about bdi

What is Brand Driven Innovation?

BDI is a vision and working method, merging the domains of branding, innovation and design, to create value and meaning for organisations and their customers.
BDI is based on the understanding that:
1. The focus of branding should not be the creation and communication of the brand promise, but its fulfilment. The brand should be rooted in the organisation’s culture and vision, and connected to its cusomers’ needs and aspirations. In order for the brand to function as a shared launching platform for innovations, the brand must be accessible, usable and inspiring for everyone who must work with it.
2. Innovation should be driven by a vision on the value an organisation can add to the lives of its customers. Innovation is about understanding this value, and turning it into a sustainable growth. In BDI, innovation is focussed on fulfilling the brand’s promise through new products, services, processes or business models.
3. The brand needs innovation to fulfil its promise, and innovation needs branding to infuse it with meaning and understanding of the relationship between the organisation and its customers. Design, and more particularly, design thinking, is the glue that creates the synergy between branding and innovation. Design turns vision into value and connects organisations to users.

How does Brand Driven Innovation work?

Over the course of 10 years of design work, academic research and business consultancy a method for Brand Driven Innovation was crafted. The exact details of this method may be unique for every organisation, but the main underlying structure remains the same. It consists of four stages:

Stage 1: Building a human centred brand
• Content: making the brand suitable for innovation and design. Rooting the brand firmly in the culture of the organisation, and connecting it firmly to the needs and aspirations of its customers. Making the brand accessible and inspiring to its internal users (engineers, researchers, designers, product managers, marketeers).
• Methods and tools: research techniques that uncover latent needs and aspirations, both internally and externally (mainly design research techniques like context mapping, customer journey mapping, personas). Visualisation techniques that make explicit and usable what was implicit before.
• Deliverable: a shared vision and a brand promise in a visual and compelling format

Stage 2: Building a brand driven innovation strategy.
• Content: Building an innovation strategy that sets out to fulfil the brand promise. Deciding how and in where value can be created that matches the organisations unique capabilities and its customers’ unique needs.
• Methods and tools: roadmapping,  future scenarios, customer journey mapping, future concepts
• Deliverable: a multi-year innovation strategy and innovation guidelines

Stage 3: Building a brand driven design strategy.
• Content: deciding how to use design, in all its disciplines and layers, in order to turn the innovation strategy into tangible and meaningful interactions covering all brand touch points.
• Methodology: P.O.S.T., design layers, design disciplines, design format analysis, customer journey mapping, multi disciplinary design guidelines.
• Deliverable: design strategy and guidelines.

Stage 4: Orchestrating touch points.
• Content: aligning all touch points over the entire customer journey, in order to create a total brand experience that is meaningful and valuable. Managing  design briefings, projects, measurements and evaluations.
• Methods and tools: project management, design briefings, design guidelines, customer journey mapping, multi-disciplinary teams, design effect measurement.
• Deliverable: roll out of the brand driven innovation strategy over all brand touch points.

Sources: see literature references and www.zilverinnovation.com

more information: Brand Driven Innovation by AVA Academia

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about this blog
this is Erik Roscam Abbing's blog on topics relating to the synergy between branding, innovation and design. Erik is a consultant (www.zilverinnovation.com), teacher (www.io.tudelft.nl), and frequent speaker on the topic of Brand Driven Innovation. He is also the author of the book by the same title, to appear in autumn 2010 at www.avabooks.ch. For inquiries, contact erik at erik at zilverinnovation.com
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