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A Brand IS a lifestyle choice for a consumer, not a product choice. Growth for a branded consumer products driven company is driven by your ability to create a lifestyle for your “core” customer first, and then balance it’s extension beyond this base. This is a very delicate balancing act, as a significant number of brands extended to far, eventually went over the cliff  and their “core” base never returned.

Product by design for a premium brand should always be driven a quality and performance, but also has a story built around its eventual creation. This story is the “connector” between the Design Ideation process and Marketing’s ability to convey the vision at retail or on-line.

As the brand execution team, you are the ” keepers of the flame” , do not let it burn out… keep thinking outside the box… provide new experiences for your loyal followers, take them on the ride with you..!  Always, Always…

Think

Act

Be

Different..!

Your customer wants to be part of  the lifestyle offered and envisioned by your company, the brand. Their is a certain persona and lifestyle associated with driving a BMW, wearing Oakley’s, suiting up in an Armani…The product is an extension of the brand, which is driven by a lifestyle chosen by your “core” consumer. Stay true your purpose, be authentic and they will stay loyal to you… The BRAND…!

Enjoy the Ride..!
Bryan Smeltzer

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog..”

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

 

 

A key formula to assuring you are able to realize your goal of being an “Innovation” driven brand, is to assure the innovation hits the market at the right time, in the right markets with the right consumer. This is all achieved by ensuring you have a cohesive Product Life Cycle Planning system in place.

Many brands either live by their founding principles and organization, which may not have a life cycle process in place and feel this will continue to evolve the brand and its products. This is usually inherent in a smaller brand, still living in itEntrepreneurial roots. The process will eventually catch up with the brand, finding that processes and procedures are integral to its future growth and success, with the Product Life Cycle Process being a key ingredient.

On the other hand  is a well established brand with finely tuned Product Life Cycle processes, but never bring anything to market on time. This “passing of the torch” can damage a brands innovation engine as well. By the time this product evolution or re-creation gets through the brands systems and approvals, it may be to late, as smaller, more nimble brands have already established a footprint. Obviously, there is a lot of good which can come out of these large product engines, as deeper pockets allow for more “hits & misses”, whereas smaller brands do not have this luxury.

Tucked neatly in the middle to these two dynamics is the mid-tier brand, very nimble, simple point to point contact for product approvals and deep enough R & D pockets to do some serious damage. They’ve grown out of the Entrepreneurial roots, but have not yet accepted the large company mindset. These companies are the most dangerous, and the biggest threat to grab market share from the industry leaders. 

Always Keep it Simply Sophisticated…

 Always think Big, but act Small…

Always be Quick to Respond, and anticipate Reactions…

Enjoy the Ride…!

Bryan Smeltzer

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

“Product Innovation and Marketing Success Blog..” 

 

It is always easier for a company/brand to imitate competitive products than it is to truly reinvent their respective product or category.  As a result, progressive improvement is attained, but nothing truly innovate comes out of this type of product strategy.

When  a brand is looking to build a  product strategy, at the forefront of building this foundation is developing a Product Inspiration formula that allows your designers (Industrial/Graphic) the freedom to create without limitations. You should always have a structured seasonal front end loading process with your required product line planning, competitive analysis and “key” product/category drivers, however you should always look to drive product innovation through this free flowing creative process. This begins and ends with design inspiration. This inspiration should  come from and feed off of  adaptable technologies, design cues and bloodlines from products that drive your brand.  If you are truly a performance driven brand, then look for aspects of your product that come from or could be derived from other performance products, not necessarily from your industry. When we design, our intended purpose is to disrupt the norm, and create outside the boundaries of what has been done before in our industry. Your ability to give the consumer what they never knew they wanted, but have to purchase is the magic formula for success.

“Innovation distinguishes between a Leader and a Follower”

                                                       Wisdom from Mr. Jobs

This creative product creation foundation assures your company/brand will have a pipeline of designs driven off your brands bloodlines, and innovation that allows you to stake a leadership position. Your intention should be to take that leadership position through innovation, and out-innovate yourself. Consumers will then look to your brand for true, authentic, market driving products.

“Always look to out-Innovate yourself first..”

“Always obsolete your products first..”

“Always take Risks in order to Breakaway from the Imitators..”

Enjoy the Ride !

Bryan Smeltzer

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog..”

Brand Culture…

 

Brand Culture...

