4 – how innovation fulfills brandpromise

The purpose of this exercise is to critically reflect on what you’ve learned so far about how innovation can fulfil the brand promise through exploring products and services in your everyday life.

see page 37 of BDI.

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  1. Paradox 20

    Walking around town, reading some magazines, we found several innovative products and services. We selected three of them to take a closer look.

    Albert Heijn to go
    Although this retail channel has been launched a while ago, the international students in our group still perceive AH to go as innovative, since they’ve never seen it before. As Albert Heijn promises ‘the everyday product affordable and the specials reachable’, AH to go builds on this promise. By offering a store at railway stations, products become even more reachable. Although this could be done better. Waiting times can be quite long, which is a no-go when being on-the-go. Customers cannot afford missing their train and therefore AH to go should focus more on speeding up the payment activity, either by implementing vending machines or automated cash desks.

    Nikon Coolpix S1000pj projecting camera
    As we understand from the famous TV commercial, Nikon is all about enabling you to capture important moments in your life. With this product, a camera including a beaming function, Nikon builds on this promise by allowing you to share these great moments as well.
    Unfortunately, the aesthetics of the camera remind us of older cameras. This doesn’t fit the other products in Nikons portfolio.

    Toshiba 55ZL2, 3D television without glasses
    An innovation that fits its brand really well is the Toshiba 55ZL2, a 3D television which can be used without the annoying glasses. Toshiba’s slogan: Toshiba – leading innovation. They simply had to be the first to introduce this product and they did. The TV will probably be available in December this year.

    Oct 03, 2011 @ 3:08 pm


  2. G3

    In everyday life, you encounter many innovations on products or services you use. For example when taking the train, now we check on your phone app, to know what train you need to take and you find where to go and at what time the train leaves. In this example, the online travel planner does fulfil the brand promise that states: ‘a reliable and customer friendly travel by train’. The innovation of using your phone to plan an itinerary definitely adds up to the promise of being customer friendly. However, the reliability stated in the promise is hard to assess, as trains will always be subject to delays or cancellations.
    In greater lines, with such an innovation, the promise is partly fulfilled, as the promise consists of two different aspects. Technological solutions are integrated for the train information, together with the service offered for the customers. For the promise of a brand, it should be kept in mind to think about the greater lines and the possibilities of integrating every part of the promise in the innovation.

    Oct 04, 2011 @ 1:01 pm


  3. Synergie & Co

    New Coca Cola bottle is an innovative product since it is a biodegradable plastic done 30% out of plants. Though this is not the first packaging done from natural materials it is indeed the first time a large soda company invests on green solutions for their bottles.

    We do think it fulfills the brand promise as it goes with the “Enjoy life and happiness” concept they have. They talk about live your life fully and enjoy life, This implies you need to have a nice environment around you. Coca Cola presents itself as a brand that is concerned about everybody’s happiness and well-being and also as a brand that is present in every moment of your life disregarding who you are. By creating a new packaging solution that is friendly with the environment they show their interest on making the world a happier and better place. It also shows they understand people’s concerns about the environment by finding solutions that take care of the environment.

    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/coca cola 6.gif[/img]

    On the other hand we also think that is really hard to believe that Coca Cola is environmentally committed. From the product to their processes of production they are not truly sustainable. They have it as part of their company values but when you see the brand and the product you just don’t feel they are worried about the environment. This new packaging solution, coming from Coca Cola, makes us question whether they want to improve the brand promise or they just found a new marketing tool. In this case the innovation wouldn’t come from the real values of the brand.

    Oct 04, 2011 @ 9:12 pm


  4. paper planes (13)

    Travelling from Delft to Germany first by train and on the way back by car, we recognised the following interesting services/ products:

    JULIA`S
    an Italian branded food chain at Utrecht´s train station offering high quality food.
    A friendly, well designed place to get healthy breakfast, sandwiches, salads or pasta
    and very good coffee within the atmosphere of a modern, tasteful, organic food serving restaurant.
    The service was friendly and quick, the coffee was delicious, the interior and packaging design simple and elegant. The prices seemed to be fair and reasonable.
    All in all a very positive experience in the hectic place of a train station.

