Innovation As a Crucial Part of Brand Strategy

The concept of making the competition irrelevant was probably coined by Kim & Mauborgne in their Blue Ocean Strategy. Now it seems to have finally spread from pure strategy into strategic marketing. Brand Guru David Aaker is discussing the idea in his new book “Brand Relevance – Making Competitors Irrelevant“. Aaker states that the market has changed, and that we can no longer compete on Brand Preference, trying to make products better, cheaper and faster. We now have to compete on what he calls Brand Relevance. We have to create an offering so innovative that it creates a new category or sub-category, making the competition irrelevant. It think Aaker is basically saying what Kim & Mauborgne already said, but what is interesting is that he is involving innovation as a key element of brand strategy. When competing on Brand Preference incremental innovations were enough. A little bit better, a little bit cheaper to produce… Now we have to work with radical innovations. As part of our brand strategy we have to create radical innovations, in order to create new categories or subcategories.

Rather than spending billions on advertising,  consider spending them on innovation.

“Winning is not when the brand is preferred, winning is when the new category or sub-category is preferred”

David Aaker

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