Innovation and Reputation goes hand in hand. The history of every brand involves at least one “Epic” event which makes them an Established company. Brands follow a typical growth stages around it. These stages depends on how good you have managed to retain the existing customers and kept adding new “Brand Loyals” on your company network. This can happen by Social Media, Public announcement or High Profile merges between 2 companies.
That one epic announcement or innovation mostly happens during the Loyalty Marketing strategy which uses the Gamification approach as shown here:
Now, don’t go too deep into these statistics. What we really gain from this info is Existing and New customers are the main reasons why a Brand succeed and continue to flourish until there is a new game changer in the market.
That “Game Changer” is usually a start up trying to make a difference and Innovate to get noticed. Once they are big enough, innovation goes out the window like the previous company they “used to” challenge !
Hence, for the consumer, it is necessary to know why this happens and how the consumers can make a difference by choosing the right Brand in right time. Why a Brand stops Innovating?
1) Too many Blindly Loyal Customers
Brands pay huge and analyse Social Media Data closely to create a big fan base. They engage actively and keep the virality in check so customers themselves can start sharing and be a loyal guinea pig.
Oops, there, I said it. Yes, we are guinea pigs for the Brands as they experiment with our needs and actively manipulate the market to create a futile hype, often. Eventually as consumers after spending a fortune, end up with a product that they “thought” can make a difference. Consumers are the culprit, because of whom the Brands stops innovating as they know, whatever they build, we will give it a try without a second thought !
If you don’t make them run for their money, they will never look back. Brands won’t care if you are impressed or not unless you let them know what you feel and start being a pain for them by sharing negative comments now and then.
2) Reinventing the wheel, keeps the wheel of fortune going
Several brands are great in hiding their potential source of copy/paste achievements. Naming a few would be biased, so just imagine a Brand that you love, search the history and see it for yourself. You will be surprised.
Say an old technology ‘was’ marketed a while back, which couldn’t gain any attraction then. After 10 years finally people getting attracted towards it and another brand developed similar product and capture the market.. hell.. even tried to own a patent for that tech which wasn’t there original idea in the first place.
3) Third party businesses create unnecessary hypes
‘Marketing partners’ aka the middle men boosts a Brands image exponentially and they are present in every industry. Example you ask? Well, when you get a new gadget on contract in UK you go to O2, Orange, EE or Vodafone to name a few. If a gadget costs £500, it is usually been sold at a 24 months contract for £35 a month = £840 while you are stuck in a locked device (mostly) for 2 years..
“BOOM” – no innovation needed for a while !
4) Not many serious rivals
This, we all know and will agree together. If a Brand which has no innovative competitor they won’t feel the need to impress you. Monopoly is a curse. If you want to innovate, you often do it for free to get noticed. This is the reason why there are so many start ups challenging the established market leader as they feel the need and they know customers feel the need.
5) Timing of an Innovation is Important
Timing makes an innovation a hit or a miss. We as a consumers do not appreciate new feature as much as we should, as we got it when we didn’t asked for it. If you want innovation to continue, agree and let the Brand know that they have done a great job even when the timing is wrong.
6) Lazy Marketing sometimes supersede the power of the Tech Team
Some Brands release a feature without any marketing strategy. If you can’t show the consumers how the new feature is different, you will fail. It’s a two way street. If consumers are lazy, sometimes the Brands are too.
There might be awesome engineers working day and night for an innovative idea but if the marketing team forget to highlight the facts, brands can’t help it. Eventually we as a consumer feels that the Brand is not doing so well, when they really are.. may not be as a good team.
Therefore, if you want to see innovation constantly coming out of any brand, as a consumer do the following –
- Don’t be blind fan and be very selfish, unless you think it worth your money.
- Don’t go easy on them, be a dick and go hard on Social media.. spread the word (just don’t lie). Social media is a serious business, it’s not about fun anymore for Brands.
- Encourage Brand rivals when they do something good. It will help make the community more innovative.
- Remember: Slow Innovation is no Innovation. If you become a legend just before the day you die, why would you bother anyway? Make them do it fast, make them move from their arse and force them to go out of their comfort zone.
- Remember: It is always about the money; no matter what you say. A Business can’t be just for a hobby or interest. If you are an app developer, at some point you will want to gain some profit.
- Treat Non-profit organisations and Start ups as legends. Applaud and appreciate them, as they are the main reason why we see innovation day by day and not by an established Market lead.