    ICE
    the German fast train ICE fulfils the comfort of modern transport: fast, in time, relatively silent, comfortable seats, space, clean toilets, feeling comfortable and relaxed.
    The ICE makes the journey slightly more enjoyable and provides a better travel experience.

    SANIFAIR
    a bathroom service at German highway service stations: You have to pay 70 cents to use a modern, very clean toilet and get a 50 cents coupon to shop at the service station afterwards. The coupons are valuable at every German highway service station. This service provides clean, friendly looking bathrooms at every highway station in Germany and with the coupon you can reduce the price of the service. Although it costs money, it makes the rest more comfortable: because of the hygiene at the bathroom and the joy of a snack or coffee afterwards.
    The brand image of a fair, clean, friendly toilet system for your better stay is fulfilled, although people complain about the price. (But it is common for years to pay for the toilet use at German service stations).

    Oct 11, 2011 @ 5:09 pm


  5. [PENTAGON]

    Every group member kept track of the products and services they had encountered during one day of traveling. We picked the most interesting encounters and discussed them within the group.

    /SPITS
    Our first encounter was getting a newspaper ‘SPITS’ handed at the railway station. The brand promise of spits is ‘news and entertainment’. When looking at the newspaper itself it looks like a glossy magazine, which lays the emphasis on ‘entertainment’ instead of looking like an objective news paper. We looked at the service of handing out SPITS offers. We felt this service had two sides. On one hand the service seems to be in conflict with the brand promise because of the ‘exclusive’ experience of having the newspaper handed to you in person, while the newspaper itself looks ‘fast’ and ‘cheap’. On the other hand, the shouting layout of the paper is being emphasized by handing the paper to each person directly, as if throwing in your face instead of grabbing a paper by yourself. It’s hard to say how to improve this connection because there is something to say for both arguments.

    /NS
    Another example we ran into was the experience in a silence coupe of a train of the’ Nederlandse Spoorwegen’ (NS). The brand promise of NS is about ‘facilitating in every step of the journey’. The NS gives travelers the opportunity to choose whether they want to sit in silence or in a coupe where talking is allowed. This service fulfills the brand promise very well. But, in practice there isn’t enough supervision by the train personnel to guard the quality of this service of silence in their trains. Other passengers have to tell people who make too much noise to be more silent. This is for the disturbing passengers as for the passengers who want silence an uncomfortable event.

    /STARBUCKS
    The brand promise of Starbucks is all about ‘connection'; how the same interaction happens millions of times a week, but still, every single one is unique. This promise is for instance reflected in the way they serve their coffee. When ordering they ask your name to put on the cup, which makes this seemingly anonymous action, personal. Also, this literally shortens your link with Starbucks by putting your name next to the brand. This is a very strong way of fulfilling the brand promise. It could be even more emphasized by letting the customers’ name be the centre of the interaction throughout the service. Now you only hear your name at the end, when you get your cup of coffee. Using the name in sentences like “Hello Tom, I see that you ordered a cafe late, that will be three euros”. This way you really feel unique from the moment you order till the moment you pay.

    In conclusion we have experienced that the connection between the brand and their products/services is very important.
    One of the characteristics the example of NS shows, the brand process, is very important to fill the gap between a service/product and the brand promise. In this case the brand process should be improved by letting the employees guard the quality of the service in the silent coupe. Another characteristic is the brand form. This is how the brand promise is translated towards both the internal and the external world.Taking a look at Starbucks, putting your name next to the brand makes it easier to relate to the brand and its values.

    Oct 12, 2011 @ 1:59 pm


  6. The TwentyONEs

    4 – how innovation fulfills brand-promise
    We already touched upon this a little bit in the previous comment. As the quote on page 37 in the book says:

    This implies that innovation, if it wants to fulfil the brand’s promise, must be a very integrative discipline. It must develop technological solutions, combine them with human centred services and embed them in meaningful experiences.

