Is Innovation Unnatural For Companies?
Marketing in the digital world has got a whole new dimension with technologies changing customer perspectives. Branding is no longer about providing information or selling products, but it is about offering value. Marketing and branding will have a new meaning when it is clubbed with an idea that is acceptable for customers.
Simply put, there is no room for traditional branding in the digital era.
“What sets the Googles and Apples of the world apart from older brands is how they’ve built their brands. Google has hardly spent anything on traditional advertising. Instead, the company has kept the brand meaningful and relevant to people’s lives through free services and cool ideas,” wrote branding Experts Jens Martin Skibsted and Rasmus Bech in an HBR blog.
Innovation is the buzzword for businesses to stay ahead of the competition. But marketing guru Philip Kotler has a different view.
“Innovation is unnatural for a company. It is more natural to make the same thing or improve its efficiency, rather than searching for new things to make,” he said at a Forum in Bengaluru.
Elaborating on innovation through marketing, he said: “A blend of branding and innovation is necessary for lateral marketing and to make the product global.”
With the emergence of connected and smart consumers, companies are in pursuit of newer methods to market their products and offer value.
“In a hyper-transparent digital world, consumers instantly know the difference between what a company says and what it does. Organizations can no longer draw clear lines between marketing and product development, between communications and services,” say Skibsted and Bech.
It is relevant to recall how after Apple re-launched its “Think Different” campaign, it only focused on creating a highly innovative, almost insanely well crafted, and remarkable product experience which caught the imagination of GenY. In fact, they haven’t invested on any of those traditional image-building ads and have kept their marketing budget very low.
Calling for companies to follow the Japanese mantra—to keep improving– , Kotler said it is essential for companies to stay afloat in the market. “Always, better results will be produced by the core functions of business - innovation and marketing. Companies need to keep up with the trends and regularly evolve and adapt,” he said.
According to him, some of the noteworthy strategies are crafted by Lego, Harley Davidson, Shell, and Samsung. He also mentioned the Tata group of companies in India was innovative as it understood the demographics and evolved for the betterment of the national and global market.
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