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Brand Innovation

01 July 23

Innovation is an essential aspect for brands to grow. By offering new ideas or refining existing ones, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors, boost consumer loyalty, and increase market share. In particular, brand innovation refers to how a company presents its products and business, which can be achieved by considering several touchpoints, including communications, advertising, service interactions, channel environments, and employee and business partner behavior. Once these touchpoints are incorporated into well-planned strategies, companies can build a distinctive and compelling brand experience that resonates with consumers. While product innovation focuses on product creation, improvement, and perfection, brand innovation is about positioning and presenting those products. 

A brand must constantly innovate and develop fresh approaches to build brand value to remain relevant. Brand innovation can result from creating branded components that showcase the brand's value and help build preference and bargaining power. McDonald's is one great example of a brand that knows how to ride the wave and tap into popular culture to create a buzz around its products. In May 2021, McDonald's debuted the BTS Meal, a product of their partnership with the South Korean boy band BTS. BTS Meal included special edition purple wrapping, which was limited in production, resulting in significant hype among BTS fans. The fans sold the cleaned BTS Meal wrapper online, and some even recycled the wrapper into accessories such as earrings and keychains. The American multinational fast food chain also partnered with an American adult animated science-fiction sitcom, Rick and Morty, in 2017 to launch a special edition Szechuan dipping sauce, which was mentioned in an episode of the show. As a result, McDonald's successfully created the hype as there was massive buying, long lines, and a surge in sales. The package of Szechuan sauce was sold online and listed as "collectible items". McDonald's effectively introduced relevant branded components to their products and focused on the wants of its customers by capitalizing on the power of fandom. These examples highlight the brand's ability to adapt to change and focus on customer pleasure to ensure loyal customers.

Another way to implement brand innovation is to align the business' values with its brand identity. Kahf, an Indonesian men's personal care brand, represents itself elegantly masculine. The naming was derived from a surah in the Quran, Al-Kahfi. The idea of this brand is also inspired by the story presented in the surah, in which a group of young men enter the cave because they are united by faith and belief. Kahf embodies the concept of humble masculinity, emphasizing that being a man means to be more than look and strength but also personality and a positive contribution to society. Kahf uses the tagline "The Way I Choose" as its commitment to assisting modern men in every way to become more valuable. Kahf is an ordinary personal care brand that can be found in retail stores at affordable prices. However, unlike other men's care products which most likely use solid black as the primary color on their packaging, Kahf uses nature-inspired colors such as blue, forest green, brown, and deep red. Using minimalist and elegant matte packaging and a simple logotype, Kahf presents a sense of premium product and a non-intimidating masculine feel that aligns with its brand DNA. Kahf is a perfect example of aligning brand values and identity authentically and consistently, making their products outstanding in the market.

Another brand innovation is what Corkcicle does. Corkcicle represents the brand's values through packaging as branding innovation. Corkcicle is a drinkware brand known for its excellent quality of keeping the drink's temperature and trend-inspired color canteens, tumblers, stemless wine cups, and mugs. The journey of Corkcicle began in 2010 as a manufacturer of wine cooler bottles, founded by Ben in collaboration with   entrepreneurs Eric Miller and Stephen Bruner. Corkcicle first appeared on the market around nine months after Hewitt's invention, targeting women around 35 to 50 who enjoy drinking wine. The company profited in its first year as more than one million bottles were sold. As of 2023, Corkcicle is sold in around 4,000 stores in the United States (as well as in ten other nations). Corkcicle later sells cooler bags, straws, bar equipment, drinking bottles, and mugs. 

The brand consistently utilizes a minimalist model, added with various illustrated designs and colors, making it a popular choice for people who are always on the go. The brand emphasizes an ergonomic, stylish, and sustainable design, paying attention to color trends and design to be implemented. All of their items are as functional as they are visually appealing to deliver the perfect beverage drinking experience, whether at home, at the beach, or at the office. This is an excellent concept and design for how we will keep the drinks stylish in the future. Customers fell in love with the design, and Corkcicle became popular among lifestyle enthusiasts. Due to its high price, purchasing a Corkcicle symbolizes middle-upper-class society. Corkcicle was once viral in Indonesia because of a trend often associated with workers in SCBD (Sudirman Central Business District). The brand has a strong identity, so Corkcicle is like a MacBook instead of a laptop. It is not a Tumbler, but it's a Corkcicle.

In this fast-paced world, customer demand and needs are constantly changing. There is also intense competition in the market. Therefore, brands have to keep up with market demands. Brand innovations may elevate essential commodities into valuable goods and give a business and its offerings meaning, purpose, and value. McDonald's, Kahf, and Corkcicle are among the best examples of brands that understand and use possible opportunities in the market to set them apart from their competitors on a strategic level. To find the right brand innovation strategy for your business, consider hiring Milestone, an experienced brand consultant. Find the right branding strategy that engages deeply with your customers and develop long-lasting reputations by contacting us.