    This is a situation perfect but often really difficult to execute in its finest form to be successfully. The difficulty is in, as written in the book page 36, the innovation is challenged from two sides; it has to respond to the triggers of the brand promise and it has to meet – and preferably exceed – the expectations in the user’s mind.
    Which we of course like to connect this to the earlier discussed contexts and social networks, users nowadays are in. It needs to meet the shared expectations and individual expectations. Which are often similar but we think important to mention separately.

    by The TwentyONEs – who get it done

    Oct 13, 2011 @ 1:00 pm


  7. Team Coffee-break

    In our pursuit to look for big ideas, sometimes we miss out the ‘humble masterpieces’ around us!

    Consider the ‘Post-it note’. In our opinion it is the ultimate example of product and brand (Post-it) connection. The Post-it brand has holistically evolved around the original Post-it note, and today it boasts more than 4000 unique products, which even include those in the digital domain! The parent brand of Post-it is 3M, which is ‘fundamentally a science-based company producing imaginative products to make life easier and better for people’. Living upto the brand promise of the parent company, Post-it provides solutions under six categories – Find, Organize, Dispense, Express, Sustain and Present – with its huge portfolio of products. Amazingly, it all began with the humble Post-it note!

    The chair on which we are sitting (and which resembles the chair, ‘Think’) reminds us of the company, Steelcase, the global leader in the office furniture industry. Every Steelcase product resonates the two key brand promises – ‘people work more effectively’ and ‘organisations use space more efficiently’. The company does not just stop at providing workplace products, but provides a complete gamut of solutions, ranging from workspace consulting and space planning to recycling and reselling of furniture. Add to that the company’s long term commitment to cradle to cradle and sustainable development, and we have a company which is visionary in the truest sense. Kudos, Steelcase !

    Team Coffee-break (Group 12)
    ‘get set for fresh perspectives…’

    Oct 13, 2011 @ 6:09 pm


  8. LeCON7

    A few innovations out of our daily life have fulfilled the promise. One of these innovations was the Philips Sonicare, an electrical toothbrush which does not move mechanically but through sonic vibrations. The brand promise, to bring sense and simplicity to their end-users has been fulfilled through this innovation; using a common natural phenomenon such as sound in a product (simplicity) to create a very effective toothbrush (sense).
    As mentioned in the previous exercise, we found Coca-cola to be a very interesting brand when examining the brand promise. When looking at the innovations from Coca-cola, the ‘plant bottle’ and some new Coca-cola types (line-extensions) actually do not immediately trigger the brand promise (open happiness), but they do have a positive effect on the chance that a user will feel the brand promise being fulfilled, e.g., if a consumer has an environmental focus, the plant bottle will reduce or even eliminate the feeling that he is contributing to the collective waste-piles, and therefore he will be more likely to experience ‘happiness’.
    Even the TU Delft has a brand promise. Their slogan ‘challenging the future’ creates the promise that you will be educated for a future environment. The ‘FollowMe’ printing system which was introduced last semester fits within this promise, distributing printload more equally, using less paper and saving money on the student’s account. Such an innovation contributes to the view students get of a future world.
    The discussion led to a conclusion being ‘Innovate your promise’. A company has a certain vision on their future and how they will compete for consumers. This vision is a guideline for innovations and for the brand promise. If a company makes a promise, the innovations have to live up to that promise for the users. They then get a higher expectation of the product. At this stage the company has to evaluate whether or not the promise is still applicable for their competitive strategy and if they should change it to keep producing value for users. If they change it, the cycle continues and new innovations have to live up to the promise. In such a way you should ‘Innovate your promise’, being actively involved in determining the value of your promise and increasing the value if necessary or consists of a promising opportunity.

    Oct 18, 2011 @ 8:55 am


  9. - shiqi -

    – QUALITY MANAGEMENT

    We agree with the theory, but we want to add more to it as we think it’s incomplete. We as a group think that ‘Quality Management’, of which one model is mentioned in Jan Buijs book, needs to be done next to innovation. Quality management monitors and maintains current innovations, since it is important to maintain current innovations and not only focus on upcoming innovation. In Jan Buijs’ book (page 30), it’s almost written as if using the six sigma model (a form of quality management) is a bad thing to do. However, you would rather use it as strength together with innovation. Without decent quality management, a risk may occur that current innovations are not well perceived by the target group and thus branding is not efficient. In the following case about Connexxion this is very clear.

