Friday, 23 June 2017

Bottom-Up Innovation

Branding Science’s approach to generating the new and improving on the old

I started Brand Garage as a fresh-out-of-Uni Research Executive, looking for a forum to voice my opinions on the wide range of approaches and methodologies in market research that I found can either be wildly progressive, or downright ancient.

This space would have to be absent of fear and ego. I wanted to avoid situations of someone more senior than me saying: “I’ve been in this business for years and trust me, that isn’t going to work.” Or “That’s how we’ve always done it, and it’s not a good idea to change.”

I’m a firm believer that ideas are not for shooting down, but for dissecting and re-assembling, until it is the idea that solves the problem. Or re-defines the problem for you, which can be equally useful.

Thankfully, the team at Branding Science gave me that forum, appreciating its potential for innovation, to the point where Brand Garage – our internal ‘think tank’ – is not only supported, but celebrated.

So, how do we ensure innovation in Brand Garage?

  • No-one above a certain senior level is permitted to attend these meetings (we range from grads to REs, SREs and RMs)
  •  We’re encouraged to argue, to challenge, to rip something apart
  • We are creatively agile - we achieve this through allowing ourselves to be iterative, constantly re-defining, readjusting and reflecting on our ideas
  • We don’t put pressure on outcomes. If we don’t end up creating an innovative solution, but come up with another question instead, then that is still a success in our minds
  • We will split the team into two smaller teams to explore different avenues of thought, rather than allow in-fighting to take over the innovation process

 (We’re also encouraged to go off site to meetings and order Pizza, which totally helps!)

As a result, Brand Garage has looked at:

  •          New ways to uncover emotional brand perceptions
  •          New ways to validly test TPPs
  •          New ways to trigger creativity internally during our analysis sessions

I’ve no doubt that this trust in the ‘people at the bottom of the pyramid, the young sparks, the people closest to customers, as the source of innovation’* is why Brand Garage has, and will continue to be successful in the future.

Email Branding Science at  to find out more about Brand Garage, or how our approach to innovation might be applied to your organisation! We look forward to hearing from you.
*quote taken from the TedTalk: How to manage for collective creativity, by Linda Hill 

Written by Sofia Fionda, Research Manager at Branding Science

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