innovation, canibalization and re-evaluation

Apple is not only great at finding industries ripe for disruption, but also famous for canibalizing their own range. The iPhone ate the iPod. iPads are very much to blame for decreasing PC sales. The iPad Mini overtakes iPad (Maxi?). The reflex is normally to defend, not kill.

I still, after more than 30 years, don’t know what toothbrush brand I use. Honestly. And I don’t know what toothpaste brand I have at the moment. Honestly. I know it’s either Colgate or Pepsodent. One reason is that I don’t care, but the other is that there’s so much to choose from. I can’t remember ever knowingly having taken the same brand and model (!?) twice unless when it’s 2 for 1. I might be an exception, in which case I’m amazed by the rest of you.

Lately, lots of interesting facts and stats about the sharing of customers and consumers between brands have become available to an audience beyond that of brand planners, researchers, extremely fact hungry marketing specialists and so on. Most notably in his very accessible book “How Brands Grow“, which I recommend to all clients because it makes you think and re-evaluate.

TNS Incremental, argues that they can help identify innovations that drive incremental growth (as opposed to “growth” by way of canibalization), or rejected ideas due to bad total growth result. A pretty important distinction to make, especially in this news, news, news driven world.