    CONNEXXION
    Connexxion is a public transportation company, which has had an interesting innovation a few years ago. Nowadays, public transportation gets more comfortable by adding lcd screens with up-to-date information, offering free Wi-Fi etc. Connexxion however, began very early with offering such services and was the first public transportation company who did this in the Netherlands. This can clearly be seen as an innovation because the services they offered at that time were very new. Even nowadays we are still waiting for those services to be implemented in most busses or trains.

    However at certain moment a lot of screens were not properly working anymore. The free Wi-Fi service still isn’t well known by the users and the brand promise they were building up is actually not fulfilled. One important reason for this is the lack of maintenance of the services they offered, such as broken screens that were not repaired. Eventually, Connexxion started with ‘too much’ innovation at a time when they couldn’t cope with. You could say that their brand promise was too high, it couldn’t get fulfilled. From this, we can conclude that not only innovation is important for branding, but also maintaining that innovation. Maintaining this innovation can be done by making sure if the company can cope with the brand promise they made, but also with decent Quality Management.

    JAN BUIJS
    Quality Management was stated in the book of Jan Buijs, “Delft Innovation Method: a basic text on the complex process of corporate product innovation”. In this book, an example was mentioned about a CEO working at 3M who eventually failed because he used the six sigma model and didn’t innovate (page 30). We share the opinion that only controlling quality isn’t supporting innovation; you only focus at the present and not at the future.

    Concluding, we think that Quality Management and innovating should go side by side in order to fulfill the brand promise; Quality Management assures that the innovations made will be monitored and maintained, and thus keeping on fulfilling the brand promise that was once made. Taking care of the innovation for some time, instead of directly focusing on other innovations, is important to let the relationship you try to build up be a strong and good one, and for maintaining this relationship! Next to this, you keep on innovating further of course.

    Oct 18, 2011 @ 10:04 am


  10. 6MINUS1

    Reflections on how innovation fulfills the brand promise

    Last week I moved from The Hague to Delft. In order to decorate my new room I had to go to Ikea located in Delft. I also needed a new wardrobe because in my old apartment I had a cabinet installation in my room. I started the day very early and went together with a friend to the restaurant of the Ikea to have a nice breakfast together. The Ikea is a store that totally changed the way of furniture shopping. In my grandparents generation it was usual to buy furniture in special shops for each furniture. These were quite expensive and the furniture’s were built to last a live long. When the children moved out of the house they had to take the furniture of their parents with them.

    Through the Ikea this whole idea of living and decoration the own living space totally changed. Now people, including student with a low budget are more into buying furniture for lets say 5 years to buy new furniture’s after that period. Also because of a lot of moving due to job changes the Ikea is an ideal concept for young unsettled people and families. In fact, families are the group they are focussing on. They make it possible for parents to offer their children a new bedroom in every phase of their live. Through that approach, Ikea creates a positive image among children, who later on will continue shopping at the Ikea first for them selves, later for their families. But lets go back to the Ikea restaurant, a relatively new introduced servie from Ikea to make the experience more complete, to offer an extra value, creating resting moment for exhausted parents, elderly or families who want to spent the whole day at the Ikea. We think that this concept perfectly fits the idea of the Ikea, also because Ikea usually is located outside the city centre where no other restaurants or cafés are located. The same goes for the Ikea shop, where every customer literally falls into when passing the cash register. Again this connects to the brand promise and of course creates a lot of cash again, since most people like a softice, hotdog or refreshment drink after the shopping experience. Also the shop is located next to it, to take a little bit of the whole Ikea experience back home. Since Ikea is a relative cheap store their “trash corner” where products which were returned or which are not 100% perfect are offered for a lower price are offered fits the whole brand promise. These were three services that are connected to the brand increased the brand value and its image because it thinks from the customers perspective. They are very good designed and we would have done it the same way.

