We’ve been thinking a lot lately about the connection between great Brand Architecture and Innovation. These two work-streams may feel unrelated.
Too often, we see teams approach Architecture by looking at their Innovation Portfolio, and then basing their Architecture decisions on the ideas they have in the pipeline. However, brands that win address getting to a great Brand Architecture first — setting the stage for a strong portfolio of offerings and a robust Innovation Strategy that enables a pipeline of ideas.
So, connecting these two work-streams, in the right order, can lead to significant business growth.
Here are three direct connections we see:
1. Focus. Great Brand Architecture drives focus for any brand. Whether you’re expanding a brand into new spaces, or cleaning up a brand that’s been overextended, clarity on the “pillars” a brand will play in enables focused innovation. We often suggest that brands create innovation pipelines under each key pillar of their architecture.
2. Alignment. Solid Brand Architecture aligns the internal multi-functional team and external partners to a common set of parameters for where the brand will grow. Innovation Strategy needs this level of alignment or it risks becoming the clearing house for each functions’ (or even each individual’s!) ideas.
3. Consumer relevance. As we’ve shared before, great Brand Architecture is linked to consumer needs — current, emerging and future (based on trend work). And, great innovation is inspired by trends, analogs and consumer insight. Marrying the needs and insights that drive your Brand Architecture to the needs to focus your Innovation pipeline ensures that they both stay relevant in a way that will induce trial and grow your business.
Ideally, teams will work to develop a Brand Architecture that aligns with their brand strategy, and then use that Architecture to inform innovation focus areas and realize the benefits of tightly connecting these two work-streams.
Learn more about how we’ve enabled teams to develop a stronger Brand Architecture via our Strategy Sprint approach.