Go Beyond Binary Innovation

Too often, companies and clients of mine focus on binary innovation to boost their revenue streams but fail to reap the benefits of the area in between.  I call it binary innovation where it is a mutually exclusive way to look at innovation.  You either focus on “renovation” – modifying your existing product offering (this would include flavor extensions – or go way out into the unknown and focus on “new to the world” innovation – products that have never been done, think tuna milk.  Both are valid and both have a place in your innovation strategy and product roadmap.


What’s missing is an area of exploration to capitalize on the consumer needs you already satisfy and extend your brand beyond its current stronghold.  This type of exploratory innovation takes you into new territories – new revenue streams, new consumers, new needs – but extend the current brand equity.  Take Glade as an example.  The brand provides pleasant aromas and satisfy the need to feel good about taking care of your home.  Invariably there will be a time when you need to paint your home (whether you rent or own) and that paint smell is, well, less than optimal.  It’s not like a new car smell, to say the least.  Glade looked at this opportunity as a way to extend the brand and developed a paint additive called Glade Paint Fragrance.  Choose an aroma and drop it into your paint can.  Gone is the horrible paint smell and your walls (and your home) will smell like pine.  This is not “renovation”.  While it is new to the world, it is really an extension of adding aromas to your home, in a different vehicle.


Another example is Jack Links Bloody Mary.  Known for its protein snacks (jerky), the brand is extending into beverages that are consumed when snacks are consumed.  Bloody Mary is certainly not new to the world, but it allows Jack Links to extend its brand into a new eating occasion, entertaining where more snacks are consumed than the typical single-serving products they are known for.


The challenge with binary innovation is that “renovation” is really easy but has limited brand impact and revenue generation potential.  The “new to the world” innovation is highly risky and hard to pull off.  It’s the area in between that yields better return on investment and market potential to extend the brand.


Get beyond binary innovation!  Let me help you explore opportunities that take your brand into new territories with better return on investment!