    Blup,

    6MINUS1

    Oct 20, 2011 @ 10:21 am


  11. Powers of Ten

    How innovation fulfils brand promise
    For this exercise we mainly discussed an interesting company named Google, and especially the innovative product they have: Google Streetview. We thought this was a really good example of how a company can use their promise and qualities to develop a product that is living up to that promise. Google promises: ‘Provide access to the world’s information in one click’. They started with this revolutionary empty website with a search bar, behind which there was a great searching technique/algorithm of course. But then they use their skills to develop a lot of products, which they kind of hide behind this first page, so people still perceive it as one click.

    With Streetview Google didn’t only give you access to the world’s information that was already on the world wide web, but they created this information themselves by taking pictures with a car. That was really innovative, they were one step ahead the user’s imagination. What they also do with this product, is getting people involved. They use people’s pictures to get an even better view of the world and they get this richer information for free. That’s smart.

    Talking about fulfilling the promise, one of our team members suggested that Google should take their promise to a more abstract level. They fulfill it quite easily right now and could adjust it in order to leave more room for innovation, and give more direction to that innovation. However, others in our group didn’t completely agree, because this is really what Google stands for, and they might lose grip if the promise is too abstract.

    One last comment about fulfilling a promise. Sometimes it really depends on circumstances whether your promise is fulfilled. For instance if you look at fast food, they promise food fast, but if it’s really crowded you might have to wait for a long time. That also is true for NS, they are depending on weather and also on technique issues from other companies, and cannot easily guarantee the same quality every time. And lastly the user could use a product in a different way than it is meant to be used, and by that experience the product different. That is why you really have to think about all these things if you try to fulfill a brand’s promise.

    Oct 25, 2011 @ 4:46 pm


  12. Group 02

    Sony Walkman (W series Mp3)
    Pioneer of walkman technology. All the core values of the sony walkman brand are represented in this product. an example of these values is the emphasis on portability of music. Sony walkman promises easily portable superior sound. The portability is obvious, being very small and convenient. The fact the whole product has no wires and is very light and small is the innovative aspect of this product. We would not have focused shuffle and a dock functions as unique buying reasons.

    NS/T-mobile Train WiFi
    T-mobile promise a perfect internet connectivity while NS promises good service during the train journey. The connection is quite good and it is free (for now). Especially convenient as a service because the mobile network reception fluctuates a lot during travel. T-mobile emphasizes people being to connect with others where ever their are. This product delivers regarding this promise. T-mobile should have connected their name more to this product.

    Paypal
    Paypal promises safe and easy digital money transactions. They have excellent buyer protection, including warranties that counter fraud. All mayor auction sites and webstores incorporate Paypal usage. Paypal usage is very quick and convenient, not requiring peripheral hardware. They could differentiate and innovate to further increase user experience, but we agree that the service seems rather complete.

    Oct 26, 2011 @ 1:11 pm


  13. EFCOM

    For this exercise we took a closer look at the Kijkshop and the OV-chipkaart.

    Kijkshop

    The concept of the Kijkshop differs a bit from regular stores. All products (electrical- and household products) offered by the Kijkshop are displayed in vitrines. When walking through the store you write down the numbers of the products you want and then go to the shop counter. At this point you can order all your products directly at a staff member, whom will get the goods from a large basement.

    By using this concept Kijkshop saves money by minimzing staff and store floor space by storing all their goods in a basement. The slogan of Kijkshop is ‘altijd scherp geprijsd’ (‘always priced competitively’ ). This slogan indicates they always try to offer their products for the lowest prices. When looking at how the Kijkshop is organized and how they channel their service is true to their brand promise of offering cheap goods.

    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/Exercise 4 – picture.jpg[/img]

    OV – chipkaart

    The OV-chipkaart is a very interesting brand to look at, considering the fact that its reputation is reflected on several other brands (NS, Veolia, Connexxion). The OV-chipkaart is an initiative from the Dutch government. The main goal of the government was to make the infrastructure more efficient and public transport more attractive. Basically the OV-chipkaart is a ticket that is valid for every sort of public transport. The promise of the OV-chipkaart brand is to make it easier and quicker to travel by public transport.

