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Marketing Innovation: Diverge Early, Converge Later

Why is it important to innovate the way your brand markets itself? Watch our video as we detail the reasons why this is important to your brand and its continued success.

Editor’s Note: Fresh Squeezed Ideas created a video series, The Future of Marketing and How to Win, to not only share ideas on where the future of marketing is headed, but to also provoke some new ways of thinking about brand strategy and marketing.

By Fresh Squeezed Ideas

Why is it important to innovate the way your brand markets itself? Watch our video as we detail the reasons why this is important to your brand and its continued success.

When it comes to innovation, few organizations actually invest the time, the money, the human resources required to really drive a productive process. The exception is the technology sector, of course. They learned what it takes to be successful at innovation and have been able to embrace the fail fast principle. Making the same kind of commitment to innovation in CPG, banking, insurance, or pharmaceuticals is much more difficult and, while there’s a variety of legitimate reasons, more often than not, we observe the innovation process being under resourced and over constrained, simply due to a very short term focus. There are some realities with that, but it really does make us take a look at the innovation process, and realize it doesn’t need to be as painful, and that would get it going again. There are some very inconvenient truths when it comes to innovation inside large organizations. In this video, we focus on three and share some solutions.

  1. Consumers can’t often tell you what you need to know, when you need to know it. Knowledge is highly contextual; our brains are really great at compartmentalizing some knowledge and accessing it only when we need it. We can’t keep everything in our heads all at once and conventional market research often asks customers for knowledge out of context.
  1. Marketing savvy customers are prone to telling you want they think you want to hear, rather than reveal what you’re trying to find out. There are no marketing naïve people. Think about when you surf a website and you get a pop up window survey, even before you’ve had the chance to actually experience the website. Your only options are either complete the survey, or close the box. For the people who actually complete the survey, are their answers based on an actual experience that they haven’t even been through yet, or is it really based on what they think they’re going to get?
  1. Finally, one of the most dangerous F words in innovation is focus. Innovation programs tend to focus so much they actually impede success and they only pursue so-called high potential areas in the name of being efficient, and being focused. However, that actually impedes innovation.

So, what’s the solution?

Well, it’s a four step process to customer centric innovation:

  1. Learn their pain points, and there’s several means of insight collection here.
  2. ideate enthusiastically; innovation is a numbers game. The more ideas you consider, the greater your chances of finding a pearl among the shells.
  3. Build your ideas in the full concept so you can expose them to your customer.
  4. Conduct safe-fail testing to identify where those high potential innovations are. It’s a model we’ve developed for testing brand innovations and communication innovations, and product service innovations.
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