Especially in today’s tech world, the word “innovation” gets a lot of lip service, and for good reason. Innovation drives growth, boosts profits, and slashes competition – not to mention the ability to change the world for the better. You would be hard-pressed to find a healthcare technology company that isn’t looking to push the envelope in some way.
There exist a virtually infinite amount of resources about how and why to innovate, overcoming barriers, and avoiding implementation issues. But where are the discussions about branding? Just as with any company’s offering, branding is often a critical element in the formula for success.
To Brand or Not to Brand?
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as over-branding, and it can be fatal. And of course, under-branding – which is often caused by lack of funding and long-term strategy – can lead to confusion, lack of differentiation, and an overall flop of an innovation. To make sure your branding is just right, consider several key factors.
Who is your ideal consumer, and how does your innovation benefit him or her? How could it integrate into your existing corporate or product/service branding? Do you have the proper resources to properly hone and maintain the brand over time?
How Branding Makes a Difference
A branded innovation offers three primary benefits for businesses:
- Differentiating the innovation from competitors: making it more attractive and distinct while preventing the slip into commodity status
- Creating a new subcategory of buying in your market (which also requires that you manage the perceptions of this new subcategory)
- Building the parent company’s brand in terms of credibility, personality, and perception of innovativeness
The Spectrum of Innovation
Before deciding which benefit(s) your branding strategy will afford you, you’ll need to decipher where your offering lands on the “spectrum of innovation.” Will it simply improve on what’s currently available, or will it catalyze a radical change to the market? For example, a radical innovation may benefit from creating a new subcategory of buying that changes how and what consumers are consuming.
Consider the 2009 launch of the Fitbit, one of the first wearable devices to track daily health and fitness stats. The Fitbit radically changed the market by paving the way for consumers to take their health into their own hands, wherever they go. Despite continued growth in competition, the Fitbit brand remains a household name that’s stood its ground in today’s booming wearables market.
Does your innovation’s branding strategy balance your goals with your resources, while helping to make its mark on your healthcare niche? Call us at (407) 523-0604 to see if you’re set up for success, and how we can help if you’re not.