Innovation As A Brand Driver10 August, 2016 / Articles
Innovation is a critical driver of many well-known brands. Think about it: If you are not offering something fundamentally new, then how do you plan to get attention?
I’ve spent the last decade contemplating this unique relationship between innovation and PR/branding. After all, the most noteworthy brands of the year (Google, Apple, Facebook) all got to where they are by innovating. As the CEO of a branding company, I often guide my clients to creating a brand that is not only well known but is well known for being innovative.
However, creating an innovative product – much less a brand known for innovation – is no easy feat. The most successful companies invest heavily in research and development, viral sharing features, and top education, training and talent. What is important is to walk the talk. Any company can put innovation into their web copy, tagline, or mission statement, but few companies take drastic steps such as frequent innovation training, opening up next to education or learning hubs, or making the investment into top talent to really ensure they stay ahead of the curve.
To delve deeper into a conversation on innovation, I selected four entrepreneurial businesspeople to ask: What are the constituent parts of innovation in your company? Beyond the hype, beyond the claims on the mission statement, what are the fundamental, atomic ingredients that have led to your success? Is it a high concentration of top local talent? VC giants and incubators? An open-minded attitude? Their answers are below.
Andrey Kunov, Silicon Valley Innovation Center
“Many countries – from Russia to India to Brazil – have tried to create their own version of Silicon Valley and foster innovation, none with the same success. The idea being that if a company is founded in an area ripe for innovation, they too shall become innovative. The Valley has numerous features that make its companies so successful, but no one feature is king. The secret to Valley companies’ success has been that unique combination and openness which drives innovation. The degree to which Valley royalty is willing and encourages failure, the access to education, the access to capital, all of that is what makes it tick. So don’t be afraid to take chances. The way you build your business resume in today’s world is by failing to succeed, so the crazier and riskier an idea seems, the higher its potential reward.”
Ishan Puri, Synocate
“Starting your company next to some top schools is a good idea. Building a company near universities exposes you to the vibrant milieu of innovation and talent. Local hackathons, events and meetups can be free marketing and a source of talent. If you can’t be next to a large school, try to have a presence there anyway. The age-old tradition of attending a job fair can lead to some surprising results.”