Brand innovation has never been easy. Many times companies are afraid to dilute the power of their brand by confusing the consumer. They basically focus on doing one or two things well and that’s their mission. However, as companies like Apple have shown, if you can do more than one thing well, you should.
The question is how hard will you try and how much will you spend to be the poster child of branding innovation for your company?
Balancing the need for brand focus with the need for innovation is the essence of the dilemma. Staying inside the confines of existing brand boundaries risks missing opportunities to meet emerging market needs. At the other extreme, stepping too far outside the brand’s comfort zone risks dilution of brand meaning — the dreaded “everything-to-everyone syndrome”. Every company aspires to a brand extension success, but at the same time they also fear the warning provided by brands that expanded too aggressively. Who can forget Hooters move into the airline business or Maxim’s into men’s hair color?
Among the many reasons for conflict between innovation and branding, two stand out:
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