brand innovators

Market Leaders Can Succeed As Challengers and Brand Innovators

McKinsey & Company presents a blueprint for a market incumbent to innovate and act as the challenger in an entirely new market.

The authors, Jean-Baptiste Coumau, Victor Fabius, and Thomas Meyer, discuss brand-driven innovation.  By capitalizing on the unique links between its current brand and customers, an incumbent company can pursue innovation in an entirely new market.  Benefits of this strategy include the achievement of sales and growth targets, sharpening a brand’s positioning, and creating a halo effect for the original brand.

Examples offered include:

-Apple’s introduction of the iPhone.

-Disney’s launch of a children’s English-language teaching business in China.

-Virgin’s challenger business in retail banking and insurance in the UK.

-BMW’s joint venture with DriveNow to enter the car-sharing business.

Three advantages that brand extensions can use to be successful:

-Distinctive brand equity and trust.

-Strong relationships with customers.

-Access to data, capabilities, and other institutional assets.

The authors conclude that strong brands can successfully enter entirely new markets.


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