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6989705-surfer-sunset

As I have previously discussed, brands can either “ride out” their success, or they can create a “new wave”. Most prefer to ride their wave out, or catch someone else’s. It is the fearless brand that takes chances, and some may hit the rocks occasionly, but when they “catch” a wave it is usually a monster.

It is risk tasking that allows you to search for your blue ocean, and not delve into the bloody waters infested with other sharks. This blood bath may feed your product engine for a period of time, but you must always look to create your own wave. Many catch others ideas, and create a better method, process or products, but you must find that wave which everyone talks about long after the sun has gone down. Search and you will find. At some point your hard work will pay off, and you and the entire brand will be richer for it. Keep searching for the next great wave, it is out there and is those that discover it first who will be remembered !

Always look for the next Wave.. !

Always ride it, but then start searching for the next One..!

Always strive to be first, the waves are fresh and the Ocean Blue..!

Enjoy the Ride !

Bryan Smeltzer

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog…”

 

ProductLifecycle-shutterstock

 

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 its Entrepreneurial 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 the industry leaders.

Drive the Market…

Keep it Simple…

Always think Big, but act Small…

Be Quick to Respond, and anticipate Reactions…

Enjoy the Ride…!

Bryan Smeltzer

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

“Product Innovation and Marketing Success Blog..”

Product-Innovation

Successful Branding requires a mindset for building long term loyalty, and a DNA strategy exclusive to your “bloodlines”. The distinction between great brands that survive, grow and continue to build “brand advocates”, versus others who “draft” off others success is clear when you analyze their inherent brand equity and market positioning.

When you have built a solid brand foundation that all inside the company believe in and “inject” themselves with every day, it creates a machine that is difficult to follow and usually leaves most “so-called” competitors in the dust. Many discount the “mystique” of great brands, but few understand the power it commands at retail. Building a strategy around driving brand equity, by design achieves a “push-n-pull” strategy most would love to emulate. This strategy drives people to your brand, allows you to maintain upper tier price points, enhances product sell through and achieves enhanced product margins for your retailers. This “system” starts with a great Product Creation process, and ends with a cohesive Marketing and Merchandising strategy to drive brand value.

Always look to build a “Vertical” Brand Strategy…

Always look to continually drive “Brand Value” in all channels…

Always Inject and Engage your “Brand Advocates” …

Enjoy the Ride..!

Bryan Smeltzer

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

“Product Innovation and Marketing Success Blog..”

A “Product Innovation Pipeline” is built from foundational brand positioning principles, and driven by a defined process execution. As I have mentioned previously, it is much easier to “imitate” than it is to “innovate” in your market space.

However, if you have a defined process for ensuring “Innovation” is always part of your overall brand strategy, then you will have no shortage of “market driving” ideas/concepts.

This “Innovation Pipeline” build is a sophisticated process, from defining the overall market space/opportunity to brand positioning, through design “ideation” and eventual commercialization of your concept, each progressive step must be managed to ensure the execution happens within timeline expectations.

It is one thing to have a great idea, but if it is never commercialized, it remains a “great idea”….” Innovation” is driven through a foundational system which assures “market driving” concepts are commercialized, and ensures you have the proper leadership to provide accountability and ongoing visibility.

Driving with a “road map is certainly easier than driving in the dark with no clear direction. Some brands continue to drive in the dark hoping they find their destination, while others drive with a defined purpose, clear direction and a leader with a long term vision.

Define your Brand “Foundation”…

Build a “Product Innovation” System/Process…

Stick to your “Foundational Principles”…

Always look to “Drive the Market”…

Enjoy the Ride..!

Bryan Smeltzer

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog…”

snowboarder

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

social-media-marketing

The ability of a brand to connect with their “advocates” on-line, and proactively “reach out” and interact is “key” to building a successful Social Marketing program. These “advocates” have the world within their reach, and want to be part of the brand’s lifestyle/culture.

If a brand fails to embrace these advocates from a viral and social perspective, they risk alienating their “core” consumer and driving business to another that will embrace them continually. In order to effectively reach out, you must define a clear social networking strategy , which encompass’s an “authentic” message with continual interaction. Many brands still reach out in a unilateral direction, which defines their strategy as self promoting machine that does not understand the current state of social interaction. When you have clear direction to viral/social interaction with your audience, it is not only defined by company positioning, but also infects everyone involved with the brand and as a result the message is clear, concise and effective at all levels. Successful Social Marketing is built off of foundation of guiding principles which are at the “core” of the brand:

Define “What” you stand for…

Communicate this clearly to everyone inside the brand “Camp”…

Be Proactive in “Reaching Out” to your Brand Advocates

Always be “Authentic”…

Once this “vertical” messaging is grounded into the principles of the brand, it can be communicated into the social world with your “brand advocates” , but the key to brand growth is the have these advocates “inject” others with the message, lifestyle and culture. Remember, customers do not buy “products”, they buy “lifestyles”, and brands who understand this principle will successfully grow not only their “advocate” base, but revenues as well.

Enjoy the Ride..!

Bryan Smeltzer

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

“Product Innovation and Marketing Success Blog…”

Product-Innovation

Product Branding is an engrained strategy, and positioning that sits at the “heart” of all brands. While still in the planning stages, a brand decision is made as to “Who do We Aspire to Be…” This is one of the most crucial decisions, as it sets a precedence and founding principle behind all that you do, regardless of product or process.

If your intention is be the most “Innovative” brand within your respective category, it must not only be engrained inside the “bloodlines” of your products, but also within your people and processes as well. You do not get to the top of your game playing half speed…. This foundational principle if carried out through all that you do, will allow to quickly instill and “inject” this blood flow into new designers, developers, marketing teams and “brand” advocates who will embrace your “authenticity”. This “authenticity” by design must never leave the body of the brand, or you risk being rejected by those who believe in you most.

Branding is is defined on many different levels (i.e. Products, Design, Logos, Colors, Imagery, Positioning, Marketing,Communications, POP, etc. ) , and all are important, but to have the branding principles injected into the “veins” of the company throughout all levels is the most important ingredient to assuring everyone is driving in the same direction.

Always define “Who you Are…”

Always stay “True to the Brand…”

Always stay “Authentic…”

Enjoy the Ride..!

Bryan Smeltzer

http://www.bryansmeltzer.com

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog..”

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