Jul 26, 2012
Having recently attended the Innovation Expert Taster Event on behalf of one of our clients, Richard Carter Ltd, I was genuinely surprised at the lack of brand consideration when looking at innovation within a work place. The event was hosted by MAS (Manufacturing Advisory Service - a national service to all manufacturing businesses in England), who are looking to deliver strategic and technical support to SME's nationally. This event was specifically looking to boost innovation and give the attendees the tools to generate innovative ideas within their own manufacturing environments. Now, I am over the moon that companies are being encouraged to increase 'innovation' and are being given the tools to do this, however the one element that was quite obviously missing for me was the reference to their brand and what the company are trying to achieve. There was a section of the session that talked about innovation needing to be desirable, feasible and viable and it was at this point I wanted to shout "AND ON BRAND!".
As far as I am concerned, if a business doesn't know who they are targeting or how they are differentiated in a marketplace, how do they know what 'innovation' is relevant to them? Without an idea of what you are trying to achieve as a business, how do staff know what is desirable or feasible? I am obviously going to say this, being naturally inclined to look at things from a brand perspective, but surely brand is key in this context. If you know what your targets are both internally and externally, as well as having developed a clearly differentiated brand that has an ownable position in the marketplace, innovation becomes a lot easier; you know what your target market wants and can therefore react to market drivers. You know what makes you individual as a business so you can fully exploit your strengths, and overall you have the confidence to move forward because you (and all of your key stakeholders) know what you want to achieve.
Innovation within a manufacturing environment isn't easy, however our manufacturing clients have found they have a lot more focus once they have completed our Brand Build process - having defined targets and a differentiated brand delivers clarity and confidence to decide what is best for the company.