Connecting with your Target Market
By Joseph Dollens
Effective Innovation Creates Adventurers out of Brand Loyalists
Innovation is the introduction of the new and unexpected. It is the convergence of how unique brand qualities are communicated to the consumer, what supports them and how they interface with need states.
Innovation is a mix of science, technology, psychology, art, communication and imagination. It can be found in a number of product elements, including packaging, ingredients, usage occasions, dispensing, convenience and time-saving mechanisms. It is the way your consumer will view your product differently from the way it is currently viewed.
There are many forms of innovation. The simplest kinds are topical modifications of product elements that already exist. There are deeper boutique innovations, which are new varieties and sub-lines of your current brand. These convey qualities or attributes that differ from the original line but maintain the core brand equity. Whatever the source, innovation arises from new connection points between the brand and the consumer. It changes the way your consumer views your brand.
Brands often innovate simply to create news. News gets attention. Attention creates sales. Sometimes innovation is about making improvements, but often it is about marketing in different ways to attract the eye of the consumer rather than have them eye your competition. All are valid marketing approaches. Some consumers buy what they always buy and put little thought into their choices. Other shoppers browse, are open-minded about change.
Using innovation to connect with consumers is about providing options that will appeal to your loyal consumer and importantly to more adventurous ones. Some are gradual changes and some they are dramatic. Dramatic innovation is fraught with dramatic risk, as gradual innovation provides loyal users with more comfort.
Every new product has at least one innovation Ping! point. But effective innovation PiNGs the consumer in a number of ways. Successful brand innovation happens regularly and helps consumers renew their relation with your brand.