Brand managers have a lot on their plate. With a brand identity to preserve, marketing initiatives to mitigate and teams to run it can seem like it takes everything just to keep the ball moving, let alone try and lead the industry in innovation.
But like most brand managers, you hear the voice of Steve Jobs at every conference reminding you that, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” And it’s true.
Going into this new year, we’ve identified three key areas of focus for brand managers to do what they can, where they are with what they have (to paraphrase Roosevelt) and starting leading within their peer group and within their company
Inspiration. Allowing yourself moments of inspiration is the first step, but inspiration is fragile. Too many times when people are seeking inspiration, they’ll go looking for it and try to manifest it and make it happen. We like to think of inspiration as a beautiful, skittish kind of butterfly. It comes to those who are ready, but also those who are calm and allow space for it to be present and be heard.
Ideation. New ideas are born from inspiration. The process of ideation is where you hold inspiration in such a way that it calls out something new in you. Brainstorming sessions aren’t the place for inspiration, but they are most definitely the venue for ideation. This is where you get a trusted team together to investigated the inspired ideas and see where they might lead.
Experimentation. This is where you make things happen. Once you’ve had the flash of inspiration and hammered out the basic details of the idea, it’s time to experiment and see what data and insights you might uncover. Once you experiment, it’s not just a feeling of inspiration and it’s no longer an idea inside of your head. It’s something real with actual results that can be measured and improved.
As you’re working to lead your industry, applying the process of inspiration, ideation and experimentation is the road to innovation. Sometimes the best ideas can come from outside of your industry and if you’re looking for some added strategy and support, we’d love to partner with you.