with other ideas, clarifying how and when the idea can be used, and using data or prototypes from experiments to demonstrate benefits.
6.DIFFUSION AND IMPLEMENTATION
“Diffusion and implementation are two sides of the same coin,” researchers wrote in Innovation: Management, Policy & Practice. Diffusion is the companywide acceptance of an innovative idea, and implementation sets up everything needed to develop and utilize or produce the innovation.
Diffusion happens at all levels of an organization. This process is often aided by knowledge brokers, who are effective at presenting an innovation by using their awareness of “the specific content and application into which an idea, product or service can be inserted.” As a result, knowledge brokers are able to assist with rapid implementation.
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