Monday, February 21, 2011

How does the urgency of overcoming obstacles to innovation apply to our work?

To be sure, decades of investment in pharmaceutical innovation have produced thousands of medicines that allow us to treat and prevent diseases better than ever before. Conditions that not so long ago were fatal can now be managed effectively and safely; epidemics that once devastated communities are becoming distant memories.

The positive impact of health, science, and technology innovation has been far-reaching. New medical treatments are helping people to lead healthier more productive lives, cutting costs in healthcare by replacing expensive medical procedures, and stimulating the economy with a healthier workforce.

Look at this list and recall the innovations we’ve seen – and picture the possibilities of advancements coming just over the horizon:

Taking all these factors into account, I believe that applying the N-of-8 tool can increase your brand innovation equity.

If the term “brand equity” refers to the awareness and preference that accrue to a product, then “brand innovation equity” might measure the impact of efforts to change customers’ behavior.

There could be many ways to measure this brand innovation equity, including some metrics that currently exist.
  1. Brand innovation as a financial asset. This may be subjective, but it would reflect the risk profile, market leadership, stability and global reach of the brand’s innovation initiatives.
  2. Brand innovation as a product differentiator. The classic product-level brand measurement example is to compare the price of a no-name product to an "equivalent" branded product. The difference in price, assuming all things equal, is due to the brand. The same kind of revenue premium approach could be applied to compare the before-and-after value of brand innovation application.
  3. Brand innovation as an image accelerator. Positioning studies map the mind of the customer to chart what associations with the brand that the consumer has. This approach measures awareness (recall and recognition) and image (the overall associations that the brand has). Similarly then, free association tests and projective techniques could be used to uncover the tangible and intangible attributes, attitudes, and intentions about brand innovation.  Brands with higher levels of behavior change would be higher in brand innovation equity.
When you consider N-of-8 to leverage all your company’s and brand’s values, you can see the possibilities in creating, launching, and communicating through more compelling innovation.  And beyond simply gaining market position, it can result in a more emotional connection between the brand and the customer.

The impact of brand innovation can be to execute an authentic and true-to-life strategy that can be applied uniquely and creatively in all avenues of interaction between the company, employees, and customers.

Successful brand innovation creates a memorable experience for the customer, encourages repeat business, and boosts the company's economic health. It is a long-term brand solution that can be leveraged by your team to showcase your brand's unique potential.

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