What We’re Watching: How a Brand’s Short-term Failures Can Equal Long-term Success

This article in Entrepreneur dives into how you can discover innovation success through a process of trial and error. In other words: don’t be afraid to fail. Failing fast and failing cheap can speed up the innovation process by providing much-needed lessons for improvement on future innovations. Try utilizing quick and on-trend research methods using Artificial Intelligence to gather “real life” consumer learning in a way that’s fast, easy and forward thinking.

Always be sure to develop an integrated sales and marketing plan to be sure that your brand message is consistent both online and off. The goal? Make sure that 1+1=3.


How does a brand root itself in consumers’ minds to become their go-to when purchasing? This article from Wharton details the human brain’s preference for the positive and gives insight into building your brand’s unique, memory-fueled “Connectome.” Here are our major takeaways:

  1. Strong brands don’t have to have one powerful idea or concept, rather they have to deliver on multiple “positive” associations.
  2. Addressing the positives is more effective than rebutting the negatives of a consumer experience.  This could be why “weight loss” messages are not seen as positive anymore
  3. Targeted consumer experience has more to do with the vehicles and environment you choose than the core brand message
  4. Multiple brand messages should be used provided they complement each other – this expands the brand’s meaning in the minds of different consumers.
  5. All brands have the potential to grow, no matter where they are in their lifecycle. Staying still and complacent will eventually lead to decline.  Keep moving!

Check out the full article here.

What We’re Watching: Gaining an Innovation Edge

Innovation is the fuel that keeps a company growing, especially in today’s fast paced marketplace.  Here is a link to a discussion around Apple and whether they are maintaining their edge with regard to innovation.  Here are a few takeaways on how this could apply to your business:

  • Invention vs. Innovation – your company needs to have both to really accelerate your business.  A unique invention comes to life with an innovative go-to-market model.
  • Innovation comes from multiples places: really understanding your customers and their needs, leveraging your company’s assets and organizational knowledge, and looking forward to anticipate future needs – skate where the puck is headed, so to speak.
  • A balanced innovation portfolio – to truly have a focus on innovation your organization needs to consider a variety of ideas with varying time horizons, cost to commercialize and likelihood of success:
    • Small, incremental improvements to existing businesses
    • New market innovations
    • Moon-shot projects

Only with a portfolio that includes a representation of all three will an organization truly develop an innovation eco-system.

  • Deep customer understanding – Successful innovation relies on a deep understanding of the customer and delivering against their “job to be done” – it’s a constant, but always worth emphasizing.

Provisor News: Provisor Attends P&G Alumni Global Conference

We had the opportunity to attend the 7th bi-annual P&G Alumni Conference held earlier this month in Cincinnati.  We enjoyed returning to the city (which has seen a great revitalization since last we were there) and re-connecting with former colleagues and friends.  The conference spanned three days and covered topics like innovation, global market trends and more.  Through CEO roundtables, best practice presentations, and lots of networking, we enjoyed every minute of the conference.  Here are our “big takeaways” from the event:

Julie’s Takeaway:  Innovation is the cornerstone of any brand’s growth plan, regardless of its size.  In fact, the principle of innovating when a brand is winning was a key theme at the conference.  Many brands wait to innovate until their business stalls as a way to turn the brand’s business around.  In fact, the best time to generate new growth ideas is when the brand is healthy, giving you the opportunity to build on forward momentum and shape the brand’s future.  Fortunately, this innovation culture favors small, nimble brands.  With a focus on speed, agility, a culture that rewards new ways of doing things, and an authentic story, small brands can utilize innovation to successfully compete with larger brands in today’s marketplace.

Kate’s Takeaway:  It’s still true: No matter what product or service you sell, now more than ever the consumer is the driver.  The difference today?  We can no longer tell the consumer why our brand is better, we must listen to what our consumers want and engage with them on their terms.  Those who do (Intuit, Mondelez, Google, etc.) succeed.  Fortunately, with new technology and AI there are many new and innovative ways to hear what the consumer is saying (or typing).  Online listening posts and fast product learning models allow us to listen, learn and react quickly to changes in consumer perception of a brand.

the future of marketing using artificial intelligence

An interesting discussion on the future of marketing using artificial intelligence–the opportunities it opens for brands and the challenges it creates.

how to strive for constant innovation in marketing

Brand strategies from a former P&G and Coca-cola marketing exec on how to strive for constant innovation in marketing–from the fundamentals of brand positioning to opportunities that can come from marketing crises.