August 2018
Time to Innovate

Jeffrey Spear - President, Studio Spear

Jeff Spear

Enduring brands require constant evaluation, keeping tabs on market dynamics and buyer preferences. They also require a keen awareness, knowing when it's time to update, enhance or overhaul product offerings, brand strategies and marketing tactics.


Most brands have a somewhat predictable lifespan that, when well looked after, can be productive for a long, long time. If you look at a few of the more iconic consumer brands such as Starbucks, CocaCola or Apple, you can see that product offerings, brand attributes and marketing strategies have changed over the years. The same practices apply to your company and the brands you manage. The key is knowing when to pursue innovation and embrace change.

When you evaluate a product's lifespan, there is the launch when anything is possible; a point in time where sales have gained momentum, are reliable, and show no signs of slowing - indicating that marketplace acceptance is confirmed; and a time farther along when sales show obvious signs of faltering - an indication that the product has lost its relevance and/or is being overshadowed by someone else's innovation.

When it comes to innovation, it certainly makes sense to introduce new ideas and enhancements at the time when momentum shows signs of decline. This, however, is a purely reactionary approach and does not take into account the changes in marketplace dynamics or buyer preferences that prompted the downward trend. The troubling part is that, while you are scrambling to recover, sales continue to plummet and competitors have even more time to dominate the category.

The savvy approach is to initiate change, and seek out new innovations, before sales reach their pinnacle. While it may seem ill advised to invest in something new while your latest and greatest has not yet achieved its full potential, this approach gives you time to conduct marketplace research and more accurately gauge where trends and preferences are heading. It also means that you avoid a decline in overall sales, even though an individual product, or line of products, may be faltering.

Of course, growth is still possible through innovation after a decline is realized. That being said, resources allocated to prop up sales may be stretched thin, leaving little for new product development and marketing support. Ultimately, growth is faster when innovation is prompted well in advance of decline.

This same dynamic applies to the look and feel of your brand image and marketing tactics. Touchpoints including trademarks, packaging designs, websites, tradeshow booths, etc., will also experience periods of rapid upward acceptance when new, and eventually lose their impact and appeal over time.

The key is staying relevant, vibrant and vital. Keeping up with research that confirms stability and/or changes in market dynamics and consumer preferences is always a good idea. In addition, you'll want to keep your brand image and promotional campaigns fresh by employing design upgrades on a regular basis.


If the time has come to overhaul, update and re-invigorate your brand image, or you'd like to change up your marketing program, please call 904 685 2135 - ask for Jeff Spear. You can also contact Jeff via email:

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