“Authentic” Product Creation is a process where a brand has developed such an efficient and effective system, they are able to commercialize concepts that drive or re-create product categories. This system is key to gaining their competitive advantage long term, and leaves your competition to “imitating” and not truly “innovating” in their space.

By “imitating” they lose their authentication, and as a result the “edge” becomes “dull” and the “passion” fades. This is when brands who have a “Authentic” product creation “Systems” come in for the “kill” and take down the competition. It is integral to your long term success that you understand that taking “risks” in your product creation life cycle is critical to ensuring your “passion” stays alive. Risk adverse companies eventually die and become prey for those willing to “re-create” their DNA and maintain their lifeblood as a Brand…

  • Always look “Create” original masterpieces…
  • Always look ahead, never behind, leave that for “Imitators” …
  • Always maintain your “Lifeblood” as a brand…

Enjoy the Ride..!
Bryan Smeltzer

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog..”




In order to set a course where you are considered the market leader, and one by which all standards within a respective market are measured, you must at times be “Disruptive“. In its purest sense, a “Disruptive” innovator is one who sets off on their own course, not always knowing where it will lead, but heads out to open water anyway. This course is strategic and set by the leaders within this Innovator. This open water strategy is set, but not completely known as it has never been crossed before. As a result, this market leader has followers, each looks to see where he has gone, not the course he has set. There in lies the competitive advantage of a “Disruptor“, one who sets his own course, constantly challenges from within and never looks back.

In order to become relevant and achieve leadership within your industry, you must at times become a category “Disruptor“. Innovation is driven not by those who Imitate, but rather by those who choose to take a risk. Without risk, there is no long term reward. This is not for the faint hearted, which is why so few have achieved market leadership, while others continue to feed off their success.

Always look to “Disrupt” in your category…

Always “Innovate, don’t Imitate”…

Always have a “Market Driving” strategy…

Enjoy the Ride…!

Bryan Smeltzer


“Product Innovation and Marketing Success Blog…”



Successful Product Life Cycle Execution requires a disciplined approach, process driven mindset and accountability for execution. This is easier said than done, and their are many companies doing a lot of talking while others execute.

Execution is the most critical ingredient to ensuring proper Product Life Cycle management. Other components which are part of the pre-planning process such as Product/Category Line Planning, Master Scheduling, Critical Path Analysis, PDCA Reporting, Market/Competitive Analysis are also crucial, but the ability to execute against your plan is integral. Once you have done your pre-line planning (i.e Styles, Price Tiers, Merchandising, etc…), developed a comprehensive Market/Industry Analysis, then a detailed Master Schedule is created. This should effectively track the progress towards the commercialization of your product.

The Master Schedule acts as barometer to gauge progress, assures proper resource allocation and in a “true” world is dependent. When dependent scheduling is mastered, the planned commercialization date is never compromised. This is crucial to proper execution, as accountability is assured and teamwork is needed. The single biggest issue facing the Product Life Cycle team is missed commercialization dates, as many departments are affected when this date is missed or is constantly being updated. As you move along the product “food chain”, if dates are missed, marketing cannot activate programs and sales can not effectively plan for seasonal presentations to key customers.

This is why I say “execution” is the “key” ingredient in the Product Life Cycle process. You can plan on paper, but unless you track to a definitive date for product line commercialization, then your ability to succeed is diminished.

Clearly define your “Product Life Cycle” process…

Track progress, and do not compromise…

Hold individuals/departments accountable…

Execute against your plan..!

Enjoy the Ride..!

Bryan Smeltzer

www. bryansmeltzer.com

“Product Innovation and Marketing Success Blog”



One the most important aspects of Product Creation is being inspired to create an “Innovative” design, one that sets you apart from the competition and becomes the new category standard. However, if the capacity to bring that “break-away” design/innovation to life does not exist, then it remains a great design, nothing more…. This ability to bring an innovative design to life is inherent in the “core” competency of your selected sourcing.

This is why tying the overall Product Lifecycle process together is so important to the vision of not only the brand, but the company as a whole. In building a cohesive lifecycle team, they challenge one another to build what others say can not be done. If a brand truly believes in “Innovation” and hangs there brand MO on this flagship standard, then the vision has to match the reality. The reality is that from “Ideation” through the “Commercialization” of the product, others will challenge this engrained philosophy, but if you accomplish and break through this self limiting mentality, then the expectation will always be what can we “re-invent” (Great) vs what can we “improve” (Good).

A Good product is one that has not yet reached Greatness….

Always look to out-Innovate yourself, and others will have no choice but to follow.. I would rather always have the lead, than to follow and always wonder who is about to pass me…

Stay True… Be Authentic

Enjoy the Ride…!
Bryan Smeltzer

“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog”




The “Art of Destruction” is key to successfully building a long term brand that brings a constant “Point of Difference” to the marketplace. With this principle in place as part of your overall evolutionary process, you will never have a shortage of creative ideas, concepts and “pipeline” of product progressions or reinventions.

This “Destruction” principle follows very closely the concept of “Out-Innovating” yourself, as I had talked about previously, however it builds upon this principle and allows the Product, Marketing and Design teams to think completely “outside the box”. When implemented in combination with one another, the brands marketplace positioning is always protected both short term and long term. Implementing the “Destruction” concept is difficult and requires a more engrained long term thought process. This process takes into account competitive reactions, marketplace implications, product life cycles and adoption rates on a long term basis.

The overall intent and reasoning behind “Destruction” is to always find a way to “re-invent” yourself to your “core”, early adopter consumer through new product introductions, relevant brand content or enhanced technologies that move your brand into another level of “Evolution”. Although difficult it is a necessary part of your product portfolio, and brand “authentication”. What is your next “Break-Away” Design/Product..?

Always look for ways to destruct your current products or category…

Always re-invent yourself with “Flagship” Products…

Always leave your competitors wondering “What is Next”..

Welcome to the “Art of Destruction”..!

Enjoy the Ride..!

Bryan Smeltzer


“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog…”





Strategic Brand Marketing starts and ends with Product. The most effective marketing programs are developed on the front end of the product line planning process, and evolve throughout the design “ideation” cycle. This is why it is critical to have the Marketing team involved at the front end of the process, and part of the product design “evolution”.

As with any truly “great” brand, they have a process to continually evolve, take the “lead” and leave their competitors sniffing fumes. The goal is always to “out-innovate” yourself, and most companies speak these words with no action, but the true “innovators” inject this foundation into their bloodlines..! In order for these brands to continually drive new innovation and have it connect with their brand followers, they must be able to convey this “passion” through effective brand marketing. This stepped process begins on the front with defining the brand opportunities, competitive challenges/threats, strengths and weaknesses that need to be improved (SWOT). Once this is complete, the team defines the new product line plan, positioning, SKU/Merchandising mix and moves on to the Creative Engine. This creative engine is what makes or breaks a “true” brand. You must have a process where marketing is engrained with the design team, and understanding their mindset when designs are created. Through the Design Briefing process, marketing will get an inside look at what the designers utilize for Inspiration. These inspirational keys will also drive how this “design evolution” is translated to the brands consumer.

By implementing this process, marketing is able to get in the designers mindset and ensure that the product evolution is translated to both the retailer and “core” consumer through strategic Product Marketing programs. This process creates an effective & efficient marketing machine, unique the brand..!

Build a Brand Driven, Product Creation process…

Engrain Marketing in the Design process…

Engrain Design in the Marketing process…

Translate the Product Evolution…

Enjoy the Ride..!

Bryan Smeltzer


“Product Innovation & Marketing Success Blog..”


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…





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..”



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