    So, the OV-chipkaart as a brand has to represent every public transport company (trains, busses, metro, trams), which all have their own reputation and manner of working. It is interesting to see how the process of connecting all these different companies with one brand is going. Even though the Ov-chipkaart has had some mayor security problems in the beginning they’re slowly gaining the trust of the public transport users. The striking purple colored poles in combination with a big campaign brought the story of this brand to its users. Now every aspect of this service is actually working and the brand promise gets fulfilled. Public transport is easier, there is less effort to switch between different types of transport and in this way the infrastructure is more efficient.

    Oct 26, 2011 @ 3:52 pm


  14. peer2peer

    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/Pause for thought-p37.jpg[/img]

    Oct 27, 2011 @ 1:56 pm


  15. Group 15

    Since we travel mostly by public transport, we take the NS as an example here. Their brand promise is stated on their website: safe, on time and comfortable.

    Lately there has been a discussion about the NS not have toilets in all their trains, which is not comfortable, nor safe. Furthermore, most of us found the trips rather expensive (not comfortable) and you do not feel safe when using the chipcard system. When you lose or forget your card or forget the check in/out, you become scared and frustrated.
    All this together did not make NS trustworthy in our eyes.

    As an improvement we would suggest the old system where you could still pay in the train. This system is functional and would help to let people feel more comfortable. It is currently still in use in the UK, where people are quite happy with it.

    Oct 30, 2011 @ 4:34 pm


  16. Group 18

    How innovation fulfills the brand promise

    In order to be able to reflect on how innovation can fulfil the brand promise we decided to use two products: Albert Heijn to go ‘Stoommaaltijd’ (steam meal) and the OV-Chip card.

    AH Stoommaaltijd
    The product is connected to the brand in the sense that it is an easy and fast product (it takes only 7 minutes in the microwave), it is healthy – the way to prepare the meal is to steam it so the vegetables keep their taste and their vitamins – and it is a little bit expensive. The brand AH to go is called an ‘ease of use formula’ and is known for their somewhat high prices. On their website they describe their products to be ‘quick, fresh and varied ease-of-use-products of excellent quality’. When comparing these two descriptions one can conclude that this product clearly fulfils the brand promise!

    OV-Chip card
    A product with a somewhat lower brand connection is the OV-Chip card. This product promises ease of use and is stated to be a ‘smart card’. However, since it is a new system many things have changed, which evokes a lot of questions on which the answers often cannot be found. To overcome this they have many people who assist you with for example charging your card on places where you cannot use anything else but the OV-Chip card – for example the Amsterdam Central metro station. In this way you can immediately get answer to the questions you have, lowering the chance of a negative brand experience. However, these people are not everywhere, and the website is not always available to answer the questions you have. Therefore, many people still perceive the card as complicated and stick to the old system: the hard-copy tickets.
    Whether it has to do with people just having a natural resistance to what is new, the fact that there are two different systems operating at the same time, or the product-service-system just not being well designed, one can be sure of one thing: the perceived brand value often does not match the brand promise.
    In order to overcome this we suggest a few things. First of all they should have introduced the OV-Chip card everywhere at the same time and immediately stop the old system. In this way people will be forced to use it and you don’t have the confusions about having two systems running at the same time. We can imagine why the NS chose their way of introducing the OV-Chip card. In their way of introducing it, the innovators and early adapters start using it, and after a while the majority will follow. They wanted a smoother transition. Moreover, a better way of informing people about the differences between the old and the new system, and the reasons behind this, would make people less resistant towards the new card. An additional advantage of introducing the system at once is that everybody will have his or her questions more or less at the same time. This means that you reduce the time span in which people have these questions. Additionally, since the time span is shorter you can hire more people at the same time to answer people’s questions at the spot at more places. This reduces the chance of people perceiving your brand differently than you have promised.

    To conclude, this paragraph definitely made us aware of the difference between how the brand is perceived and how the company can steer this perception. It is not only up to the consumer to decide on what to think of your brand; it is up to the company to decide on what the consumers thinks, to promise them something you can make come true.

