06 October 2020
Recession-ready tip #2 – Rethink innovation
With ongoing talks of economic collapse and the implications of Brexit looming, here’s the second in our series of go-to remedies for getting your brand recession-ready.
The below are all genuine concerns and questions we’ve been discussing with our clients as we prepare them for the recession:
- Is now a time to launch new brands or do people want what they know and trust? Wouldn’t close brand extension be safer?
- Will there be less scope for innovation with retailers now as categories come under pressure?
- Can we really support innovation sufficiently through a recession when budgets are under pressure?
- Will trends dramatically change and therefore should I be thinking of new innovation opportunities?
- Do we throw out all of our premium innovation ideas for the next 2-3 years?
Yes, it’s true that innovation slows down during a recession but is that really driven by consumers or down to business-led decisions?
To try to answer that, here’s what some of our clients are actually doing right now:
“Innovation programmes remain the same although some development with new suppliers is taking longer than originally planned due to current travel restrictions. However, given the growing demand we feel it is an ideal opportunity to expand our product portfolio and we are committed to the delivery of our plan.”
Neil Brownbill – Commercial Director, Napolina Princes Foods
“Short term we’re continuing existing innovation projects which may need to be ‘soft’ launched through DTC. We think it’s really important to keep this progressing so that we don’t lose momentum - and because they are really exciting projects. But it’s also an opportunity to gauge consumer reaction ahead of these snacks hitting store. I would say that the ‘long term’ is off the table at the moment until the shape of the ‘new’ world is a little clearer. So, most of our resource and focus is pivoting towards the medium term (6-18 months) and we have a much broader scope for new product and format innovation than we would have done previously.”
Joe Taylor – Founder, Real Handful
It’s difficult to know how to progress, but we do know that the role of innovation is critical for brand and category reinvention. The key to successful innovation is to have a deep understanding of where your brand sits in the marketplace and what the right opportunities are.
So here are our five principles to apply when rethinking innovation:
01. Genuine need or insight-based ideas will always succeed. So even if they are not now right for 2020, or you can’t support them with the investment they might deserve, then revisit the timing, but don’t lose the idea forever.
02. New opportunities and ideas for products and serviceswill arise in this ‘new world’.In our view, shorter but more regular idea sessions should continue to be diarised even when we are not together.
03. There will be an acceleration of range rationalisation from retailers.Now might not be the time to suggest launching six more flavours of the same range, unless there is a strong reason to do so. But is there ever?
04. New brands can still flourish. Providing they have a clear role and are meeting an unmet category need. They need to be nurtured and given time to succeed, by both the retailers and brand management team.
05. Premium is still relevant.It just depends on the reasons and rationale for being premium and whether or not this still fits. Premium due to convenience may be less relevant, for example, versus premium for in-home treats or ingredients.
To see how we can help you identify the right opprtunities for your brand, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
People Love a bit of DWB!
The world of functional drinks, or ‘drinks with benefits’ (DWB) is a category that has seen huge development.
Meet Executive Creative Director, Steve Conchie
Steve shares the best things about his job, as well as the genius behind “who's nicked my friggin' grapes".
Meet Client Service Director – Simon Ellis
Who knew Simon is a musicals fan? But when he’s not belting out a classic, he loves nothing more than the feeling of absolutely nailing a client brief.
On pack messaging: Brand Purpose versus Distinctive Assets
Louise Kennedy on the strategies that brands implement when bringing together brand purpose and distinctive assets.
Transform Magazine: Iconicity as the route to impact
Managing Partner, Richard Taylor on the importance of iconicity in the route to impact.
The supplements brands gym-bound Brits will be turning to
Richard Taylor speaks to The Grocer about how brands need to cut through in the sports nutrition and supplements world.
Ever wondered what it's like working at Brandon?
We speak to two of our latest recruits to find out...