A brand IS a Lifestyle choice for a consumer, not a Product choice. Growth for a Branded consumer products driven company is driven by your ability to create a Lifestyle for your “Core” customer first, and then balance it’s extension beyond this base. This is a very delicate balancing act, as a significant number of brands extended to far, eventually went over the cliff  and their “core” base never returned.

Product by design for a premium brand should always be driven a quality and performance, but also has a story built around its eventual creation. This story is the “Connector” between the Design Ideation process, and Marketing’s ability to convey the vision at retail or on-line.

As the brand execution team, you are the ” keepers of the flame” , do not let it burn out… keep thinking outside the box… provide new experiences for your loyal followers, take them on the ride with you..!  Always, Always…

Think

Act

Be

Different..!

Your customer wants to be part of  the lifestyle offered and envisioned by your company, the brand. Their is a certain persona and lifestyle associated with… so give it to them and let them be part of it !  The Product is an extension of the brand, which is driven by a lifestyle chosen by your “core” consumer. Stay true your purpose, be authentic and they will stay loyal to you… The BRAND…!

Enjoy the Ride !

Bryan Smeltzer

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog..”

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

Driving Brand Equity…

                    

Growing Brand Equity takes a disciplined approach, and balance between product innovation and sale opportunities. Many times brands mistakenly prioritize one over the other, and long term growth is sacrificed.. once you “sell your soul”, it is very difficult, if not impossible to recover from as a company. Many have tried, but few have succeeded..!
In the graveyard of corporate “brands”, lay the bones of those who felt they could succeed while starving the brand of it’s foundational “lifeblood”.

As I mentioned before, the “lifeblood” of a brand is staying true to its “soul”, which is not only its culture, but all that makes up its personality. As we have also discussed, give your consumer a “lifestyle” not just a product, and if your brand it everywhere, it loses it appeal and uniqueness. Always, always measure the impact before sacrificing your “lifeblood” as a brand.

Always stay true to your “Foundational” culture..!
Always measure the long term impact to your “Brand Equity”…!
Never “Sell” your Soul to satisfy a short term need…!

Enjoy the Ride..!
Bryan Smeltzer

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog..”

 

 

Companies that try to “milk” the Vision of their origins to long, suffer being eaten alive by their competition. Case in point…although Apple continues to thrive with a product life cycle created by Steve, this will soon turn into “Vapors” unless some new “Dent in the Universe” product is created. 

In addition to “milking” Steves legacy, Apple continues to get “pounded” by it’s competition, where they were the ones doing the pounding. I love Apple, and what is stands for, but at some point you have to stop the Apple “Core” from getting “Eaten Alive” ! Market share continues to dwindle, the product “pipeline” diminishes, and the true “Pirate” Vision of what Apple stood for continues to erode. It is actually sad to see, and one I am sure Steve would not like to see evolving from his Vision of Apple could be, and en-Visioned it would be.

The “Take no Prisoners” approach Steve had, with the mindset to “Always stay Hungry”, was the “Passion” that drove them to become the most valuable company in the world. Let’s hope this “Vision” does not continue to erode. 

The  “Hunter” has now become the “Hunted” , and the competition is taking Aim ! 

Always, always look to Innovate..!

Always obsolete successful products for something more Innovative..!

Always look to be the Hunter…!

Enjoy the Ride !

Bryan Smeltzer

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog…”

 

Brands that classify themselves as “Disruptive” have a clearly defined a market opportunity, drive towards bringing this “vision” to reality and understand the risk that comes with this “Creation” process.

Brands that “think” they are “Disruptive”, are just “Disrupting” while they figure out what they are trying to accomplish, take “incremental” steps towards design/product progression and have no clear vision of their objective are just disrupting the channel. This more often than not leads to frustration within the company, and confusion outside the company. Consumers want to “live” the Brands lifestyle, but if the Brand does not know what lifestyle they are leading, then ultimately consumers walk away !

Being a “Disruptive” force in your channel, or creating a new opportunity outside your channel is a key component to a companies long term success. There are very few who have effectively managed this expectation, but those who have succeeded are better off both internally and externally.

Always “strive” to be a “Disruptive” Force…

Never be a “Disrupting” distraction…

Always stick to your Brands Values…

 

Enjoy The Ride..!

Bryan Smeltzer

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog..”

www. bryansmeltzer.com

 

 

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