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How to Get to the “Aha” of Brand Innovation

Innovation activism is essentially “shining a spotlight on the blind spots,” said David Roth, managing partner of Get Stirred Up consulting and co-founder of Cereality cereal restaurants.

“We believe the lessons we have learned from that approach are very transferrable to both individuals and organizations,” Roth said during a talk sponsored by the Kilts Center for Marketing and the alumni Marketing Roundtable at Gleacher Center on May 12.

“It’s worth telling our story because it provides such a candid look at what it’s really like to get into the guts of innovation,” he said. “Everybody talks about the ‘aha’ moment, but we’re interested in what it takes to get to that aha outcome.”

Four key principles drive successful innovation, Roth said:

The idea for Cereality emerged while Roth was providing marketing for companies seeking emotional connections to their goods and services, he said. Roth and his partner, Rick Bacher, attempted to blend strategy and design into a brand category with emotional connections already established, Roth said.

He said the key insights behind the idea were:

The company needed to create a meta-brand right out of the gate. “We liked the idea of Sephora Cosmetics, which put the customer — not the marketing or product manager — in charge of the experience,” he said.

— Phil Rockrohr