Innovation communication: an issue of corporate communication

In 2013, the index of company values indicated that 34% of companies consider innovation as the main value they claim to have, before quality, integrity and client satisfaction. Innovation represents the element of distinction in institutional speech as well as in developing the corporate image.

First of all, innovation communication allows mobilizing internal publics, by explaining the added value of innovation projects and by allowing them to understand the usefulness of actions that may sometimes seem apart from the core activity of the company.

An Inergie and InnovActeurs study from 2007 indicates that 71% of collaborators feel that innovation is a priority in their company, and it’s well-connected to the internal communication supports. For all that, they still require more innovation communication: presentation meetings, informative meetings, advertising meetings…

In a group such as Total, they take advantage of every opportunity to pass on messages about innovation and to communicate about the group’s engagement to innovation: organizing internal conferences about innovation, spreading messages about a wide variety of innovations, highlighting innovation on the group’s corporate site and on the internal platform dedicated to participative innovation, setting up innovation space inside the premises etc…

… But also to the outside

Innovation communication to the outside public represents a major issue for a company, as it also concerns its image, its reputation and even its position on the market.

Highlighting innovation in advertising is a sure way of conquering consumers: an Ipsos study from 2006 reveals that in France, innovation is the main engine of advertising efficiency in terms of CEI (+35), before differentiation, pertinence, and credibility. The brands have taken advantage of this and have highlighted their innovation track record, and are tracing the history of the company’s innovations over the years, just like that Honda commercial does.

The other Ispos study from March 2014 reveals that consumers judge brand influence according to their innovation capacity. Therefore, their innovation strategy allows companies to build a positive reputation.

But examples also show that a company that tends to only follow customer advice rather than suggesting split innovations will face a decline in its market.

That was the case in the 90s, when Apple designed a Newton, a “message pad”, under the impulse from its new CEO, John Sculley, who relied on market and consumer studies. The product was stopped after a short time. This shows that brands need to demonstrate split innovation capabilities.

Internally as well as externally, the diffusion of messages that highlight the innovation strategy proves to be crucial in bonding and mobilizing teams as well as in seducing the consumers and imposing the brand as a strong and influential one.

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