The Role of Corporate Brands in Driving Sustainable Innovation
The role of the corporate brand as a strategic resource in orienting innovation projects has only been cursorily addressed in the literature. As innovation is a key driver of brand growth, this article discusses how corporate brands can contribute to both guiding and driving such innovation processes. The article applies the concept of design thinking to develop a framework for Sustainable Brand-based Innovation. It is suggested that traditional market-oriented strategies should be complemented with intuitive thinking and abductive reasoning as associated with the concept of design thinking. On the basis of this framework, a conceptual model is elaborated integrating the three key management imperatives of: (i) orienting innovation and investments around the brand (brand orientation); (ii) thinking on a human scale to generate unique customer insights (intuitive customer orientation); and (iii) considering the current and future scope of firm resources needed to attain and sustain competitive advantages (resource orientation). The article illustrates the framework through analysing the processes behind new business development and innovation of the luxury consumer electronics brand Bang & Olufsen. Implications for brand leadership in innovation management and avenues for further research into the brand–innovation interface are discussed.
Journal of Brand Management, 2013, Vol 20, Issue 9, p. 762-778