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Skip to 0 minutes and 2 seconds This presentation takes the idea of brand-led into the sphere of innovation.

Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds Consumer expectations continue to rise. New technologies continue to emerge. More than ever, low-cost competitors threaten. So any brand that fails to innovate will die. And innovation is a really hard thing to manage. There’s a number of different approaches– technology-led, this can generate great ideas but no market. Finance-led, exploiting what’s called profit pools– in other words, potentially lucrative markets– may not create a long-term business. You could be user-led– observe people’s behaviour, use that to design new products. But that might lead to small improvements rather than big breakthroughs. And none of these approaches generates ideas unique to the organisation.

Skip to 1 minute and 1 second And that’s why brand can be a very good guide for innovation– brand-led innovation, where multiple networks of innovators use the organisation’s brand idea to inspire and filter innovation ideas. This approach also works better because it’s achievable, incredible. And it costs less, because it philtres out wasteful ideas. And it goes further because it pushes you to what’s big and lasting and unique.

Skip to 1 minute and 32 seconds So in very simple terms, if you use the brand idea to guide your new products and services, then those new products and services at in the market will reinforce people’s sense of what the brand is all about.

Skip to 1 minute and 48 seconds An example is innovation at a Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes used its brand idea appreciation to generate three new services– a driving academy, a service for family, and an exclusive travel service. This is brand-led innovation.

Skip to 2 minutes and 7 seconds So here’s one way to do it. Start with the brand idea. Set bold financial targets. Aim for something big, a big difference. Think hard about what technology makes possible. And then very importantly, mix up teams of people to create ideas. Innovation comes from unlike people working together. And then move quickly to pilot ideas. Don’t spend too long thinking about them. Pilot them. Get them out in front of customers. See what works as quickly as possible. And here’s a really good book to read on the subject, Brand-driven Innovation, which is full of really good examples and illustrations.

Brand-led innovation

This slideshow introduces the concept of brand-led innovation - a new way of innovating that starts with the idea the organisation wants to stand for - and suggests that it may be more effective than traditional approaches.

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The Secret Power of Brands

UEA (University of East Anglia)

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