    Nov 01, 2011 @ 11:21 am


  17. 3plus3

    We had a lot of discussion on this topic. First of all, not each innovative product we discussed belonged to a brand with one single, clear, brand promise. We found out that a lot of brands have several promises, or do not have any promise at all. Besides, because of different knowledge levels and experiences, not all members of our group had the same idea about whether a certain product fulfilled the brand promise or not. In order to summarize our discussions, 4 examples are described:

    Unilever
    The “Swirl” is a relatively new product from Ola (Unilever). In a “swirl stand” a customer can compose his/her own ice cream: The customer can choose each (weird) combination of ice, nuts, fruit, etc. The ingredients are of course not new: Ice cream, fruit and nuts are on the market for as long as we know. The innovative part of the concept is the service: Combining whatever you like. The brand promise of Ola (according to their website) is caught in the slogan “happiness everywhere”. The brand Ola claims to have “happy videos”, “Happy pricelist”, “happier planet”, etc. We think the “Swirl” shows very well how an innovation fulfils the brand promise. We can imagine that Ola brainstormed on the topic “what makes people happy”, and came up with “personalisation” and “being able to choose”. Critical remark: The focus of this innovation is very narrow. The Swirl is for example costly (what about happy pricelist?) and not really sustainable (what about happy planet?). We believe an innovation could be stronger if it fulfils the whole brand promise instead of just a small part.

    Gilette
    Another product we have discussed is the women razors of Gilette: Known by the brand “Venus” The advertisement promises a lot: “Reveal the goddess in you”. Some of us argued that this brand promise is fulfilled by innovations like: Placing soft material around the razor blades, improving the grip on the razor, etc. Other group members argued that technical innovations (that improve the quality of the end result, a soft skin) are used for both the men and women razors, and are therefore less brand specific/do not connect to the brand promise: The new features or technologies may be the same, but are communicated to men and women totally different. As an overall conclusion, we think that Venus can strengthen the connection between their brand promise and products by implementing services that emphasize the brand promise (for example combining razors with other cosmetics).

    Hp
    As for Hp, we found the brand promise “We can help you do that”. We think this brand promise connects very well to the product portfolio of Hp. The brand promise is especially strong because it is applicable to the whole product range. Hp fulfils the brand promise by implementing good quality products and providing several customer focused services as well. The brand promise is very down to earth and practical, just like the products.

    Apple
    The new brand promise of Apple contains sentences like “We participate only in markets where we can make a significant difference” and “we believe in simple, not complex”. When you look at the introduction of the Iphone, this brand promise seems to be fulfilled: The Iphone was an instant success, and the interface of the Iphone is often described as “very intuitive”.

    Asus
    Asus has a very clear brand promise: “Inspiring Innovation, persistent Perfection.” We believe that Asus fulfils only half of this brand promise. For example, the innovation of “Netbook”, the EeePC, did break the rules of the personal computer: It is a great innovation that upgrades the personal computer to a personal cloud computer. However, the more innovations there are, the less perfection will be (as shown by the history of Asus). The quality of the products in the early age is good enough. But, due to the big amount of product lines and the launching of incremental innovations in a very high rate, the quality became lower in the recent years. This violates the promise “Persistent Perfection”. We would recommend Asus to slow down their launching of innovative products. They should spend more time developing radical innovations instead of quickly launching incremental ones. By extending the developing period, the quality of the final product can be persisted as well.

    In conclusion: It seems very hard for companies to fulfil everything they promise. We would recommend a company to develop a very simple, down to earth brand promise and focus on the fulfilment of this promise. Simple (and fulfilled) brand promises will stay in the mind of the consumers (for example Volvo&Safety, Eastpak&Quality).

    Nov 02, 2011 @ 1:01 pm


  18. Group 23

    Google map on Smartphone

    Google stands for organize the worlds information and make it universally accessible and useful.

