Innovation: Brand It or Lose It

by David Aaker

Fall 2007

Volume 50
Issue 1

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A brand strategy can be critical to the success of an innovation, particularly in the long term. There are times when a firm literally needs to brand an innovation or lose it. Without a successful branding strategy, an innovation can be short-lived—diffusing into a confused marketplace with its impact dissipated—or become another forgotten internal initiative. In such cases, branding can make all the difference. Branding, it should be emphasized, does not mean simply putting a name and logo on an innovation. Rather, it means making the brand an integral part of a coherent strategy, supported by actively managed and adequately funded brand-building programs. At the same time, not all innovations merit such a program and over-branding can pose business risks.

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