Branding is at the forefront of all advertising projects, from creation to implementation to results. It sets the tone for innovation and helps agencies approach innovation correctly. According to a recent Gartner study, “growth is the single most important business priority for CEOs” (Golden, 2018). Companies must innovate in some way in order to grow organically or otherwise.

So, what exactly is innovation? Simply put, it means introducing something new. This may sound like a simple, easily understood process, but it is often incorrectly approached. Just like many of the intellectual concepts in this opinionated, progressing world, there are several myths that loom over innovation. The first is that “innovation is only about new products” (Golden, 2018). Let’s debunk this myth, shall we?

Companies such as Glossier and IBM have shown that a product or service doesn’t always require innovation, but rather the things that surround and support the offering do. Success is all in the approach; in brand consistency.

Another myth is that “innovation means leaps forward” (Golden, 2018). On the contrary, some of the best innovations merely improve an existing product or service. In order to determine what innovations are truly vital, companies can use brand as a filter.

Next up: “innovation requires disruptive technology” (Golden, 2018). First of all, what even is “disruptive technology”, and how does that relate to innovation? Actually, it usually doesn’t relate at all. The best innovations often result from focusing on a customer problem in a swift manner, adopting and adapting processes and methods, or “removing painfuls steps from existing service experiences” (Golden, 2018).

For example, Dollar Shave Club paid close attention to its customers’ concerns and wellbeing by simplifying the process of buying razors. Customers get blades delivered monthly instead of having to make several trips to the store every year. This company enhanced the age-old shopping tradition by listening to its clients, while still upholding its brand.

And finally, there’s the myth that “innovation is only delivered by the genius inventor” (Golden, 2018). Often when we think of innovation, we think of famous inventors or scientists, such as Albert Einstein or Alexander Graham Bell. Little do many companies know that innovation lies directly within their walls.

Innovation can come from anyone within any company, especially when employees unite and share perspectives and ideas. For example, LinkedIn allows any employee to create an idea, organize a team, and pitch the project to the executive staff. No matter the type or size, “innovations help brands drive growth and maintain their differentiated place in the market” (Golden, 2018). However, the brand cannot be overshadowed during the race for innovation. If a company ignores its brand while it’s striving for innovation, it will have to devote even more time and resources to clean up after. Keeping innovations brand-centric is the ultimate key for success.