    Google map on Smartphone is an innovation product (service) in our opinion. It serves people to easily access the Google map through their Smartphone and check the directions in every countries and cities. The advantage of this product is that users can use it wherever they are at any time. Google map also provides users information of nearby restaurants, hotels, cinemas and many others.
    If we look back to Google’s brand promise, it says organize the worlds information. In the case of Google map, it definitely fulfilled the promise. The Google map on Smartphone can be used anywhere in this planet, and it can search anywhere in this planet. The additional function of Google map is providing extra information of relevant facilities. This function is designed to fulfill another brand promise: make it accessible and useful. Therefore we say that Google map on Smartphone has fulfilled its brand promise.

    Lenovo’s ThinkPad USB Portable Secure Hard Drive

    Lenovo promises that to build for the way you work, reliable PCs, security made simple, low life cycle costs and most trusted PC provider.
    Lenovo’s ThinkPad USB Portable Secure Hard Drive has a passcode system that uses a physical keypad. The unit (3 x 5-inches), which is designed to pair up with ThinkPad laptops, can have up to 10 unique user IDs, and an admin account, enabling the whole family to be in on the encrypting-action.

    Lenovo’s ThinkPad USB Portable Secure Hard Drive is designed based on its promises, and it has fulfilled the promises. For example that Lenovo promised that to security made simple, which is exactly the reason why this secure hard drive exists. It is designed to help users to easily secure their computers, without the risks of being hacked. Another promise that Lenovo made is to build for the way you work. This secure hard drive is designed for private use, or family use, therefore users can really treat this device as a personal stuff. Therefore we say that the Lenovo’s ThinkPad USB Portable Secure Hard Drive has fulfilled Lenovo’s brand promises.

    Nov 03, 2011 @ 12:22 am


  19. Four

    A company’s brand is to be valued as a promise towards its customers. As a consequence the brand-to-company fit is essential to foster the competitiveness on the long term, keeping the existing consumer base and extending it.

    Branding a company introduces further complexity in the relationship towards the consumers by embracing wider social and cultural context knowledge. This requires prior positioning in a specific segment, understanding its specific dynamics and integrating brand values within this ecosystem. Existing brands have managed to acquire credibility in their specific segments of a given market. Success to be found in the equity between the company and the brand on one hand, and the product and the values it transmits on the other hand.

    During our discussions, we considered innovation as the driving force behind this balance of what is promised and what is delivered. The innovation process prevents the brand becoming a static artifact. Furthermore, innovation is now part of the promise between a brand and a customer.

    During our analysis we also noticed that we could draw further conclusions on the brand equity. We believe that companies that have effectively implemented a branding strategy, with products that meet the consumer’s expectations had further innovation perspectives, as they already secured their core activities. On the other hand, we believe companies with faulty branding strategies are very limited to expand upon risky innovation, as they lack legitimacy to produce consistent products in the first place.

    Overall, we would say we grasped the importance of branding and its direct links with innovation. We will also further consider the key roles of market ecosystems, with specific contexts, consumers, social and cultural subtleties.

    Nov 08, 2011 @ 6:50 pm


  20. Group 11

    All members of our group are frequent users of their Google Gmail account. The intuitive and user-friendly interface and the ‘lots of space’ make it perfect for everyday use of e-mail. When taking a look at their homepage (gmail.com), the before mentioned features are exactly what they promise. From this we can conclude that Google Gmail succeeded in the first stage: they do what they promise in an accessible, understandable and authentic way (section 1.4 of the book). Then they need to create new opportunities for growth “with the brand’s vision as guide and the expectations of the user as the goal” (section 1.5). Unfortunately they have not always been successful in this. When we look at Google Wave, we can conclude that it was not easy accessible (since you needed an invitation to use it) and hard to understand (maybe it was too advanced and ahead of its time). This doesn’t fit the users expectations and their current brand promise; we suggest this could be the reason why it failed. Recently they launched Google+, which is more intuitive and better suits their promises. It is also a reaction on Facebook’s complicated and messy interface: Google+ is a nice alternative for those who prefer a more efficient and understandable social media platform. Based on the innovation’s characteristics and their matching brand promises and user expectations, we think Google+ will become successful – but time will tell!

    Nov 09, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

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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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