Randy Micheletti
VP, Director of Brand Strategy

Brand Relevance: Innovation and Renovation

We all know that creating consumer demand grows your brands. Product managers live and breathe this every day…but what do you have to do to create this demand? How do you keep your brand relevance and awareness high in the marketplace?

For many years, product managers have relied on innovation and/or renovation…but which one? How do you decide how to proceed, and what’s right for your brand? Innovation can be a major capital investment that might not always provide the ROI you’re looking for. On the other hand, renovation can be seen as the “poor persons” brand refresh.

Here are a few important things to think about as you decide how to move your brand forward – either innovating or renovating:


Relative Advantage

Measures how improved an innovation is over a competing option or the previous generation of a product. Show potential customers how an innovation improves their current situation.


Show how your innovation will be compatible with their life and lifestyle. If an innovation requires a huge lifestyle change, or if the user must acquire additional products to make your innovation work, then it is more likely to fail. Innovations meet the greatest success when users are able to seamlessly adopt them — when they replace an existing product or idea, for the better.

Complexity vs. Simplicity

Complexity or simplicity refers to how difficult it is for adopters to learn to use an innovation. The more complex an innovation, the more difficult it will be for potential adopters to incorporate it into their lives. As we all know, potential adopters do not usually budget much time for learning


Trialability describes how easily potential adopters can explore your innovation. Trialability is critical to facilitating the adoption of an innovation. Potential users want to see what your innovation can do and give it a test run before committing.

Read more: Five Characteristics of an Innovation


Alienating Current Customers

Often changing packaging or the product’s formulation can lead to alienation. Ensure whatever you do is well tested and does not cause a loss in your current customer base.

Gaining New Customers

A refresh can often boost the relevancy of your brand and can make you a category leader. If you go down the path of re-positioning your brand you have the chance of creating a new and excited customer base.

Limit Confusion During Switchover

As you update your product in market, especially at shelf, ensure there’s thought behind how you’ll roll the product out. It can take only one missed opportunity with a current customer for them to switch to another product. Remember, consumers aren’t always loyal, and if you give them a reason to switch – they will.

Read more: Innovation or renovation: What really fuels growth?

So when you’re faced with a choice – we say pick both. As reported in Nielson, Innovation can help attract new customers and new usage occasions, and renovation can periodically help you protect your core and build platforms for future renovation and growth. Be sure to look at both options upfront in an unbiased fashion rather than repeating what you’ve done in the past. These decisions will likely be some of the most important decisions you make.

Do you need help deciding which is right for you? Do you know which is right for you but you aren’t sure how to plan and execute? Let’s chat. Fill out the form below and we will contact you to talk about what’s best for your brand.

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