How to build an innovative brand
In this era where life is fast-paced, customers’ demand and needs keep changing at a rapid rate. If your company is to consistently meet these needs, then it must be equipped to keep changing as the market dictates. In addition, competition is tough, and others are waiting to take advantage of where you are slacking off. If you are to survive the competition, remaining innovative is the only survival tactic. In fact, you should always anticipate future demands and work towards meeting them. That way, you stay a step ahead of the competition.
Simply put, an innovative brand keeps applying new methods, new ideas and creativity to keep customers satisfied. Think introducing new features, flavors, packaging, colours, shapes or even cheaper products. How do you build an innovative brand? Here are some guidelines.
1. Think of employee satisfaction
They say happy people are the most creative. That is because they are less stressed, and when the mind is relaxed, creativity gears start rolling. Put efforts to build a happy and satisfied team, so that they stay creative and motivated. You can do this by creating a break room where employees can gather for happy hours. They can also use this space to brainstorm ideas as well as reenergize.
Allow a flexible schedule for employees to work when they feel productive. This should also come with giving them freedom to choose an alternative workspace. New sceneries refresh the mind, which in turn increases creativity. If an individual wants to work in say, a coworking space, give room for that possibility. Even the very fact of networking with other innovative minds working in such shared spaces is enough to birth a new idea.
2. Encourage ideation
Most companies discourage employees from airing their ideas, simply because they feel that ideas should only come from the seniors. However, this only does more bad than good in the innovation aspect of the organization. If a company is to build an innovative team, then it must encourage ideation from every one.
Conduct brainstorming sessions that bring together both corporate leaders and employees; the leaders can come up with new ideas and encourage the team to contribute what they think about it. Of course, you need to be open to criticism for this to work. You should also not intimidate anyone’s idea. On the contrary, you should make employees feel safe in sharing their honest opinions about it.
Mistakes and failures are inevitable for any business. If taken with positivity, there is always a lesson to pick from such situations. Go easy on employees when they make mistakes, and encourage them to get up and keep trying. Another way you can encourage ideation is by allowing employees work on side projects. This allows them to flex their minds and enhance formation of new ideas.
3. Understand the customer
Satisfying customers’ needs and demands is the first reason why companies need to build an innovative brand. It therefore makes sense that if you seek to understand the customers, you will be able to change as their needs evolve. Ideally, you would be flying blind in customer experience if you have no idea what they need and what they anticipate to get in the market.
Conduct surveys and market research to truly understand the customer. In addition, train your team on design thinking so that they are skilled to take a customer-centric approach in observing the market.
What needs are your products and those of your competition fulfilling? Would they want the products changed?
The idea is to find opportunities for innovation, and you will find them in the needs that are not fulfilled and the areas customers anticipate change.
4. Provide resources for innovation
A team can’t be fully innovative if they lack enough resources such as funds, time and office space. Ensure that you are allowing your team to be innovative by providing these crucial resources.
Take for instance, Google’s 20 % time management practice that encourages employees to use 20% of their time thinking of new ideas. Thanks to the philosophy, products such as Gmail, Google News and AdSense were birthed.
Building an innovative brand doesn’t happen overnight. It takes deliberate intention to disrupt and revolutionize the industry. It all boils down to knowing what the customers need and empowering your teams to be innovative. Think of all the incentives you can give your team to ensure they remain dedicated and motivated.