Design as a powerful asset in the fight for relevance
Strategist Tessa Hill on some of the key relevance challenges we’re asked to solve through the power of design.
FAB News: What do you stand for?
FAB News: Louise Kennedy on how winning the fight for relevance starts with positioning.
Interview with a strategist – Tessa Hill
Tessa loves being involved in a project from a very early stage.
All I want for Christmas... is a good limited edition strategy
Strategist Tessa Hill comments on the learnings from five of our favourite Christmas limited editions.
What role does innovation play in driving brand relevance?
Strategy Director Louise Kennedy with some top tips on how to use innovation to drive brand relevance.
Immunity in 2020
Strategist Tessa Hill uncovers the design codes shaping the immunity category in 2020.
Interview with a designer - Abi Taylor
Hear from our Co-Founder on her love of design and how Brandon came to be.
Reawakening a love for brand books
Senior Designer Jay Bates on why brand guidelines shouldn't be left at the bottom of a drawer.
Five Minutes with Louise Kennedy
Louise Kennedy talks to Transform about how brands can stay relevant and how packaging can improve brand performance.
FAB News: ‘Relevance - The Holy Grail of Marketing'
FAB News: Strategy Director Louise Kennedy on what relevance actually means.
Interview with a designer - Joe Bembridge
Read what inspires Brandon’s first full-time designer.
Recession-ready tip #1 – hero your distinctive brand assets
Brand Strategist Louise Kennedy considers hero-ing your distinctive assets to prepare for a recession.
Can casual dining brands survive on supermarket shelves?
Richard Taylor talks to Marketing Week about how hospitality brands can make an impact through supermarket retail.
Don’t underestimate the influence of packaging in the home
Brand Strategist Louise Kennedy discusses actionable ways for brands to build an emotional connection with consumers at home.
Interview with a Designer - Jay Bates
Brandon’s self-confessed brand architecture nerd, Jay, on what inspires him every day.
Marketing Week's ‘All change: The complex route ahead for automotive branding’
As car manufacturers face pressure to move to cleaner energy and shift their strategy, Richard Taylor, discusses what that means for brand.
Hero design for the new hero channel
Brand Strategist Louise Kennedy challenges what the hero design is and will become.
Hitting their peak: How brands plan to retain new customers post-lockdown
Managing Partner Richard Taylor talks to Marketing Week about shopping on autopilot and making new habits in the crisis.
Interview with a Designer - Grace Buckley
Grace can often be found in the supermarket rearranging the shelves to show off her work in its best light!
Reflections from the Darkside
Strategist Louise Kennedy’s view on agency life from the perspective of a ‘newbie’.
Will Harrods' bet on a new beauty brand pay off?
Managing Partner Richard Taylor talks to Marketing Week about Harrods' new beauty brand.
Desert Island Ads
We asked our Creative Director for his top 10 ads that shaped and inspired his thinking over the decades
D&AD Top 5 tips to move beyond mediocrity to design greatness
Inspiration from Rosie Arnold at the D&AD Talks 2019
The Joys of Brand Planning
Our Top 5 Brand Planning Tips - identifying new, exciting opportunities for growth.
Our 5 Key FMCG Brand Innovation Principles
Our 5 Key FMCG Brand Innovation Principles: What lessons can we learn from Coca-Cola's Life U-Turn?
The Brand Packaging Health-Check
The Brand Packaging Health-Check: 5 Killer Tips to see if a refresh is due or long overdue
The Art of FMCG Brand Architecture
Three principles we apply to ensure a successful brand architecture
Refreshing Established Food and Drink Brands
Here we discuss six routes for a brand to acquire new relevant meaning.
The Grocer - Pasta & Sauces report
The Grocer features Managing Partner Richard's thoughts on the pasta and sauces category.
In a bid for simplification and efficiency, the giants are emulating the discounters.
The Logo. On its last legs? Or fit as a fiddle?
Of late there has been a school of thought which argues that the static logo is terminally ill.