Innovation Built on What You Already Have

When you think about how to grow your business or your brand, one of the key elements to think about is building on what you already have. Apple did a great job with this. Apple is considered one of the most innovative brands around, but they started with the computer.

When Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started out, they didn’t say, “Hey! Let’s make a telephone company.” They started with computers. They had a philosophy of making computers in an elegant, simple, sleek way that was accessible to everyone, easy to understand and user-friendly. They then moved on to the iPod and then later came the iPhone and the iPad. They took their knowledge of computers and their philosophy of elegance and simplicity and added it to those new industries.

I liken it to hopping on lily pads. If I were standing on one lily pad, in the center, very balanced…and if I tried to step onto the next lily pad (on the edge), I would fall in the water. But if I take one foot and put it in the center of the second lily pad and distribute my weight evenly, it would be different.  Once I get balanced, then I can take my foot off of the first lily pad. If I keep doing this over and over again, taking advantage of the balance and structure where I am at the moment, I can progress and grow. And when I look back, I’ll find that I’m all the way across the pond!

Everyone thinks that innovation is making huge leaps forward, but sometimes, it doesn’t work that way.   That doesn’t mean that if it’s not BIG innovation, it doesn’t count as innovation.  It does!  Sometimes it’s just more evolutionary.

This is how you can grow your brand too. You can innovate little by little, approaching different industries or different segments of the industry with your own philosophy and your own way of doing business. How you would approach a certain business segment is going to be very different from how another competitor would approach it.

Grow your brand your way. Take inventory of what assets you already have and ask yourself, “How can I build what I already have?  What little steps can I take today that will get me to where I want to go?”


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